Pallets and container loading
We basically have four different modes of shipping our products worldwide: in bulk, in bags, and in pallets. Bulk is when we simply load our grains in a container without any sort of packing. Bags is when we load the products in one big bag (flexitanks), 50kg bags or smaller bags grouped in plastic bales, and we load the bags up to the top inside the containers, and last we have the pallets.
A pallet is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling. We use this mode of loading container usually when we are shipping our food items in cases, which is the case of the evaporated milk, and the cheese for example. We place the cases on a pallet secured with strapping or stretch wrap.
While most of our pallets are wooden, some pallets also are made of plastic, metal, and paper. Each material has advantages and disadvantages relative to the others. Since our products are mostly shipped in containers for export, pallets are the best way to load our containers because they have the smooth, level surfaces needed for easy pallet movement.
Most pallets can easily carry a load of 1,000 kg (2,205 lb), and usually we can load 20 pallets per container due to weight limits. If the product is not that heavy, we can do two levels of pallets, and then load 40 pallets in one container, as you can see in the pictures taken at our warehouse. Usually we can load 100 to 140 cases of food products per pallet.
Curiosities about pallets:
Today, over half a billion pallets are made each year and about two billion pallets are in use across the United States alone, and for export the number can even double. Pallets make it easier to move heavy stacks. Loads with pallets under them can be hauled by forklift trucks of different sizes, or even by hand-pumped pallet jacks. Movement is easy on a wide, strong, flat floor, and concrete is perfect. The most important investment needed for economical pallet use is in the construction of commercial or industrial buildings, specially to make the passage through doors and buildings to be possible.