6 ways to take your load containment from risky to rock-steady

A pallet of boxes being stretchwrapped

If it only cost $0.60 to improve load safety for your employees and customers, would you do it? Most people would say, “Of course!” Yet this expense—the approximate average cost of securely stretch wrapping a pallet—as well as other load containment safety investments, are often overlooked.

It’s no secret how dangerous load containment is. However, surprisingly little time and money are spent on safety measures. To minimize these risks, David Wasserman, Load Containment Specialist with Veritiv, shares six key recommendations for containment during loading, shipping and storage.

1. Work with a load containment specialist

Specialists are well versed in ISTA standards. They audit your current processes to provide suggestions for achieving better load containment with fewer materials and/or expenses.

2. Know the weight of your load

Many firms assume their loads need upper levels of containment. However, the industry rule of thumb is one pound of containment force for every 100 pounds of weight, so your pallet may actually need less containment than you think.

3. Lock your load to the pallet without straps 

Stretch film and strapping secure loads to pallets, but strapping in particular has proven to be dangerous and labor intensive. Wasserman recommends equipment such as the Pallet Grip from Lantech for an easier, more secure attachment.

4. Use the correct stretch film

Stretch films have progressed to offer tighter packaging, fewer punctures, less zippering and better sustainability than they did years ago—all at a lower cost. Review your film choice to make sure you’re taking advantage of these advancements and getting the best load containment at the lowest gauge. 

5. Create containment SOPs based on each mode of transportation

Formatted text representing a point made in the contentMost companies have SOPs for manufacturing their products, but few have them for load containment. Creating standardized, repeatable processes that describe the amount of revolutions, wrapping speed and force levels required for each mode of transportation can dramatically improve efficiency and safety.

6. Automate where possible

Automating load containment processes can greatly increase safety and decrease costs over time by reducing human involvement.

In a business world that’s about the bottom line, Wasserman hopes these tips help firms focus on the value, not cost, of proper load containment. “The first question people usually ask is, ’What's the price?’ But don't lose sight of the bigger picture,” he advises. “Think of load containment safety investments as insurance policies that could save thousands—even millions—of dollars in damage, as well as greatly improve safety.”