The Load Bar Best Practices to Consider when Shipping Products to Your Retailer

loadbar-best-practices

This best practice should be followed while loading. Loading is an important function when you’re shipping something to a customer or a retailer. You could have done a great job picking the order, packing the order, stacking the boxes in the pallets nicely all that you could have done, but if you don’t load your products or merchandise or pallets properly all the work that you’ve done is going to go away.

It’s because when a bunch of boxes are stacked in pallets and when they travel in the truck there are a lot of bumps on the road. I mean the truck will have all the best shock absorbers and all that but in spite of that there are a lot of bumps on the road and there is a lot of traffic and there are obviously crazy drivers. 

When the driver is driving and when he is applying brakes and when he is going over steep hills there are g-forces that act on the product that you shipped. The product tends to move, shake, and tends to fall. It’s very important that you get to load it properly and that’s what we are learning from LoadProof. All these warehouse managers are doing a great job loading but somehow damages happened to the product. I mean it could be an inadvertent mistake by someone else or somehow that happens. 

It’s important that loading is done correctly and especially if you’re shipping expensive items like refrigerators I mean we got these customers that should be really massive AC units in the flatbed trucks they ship. They use videos to take pictures of the condition of the product before it leaves their facility because they can show proof to their customers and say “hey look at this we did our job right right”, so people often don’t realize how important this load and packing is. Keeping all these g-forces, all the things that happen when pallets travel on the truck it’s important to secure them nicely. It’s important again in understanding the difference between parcel and pallet shipping. We all know that a parcel is a small box and as long as you put the box to the UPS or FedEx driver they take care of it from there. 

But if it’s a pallet and if you’re shipping through some carrier then you got to really do a great job packing I mean the shrink wrapping. Obviously you’ve done a great job packing the pallet, but you got to shrink wrap the pallet and after loading you got to make sure the things don’t move. So one of the most effective tools to make sure that the pallets don’t move is something called the loading bar, it’s also called a tie bar or a load bar. After you load your refrigerator or TV or whatever it is, you put the load bar and then make sure you lock and secure that thing with this load bar.

There are many different varieties of load bars, there are some sophisticated one’s with the ratchet and pinion mechanism and you can lock it in. Some securely hold with the rubber pads and things like that. The loading bar is very useful because it secures the merchandise tightly so even if the truck shakes and even if it’s a bump they don’t move or shake. 

These loading bars are very effective and if you come from the 3PLs background you would definitely know that if something bad happens the 3PLs get banged on both sides, both from the customer side for these services and then also from the recipient side who received that product. So it’s important to pay attention to this loading process. If it’s a local town delivery or a LTL delivery you might not need many loading bars, but if it’s a long-haul delivery then you might need the loading bar but it depends on the how expensive your item is and what type of roads that you’re going through what type of g-forces that act. 

There are crazy drivers on the road and it’s important to do the loading and secure them using the load bar. We got customers that are taking pictures of every single load they load, every single pallet they load, and every single merchandise they send such as refrigerator, TV, or this crazy air conditioning system. Whatever they load they take pictures of that to prove it to their customers that they’re shipping with all the precautions. Even with the carriers, either it could be the retailer for a chargeback scenario or even further somebody else that they’re shipping, to make sure the freights or the carrier delivers it perfectly.

So loading is something that’s important and it needs to be done correctly, it needs to be there especially done when shipping high-value products. You’ve got to have that loading bar that’s very effective and I think you can google it and find it. Uline is a very popular distributor of these products, you can find them there so it just secures the pallet so nicely, so effectively, and you can sleep peacefully saying that “hey my product is going to get delivered in a safe and secure manner”. Feel free to post questions in the comments section below.

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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. So far, Smart Gladiator Wearables have been used to ship, receive, and scan more than 50 million boxes. Users love them for the lightweight, easy-to-use soft overlay keyboard and video chatting ability, data collection ability etc. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 17 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 www.smartgladiator.com. Also follow him at www.pugasankara.com.

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