The Pallets Loading Best Practice that you must consider at your Warehouse Facility to avoid retail chargebacks, freight claims, damage claims and rejected loads


This is another best practice that you can follow while you’re loading your products in the trailer container. It’s always important to do a great job loading and obviously your team did a great job picking the product, boxing the product, and then nicely stacking them in pallets. The pallets are then shrink-wrapped and ready to go. 

It’s important to load them perfectly because while the truck or the trailer is going there are a lot of bumps on the road, there’s a lot of traffic and the truck could go steep uphill and steep downhill. I’ve driven so much in the Tennessee area, into the mountains and all kinds of things happen. When all these happen there are G forces that act on the merchandise that you’ve shipped which could shake the product and also tilt the product sometimes. 

If you have expensive SKUs, these unnecessary shakes can still create damages. Even though the truck or the trailer might have the best shock absorber it’s not a good thing as your product might get damaged or it might not arrive in the condition that it should have arrived at the destination. So it’s very important to make sure that they’re loaded correctly, this another best practice while you’re loading the product is using something called air pillows or the dunnage pillows or the vinyl pillows.

These are big pillows and not the small ones that we put inside a box. I mean that those are small air pillows that we put inside the box to make sure the product doesn’t shake and move and keep shaking so like that these are big pillows that are sometimes even six feet by four feet, and six feet by three feet.

They should be poked and nicely placed between pallets, so the pallets don’t shake and cause unnecessary damage or moving or tilting and things like that.It’s important to use these pillows and again if you’re coming from the 3PL world that you probably knew that those are important because they prevent that movement and they snuggly pack the item and these are big pillows. You can put an inflator like pump and pump that like you probably saw in the air beds that sometimes we might have bought in our life. 

So like that you can put in those pillows and then inflate them using a pump and then inflate it pretty fast in one minute or two minutes. It should be nicely spaced between the two pallets and make sure the pallet doesn’t shake or fall. On top of it you can even add a loading bar or a tie bar or a load bar or a cargo bar to secure that even tightly. You can decide, I mean it’s only a recommendation and it’s not advice.

It’s just a best practice so you got to think and figure out if it makes sense for your situation. It might make sense in some LTL scenarios and might not make some sense in some other LTL, also it can make sense in some FTL scenarios and it might not make sense in some other FTL scenarios. So this is a great tool to have when you’re shipping these expensive products that are going far-off places and that you want to secure pretty tightly, and want to make sure that is delivered in the state that you would like to get it delivered without shaking, without movement, and without any type of damage whatsoever for these products. Check out these U-line products which have these products on their website and you just have to Google “air pillows for LTL shipping”. 

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 Also follow him at

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