Pallet Pooling
Pallet Pooling

Moving a few boxes or thousands of them? Pallets are regarded as one of the two major innovations for material handling to emerge in the 20th century besides the Barcode. Palletisation of goods offers several advantages for the logistics of the supply chain. One of the ways in which pallets are used is through pallet pooling.

Definition
Palletisation refers to the process of placing materials or goods either in bulk or packaged onto pallets. The pallet offers a base for materials and goods and promotes effective storage, management, and transport of the joint goods and pallet base, called Unit Load.

When the concept of palletisation was introduced, it resulted in a dramatic influence on the enhancement of efficiency of material handling. In contrast, rail cars—which were used before pallets—used to take two days to unload but could now be unloaded in simply one or two hours.

One way in which pallets is used by modern business is through pallet pooling. In this, the process of palletising is outsourced to third-party pallet pooling companies. This setup helps to save time, money, and effort involved in using pallets. It also helps reduce the carbon footprint of the process and makes it cost-effective for businesses.

Key benefits
Some of the key benefits of palletisation include:

● Quick handling
Palletised products can be moved around more quickly. They enable faster turn-around of delivery vehicles. The doors of trailers are available faster for the next arrival. There is a need for less labour. Perishable products move faster, lowering the risk of perishing.

● Highly efficient
With the help of pallets, products can be moved more efficiently. Products stacked on pallets can be stored more effectively in warehouses. By making use of standard pallet sizes, workflow and warehouse operations can be optimised.

● Reduction of risks
There is less risk of damage during the handling process. There is less risk of injury to workers. Since pallets are more durable and stronger than shipping containers, they can carry heavier and more products without risk of breakage.

● Easy transport
It is easier to monitor and manage a single pallet carrying several items. In contrast to other styles of unit load bases which may need specialised equipment, the universal shapes and sizes of pallets enable the easy lifting and stacking using pallet jacks and forklifts.

● Safety of products
Pallets keep products above the ground, far away from debris, dirt, and water. They offer proper circulation and drainage, such that even perishable items like fresh fruits and vegetables are stored safely and stay fresh.

Businesses of all kinds have been reaping the advantages of palletisation for several years. Whatever the kind of your business or product, palletisation will lead to multiple benefits.

Pallet Configuration
When you place goods on top of pallets, the containers are usually organised into a Ti-Hi configuration. Ti- refers to the number of boxes per layer, and Hi- refers to the number of layers.

This pallet configuration refers to how containers are placed above the pallet. Products that are column stacked are piled in a direct way upon the products below. Since boxes are most strong in their corners, this approach offers greater resistance to deformation of the boxes as opposed to interlocking or brick patterns.

But patterns of interlocking pallets are linked to greater stability of unit load as well as strength of bridging. As per research, pallet deflection can be reduced by 53% by featuring interlocking pallet patterns.

Approaches
There are four main approaches to the process of palletisation. These are robotic palletisation, automated palletisation, semi-automated palletisation, and manual palletisation.

In manual palletisation, items are placed on the pallet manually. For instance, workers may lift boxes carried by conveyor on the assembly line and stack these on pallets.

In semi-automated palletisation, there is manual sliding of cartons for forming a layer without requiring lifting or pacing around the pallets. After the formation of a layer, the operator clicks on the start button, and the layer is palletised in an automatic way.

As for automated palletisation, it involves a machine taking containers from the end of conveyors and assembling them into a set pattern for forming layers and constructing these layers upon a pallet for creating a unit load.

Robotic palletisers are becoming the rage in modern logistics circles. In this, a robot is made to place individual layers or cases upon a pallet. This setup offers greater flexibility and the capacity to palletise multiple package sizes and SKUs upon the same pallet. Such palletisers are growing highly popular.

These palletisers ease away the burden of workers by removing the requirement to lift heavy objects such as home appliances and HVAC equipment, and even industrial goods. Robotic solutions lower the chance of injury, never tire and operate round the clock.

In sum, to palletise just implies placing items on pallets. The mode of placing items on pallets is based on which approach is used: robotic, automated, semi-automated, or manual. No matter what the approach, there are several benefits that emerge from the decision to palletise. The best option for palletisation is to opt for pallet pooling.