The true cost of movement in transport
You might not think improving pallet stability is a key concern for your business, but with around 60,000,000 new wooden pallets produced in the UK each year, and 150,000 tons of pallet wrap used on them, movement in transport (MIT) can be a very costly issue.
Any palletised goods in transit that aren’t stacked and packed securely can cause MIT issues and significantly impact profitability. There are obvious, financial costs, such as loss of damaged goods. In fact, up to 11% of all palletised goods can arrive at their final destination with some damage (Packaging Digest).
But there are equally damaging hidden costs, including impact on brand reputation, spillage and clean-up costs, loss of customer loyalty, administration costs and supply chain impact – not to mention the risk of personal injury to staff. According to EUMOS, one person is injured or killed every hour in the EU/UK due to insecure cargo.
Last but not least, there is a cost to the environment. The Government estimates 5 million tonnes of plastic is used in the UK every year, nearly half of which is packaging. But we estimate the UK could save 41 million kgs of plastic stretch film per year if businesses assess their use of pallet wrap.
With a focus on reducing the plastic used and generated by businesses through mechanisms such as the Packaging Producer Responsibility system and the upcoming plastic packaging tax, it’s not only important for manufacturing businesses to reduce plastic use for the benefit of the environment, but for a healthier bottom line.
While it may be tempting to opt for a temporary fix by over-packaging products to provide more stability and minimise MIT, the best way to prevent these unnecessary costs is to conduct a thorough analysis so you can implement effective solutions.
Identifying the cause of movement in transport
Conducting tests to find the root cause of MIT will help you put the most appropriate measures in place to solve the problem. Using our unique audit method, we can identify these causes, and in turn recommend the most effective, and cost-saving, products.
We can even bring the test to you with our Mobile Pallet Stability Test Lab, which provides on-site real-time pallet stability testing. The unit can be driven to your factory or warehouse to test stacked pallets there and then. It also tests four times quicker than traditional off-site methods, enabling more testing to be completed at a much lower cost per pallet.
The lab uses an on-board sledge and track that simulates the stresses that a loaded pallet is subject to when a vehicle brakes suddenly. A camera measures and records the deflection and movements in the pallet at a range of pre-set G forces and the data is analysed by specially written software to determine pallet stability performance in accordance with the EUMOS standard. Immediate feedback is provided to adjust the wrapping and a pallet can quickly be re-tested.
Common causes of movement in transport we identify are:
- Logistics – driver error, poor loading, bad roads
- Storage and handling – congested warehousing, human error, poor handling equipment
- Packaging – design, materials, performance
But there are many variables where things can go wrong. For example, if there is not enough tension in the wrap the pallets will be unstable, or if the wrap is not sufficiently attached to the base of the pallet, the whole stack could shift in transit. All these things have a potentially devastating effect during transportation.
Whatever the root cause of MIT, we can offer an innovative or optimised solution and follow up with regular audits to help maintain performance. Many MIT issues can be mitigated by addressing stability. At Lindum Packaging, our experts have spent years researching and developing a range of solutions to ensure pallet stability, thereby minimising MIT.
Finding the right packaging and processes to ensure stability
We offer a range of high-quality packaging products to help you cut costs and improve your pallet stability, including:
- Pallet wrap & stretch film
- Anti-slip sheets
- Cardboard corner posts
But crucially, we have the expertise to ensure these products are appropriate for your product and compatible with your machinery.
Our solutions can not only take you a step closer to your sustainability goals, but our customers also save an average of 27% per year. For more advise on protecting your products from unpredictable factors on the journey from production to your customers, without excessive impact on the environment, get in touch with our team today.