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FedEx has developed specific guidelines to keep the cargo as safe from damage as possible in transit. These guidelines also utilize the available space in the most efficient manner to transport as much freight in one shipment as possible. The recommended stacking method helps cushion cargo, distribute its weight evenly and provide stability to help prevent damage from forklifts and general handling. After stacking the boxes, protect the shipment with shipping bands and stretch wrap film to prevent the boxes from shifting position.
Place a bottom load-protector pad on a wood or plastic pallet that has a bottom board or deck. These types of pallets protect the boxes from damage by forklifts and provide additional support for the weight. The bottom load-protector pad, which is a corrugated tray, also helps reduce damage and distributes weight evenly.
Stack the bottom layer of boxes on the pallet. Use an interlocking stack technique for added stability. Place the boxes corner-to-corner, so they each fit tightly against each other. Do not allow any of the boxes to overhang the edge of the pallet, because it subjects the boxes to damage.
Stack the upper two to three layers of boxes in the same manner. After finishing each layer, check each box to ensure that it does not overhang and that all the boxes fit tightly against each other.
Avoid pyramid stacking, which is when the top layer of boxes is smaller than the bottom layers. If there are not enough boxes to complete another layer on a stack, start a new pallet. Pyramid stacking can lead to damage to the boxes and interferes with the stability and even weight distribution of the stack.
Place a top load-protector pad on top of the stack of boxes. Insert a corner board vertically on each corner of the stack.
Attach bands to the stack, using two per side, for a total of four bands. Attach the end of one band to the bottom of the pallet, run it up the stack, over the top and down the other side. Attach the other end of the band to the other side of the pallet.
Wrap self-adhesive, 70-gauge stretch wrap film around the entire stack, beginning by tucking the lead wrap on top of the pallet and underneath the bottom box. Wrap the stretch wrap film around the stack, traveling upward in a spiral pattern and overlapping the film. Run the film diagonally on top of the top corners, overlapping the film by at least 3 inches. Finish the wrap by spiraling the film back to the bottom of the stack, overlapping the base wrap.
Read labels and carton orientation symbols on each box while stacking. Follow any instructions, such as “This Side Up” and “Top Load Only.”