Best Practices for Stacking Pallets and Products while Shipping and avoid retail chargebacks, freight claims, damage claims and rejected loads


This is another best practice that you could use to make sure that nobody stacks anything on top of your pallet. If you are shipping anything on top of your pallet, it may be a specific product or few pallets through a carrier, this often happens. When you ship something to your retailer and obviously the retailers have a large volume of products that they sell through their stores. 

They pick up the products from their vendor as well, so what they do is they optimize using something called dynamic routing. They optimize that pickup and then they bid those transportation contracts to carriers and the carriers take the contracts and they follow a fashion in picking. They go to stop 1 pickup 2 to 3 pallets, and then go to stop 2, pick up 2 to 3 pallets and then go to stop 3, so like that they are picking up and they might come to you. If you have a really nice product and you are manufacturing that product and you are selling it through a retailer they will come to you and you got to ship it through that carrier. 

At that time of shipping if you have a certain product you don’t want anybody to stack on top of that product you have to clearly put that notice saying do not stack. We had a very interesting customer, they had a bathroom vanity, it’s a fancy bathroom vanity. The top of the vanity is a porcelain or something of a heavy material, that’s a polished material where the faucet goes on. That portion is heavy and the bottom portion is light so they would put all kinds of notes saying that they do not stack and they will also do extra packing and all. 

So much care was taken to make sure that it is packed nicely, so it’s delivered in a pristine condition without scratches, damages, or dents. It’s delivered to the customer so they were doing that, and on top of it they would not stack labels and the carrier would not follow it and often it would arrive damaged at the customer. 

The customer will not get satisfied, so they started putting a do not stack label and that’s the reason why they were taking pictures in the first place using the digital camera. When we showed our loadproof and they were like “wow this is awesome”, and they immediately called us back in 1 hour. 

They set it up, so that was the value prop for a product manufacturer like that. When you use the do not stack label it’s also important to take pictures. There are so many other labels you can use viz. do not stack, do not double stack, fragile, heavy, caution. Stack is such a big deal in products like this because they stack and the damage happens. 

The carrier is liable for that damage and you can submit freight claims. It’s really really important to make sure that the carrier follows it or whoever is moving that loading. They usually follow that, sometimes if you want to make sure that it is religiously followed you can even keep a do not stack cone on it, so the cone is like sharp and if someone places something on top of that if the cone is damaged. 

Now you can get to know that if someone placed a lightweight item on top of it, that product is going to get damaged. The people would pay attention to that so it’s a good idea to apply all these labels and there are labels that even mark pressure points of the product. I mean where the heavy products should not be placed and things like that right, and you can Google those and it’s also available in ULINE. 

The reason I keep saying ULINE is because I have used these myself many times, I bought many of these packing materials and it worked really well for me. We ship our products like wearables, tablets and things like that and mobile devices to our customers. Hopefully this is helpful and please subscribe to our channel and share this with your friends and co-workers and post comments if you need anything else.

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Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. SG LoadProof is a patent pending Centralized Enterprise Photo/Video Document System on Cloud for Supply Chain. SG LP is built on the fact that photos & videos are vital docs as important as POs/SOs/Legal Contracts/Fulfillment Orders that reside in ERP/WMS/TMS systems, that serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal proof of crucial, critical, vital operations executed in Supply Chain within/across orgs when fulfilling customer orders as well as meeting contractual obligations between orgs as merchandise is transferred between different parties that partake in Supply Chain functions & operations. And these photos/videos data should not be stored in someone’s Smartphone or Email Inbox or in their personal/work Computer, but should be stored in a Centralized Enterprise system, where such data can be pushed into super-fast, stored securely, accessible to all stake holders (CFO/Sales Reps/Customer Support/AR/AP) in an org, as well as facilitates super-fast retrieval/sharing. LP is an Enterprise System of record for Photo/Video docs & is as important as an ERP which is an enterprise system of record for POs, SOs, Legal Contracts between parties etc. that have huge legal ramifications, also as important as a WMS (Warehouse Management System) that hold indispensable shipment & fulfillment data on orders. Like how Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc. have evolved into social media platforms/systems that enable individuals to showcase their beauty/pretty clothes/lovely cosmetics/hep coolness etc., LoadProof is an Enterprise system that holds similar photos/videos, but for a different reason, not for show off, but to serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal & indisputable system of record and proof that can be presented even in the court of law, when there is a dispute between parties while they execute many facets of the Supply Chain functions & operations. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 25 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at Also follow him at

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