How to pack a pallet

“Packing a pallet” -this is a seemingly simple task that is undertaken daily by businesses all over Australia to efficiently load and safely transport goods. What many don’t realise is that there are some common mistakes that could lead to a higher probability of their goods being damaged.

Here are some pallet basics:

  • A standard Australian pallet weights 43kg
  • Dimensions: 1165mm x 1165mm
  • Maximum load weight: 2 tonnes

Before packing a pallet it’s important to note that the strongest part of the carton is in the vertical edges. These edges are 2/3 of the load bearing strength, with 1/3 coming from the panels.

Packing the pallet:

  • When packing a pallet there are two main types of methods that are used, column or interlocking.
  • The column method is used for a pallet of standard cartons, stacking them in rows and neatly on top of each other.
  • The interlocking method is used for packing various carton dimensions securely together with no gaps, maintaining pallet stability.
  • It’s important to place the large and heavy items at the base of the pallet to maintain stability.
  • Pack items of similar shape and height together to create as much even, flat space as possible.
  • If there are irregular shaped items, leave them for last and pack them on top of the pallet.

Common mistakes to avoid:

  • Packing the pallet too high – This can cause instability and increase the chances of items falling off the pallet and causing injury.
  • Allowing items to overhang the edges of the pallet – This reduces the load strength of the carton and increases the chances of damage.
  • ‘In-boarding’ – This is the term given to the practise of stacking in the centre of the pallet and not filling the base. This wastes space and also causes problems when trying to secure or wrap a pallet. More film is used to secure the load, leading to an unnecessary waste.
  • Packing onto skids – This can cause issues in the warehouse as they are not standard size. This can delay forklift drivers who need to make adjustments to pick up and move the skids.

By following these simple guidelines, a company can improve pallet stability and reduce costs while also improving workplace safety.

Signet’s pallet cartons allow for a neat fit onto a standard pallet. Different sizes can be easily packed together, saving time.

Signet is an Australian owned company that has been operating for over 45 years and is a leader in the packaging industry. Signet is Always in Stock, Always on Time and Always the Lowest Price.

How to pack a pallet


Virtual Warehouse. 2014. Carton Stacking Problems. Available at:

FedEx. 2014. How to Pack LTL Freight. Available at:

Chep. 2014. Wooden Pallets. Available at:

About Stephwilkin

Steph Wilkin is based in Brisbane and working for Signet Australia as a Digital Marketing Coordinator.
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