Non-Stackable Freight

Moving empty space is a big problem for logisitcs providers and a very costly one.  Couriers need to ensure that they efficiently pack goods onto lorries and aircraft to utilise as much precious space as possible.

This means that pallets (and parcels) can be stacked to ensure the best use of space.

Some couriers add a surcharge to freight that cannot be stacked.  This is due to the unusable space and increase in transport costs that it creates.

If you don't want your goods to be stacked, there are important steps you should take which will make the courier aware.  A non-stackable warning label, clearly visible on all sides and/or a cone should be used in all cases (skip to no.5 below).

On the other hand, if you are happy to have your goods stacked, there are important steps to take which will ensure your goods do not attract a non-stackable surcharge.

If the courier charges for non-stackable pallets, we'll make you aware of this in our booking process too.

These examples of how to ensure stackability should be used in conjuction with the general packaging advice which applies to all shipments.

1.

Ensure the top surface of the pallet is level and flat.  You should also check the goods are strong enough to accept stacking.

An illustration of a pallet of different size boxes, leaving an uneven surface which is unsuitable for stacking on
An illustration of a pallet of boxes, stacked neatly with a flat surface for stacking

2.

Unpackaged items should either be fully crated or secured to the pallet and then covered with a box.

An illustration of a pallet loose machine parts packaged on top
An illustration of a pallet loose machine parts that have been overboxed or crated neatly

3.

Tubes or cylindrical items should be secured to the pallet and then covered appropriately to produce a flat and level surface for stacking.

An illustration of a pallet with cylinders packed neatly, strapped down with a flat surface for stacking

4.

Stack your pallet in even columns of boxes to ensure a flat and level surface for stacking.

An illustration of a pallet with boxes on that have been stacked so they may topple in transit
An illustration of a pallet of boxes, stacked neatly with a flat surface for stacking

5.

If your goods cannot be stacked, use a non-stack warning cone in addition to warning labels on each side of the pallet.  If the carrier levies a charge for non-stackable pallets, you must ensure you select and pay for this service prior to shipping.

An illustration of a pallet with a warning cone and labels to stop anything being stacked on top

6.

Degraded, damaged or weak boxes are not suitable for stacking. If the courier deems there to be a risk of damage to the goods inside due to use of insufficient packaging, they will classify the pallet as non-stackable. Likewise, pallets labelled as “fragile” may also be considered unsuitable for stacking. Robust packaging should never be substituted for “fragile” labelling or tape.

Illustration of damaged, fragile and degraded parcel on a pallet.