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How to Stack Boxes

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Boxes provide stable surroundings for goods that are being stored or transported. To maximize space in a warehouse or shipping container, employees or automated machines stack boxes in an organized manner. Adhering to safety measures and proper stacking procedures prevents the possibility of serious injury for those in the vicinity of stacked boxes.

Check the structural stability of the pallet, the stable platform used to stack boxes. The load of boxes can easily topple if one of the vertical supports or horizontal slats breaks.

Determine the tier/height configuration of the pallet, meaning the number of layers stacked on top of each other. This configuration depends on the size of the boxes, the size of the pallet and, in some cases, the size of the truck or container transporting the pallet. The tier/height configuration should always form the shape of a solid cube.

Place the first layer of boxes on the pallet, filling as much of the base structure as possible. Do not allow any boxes to hang over the edge of the pallet, as even an inch or two of overhang can ruin the structural integrity of the lower boxes. If stacking boxes too large and heavy to move by hand, use a forklift truck.

Secure the boxes with stretch wrap. Attach the stretch wrap to the pallet itself and walk around the pallet of boxes to encircle it in the wrap. Working from bottom to top, circle each layer of boxes two to three times before working your way up. Wrap tightly to ensure the compression of the boxes into a single unit. This prevents any of the boxes from sliding off the stack or pallet during shipment or storage.

Tip

Make sure to fill each box. Partially filled boxes will collapse under the weight of boxes placed on top of them, causing the whole pallet to tip over.

Warning

Allow only trained professionals to operate a forklift truck.

About the Author

Rachel Rosman started writing in 1997 as a movie reviewer for her local newspaper. She currently writes for a Boston-based daily deals website. Rosman graduated cum laude from Brandeis University in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and creative writing

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