Pallet Stability Terms Glossary

Ensuring the stability of pallets is crucial for safe and efficient logistics and supply chain operations. Below is a glossary of key terms related to pallet stability, load integrity, and associated testing methods. 


Load Integrity refers to the overall stability and security of a palletised load. It ensures that all items on a pallet are held securely together during handling, storage, and transportation. Maintaining load integrity is essential for preventing product damage, reducing waste, and ensuring safety. 

Pallet Stability Testing encompasses various methods and procedures used to assess the stability and strength of palletised loads. These tests simulate real-world conditions to ensure that the loads can withstand various stresses during transit. Common tests include vibration tests, compression tests, and tilt tests. 

Compression Testing involves applying a force to a palletised load to determine its ability to withstand pressure from stacking and storage. This test helps assess the load’s vertical strength and resistance to crushing underweight. 

Vibration Testing simulates the shaking and jolting that occur during transportation. This test helps identify potential weaknesses in the load’s stability and ensures that items remain secure under vibratory conditions. 

Tilt Testing assesses the pallet’s stability by tilting it at various angles. This test checks for any shifting or tipping of the load, ensuring that the pallet can withstand inclines and declines during handling and transportation. 

Load Containment refers to the methods and materials used to secure items on a pallet, preventing them from shifting or falling during transit. Common containment methods include stretch wrapping, shrink wrapping, strapping, and the use of slip sheets. 

Stretch Wrapping involves wrapping a stretchable plastic film around a palletised load to secure it. The film’s elasticity helps hold the items tightly together, providing stability and protection from dust and moisture. 

Shrink Wrapping uses a plastic film that shrinks tightly around the load when heat is applied. This method offers a snug fit and excellent protection against environmental factors.  

Strapping involves binding a load with plastic or metal straps to secure it to the pallet. Straps can be tensioned to provide a firm hold, preventing movement and ensuring load stability. 

Slip Sheets are thin sheets of plastic, fibreboard, or other materials used as a base for palletised loads. They reduce friction between layers and can be used to facilitate the movement of goods without traditional pallets. 

Pallet Configuration refers to the arrangement and stacking pattern of items on a pallet. Proper configuration is crucial for maximising stability, optimising space, and ensuring safe handling. 

Interlocking Stacking is a technique where layers of products are stacked in a crisscross pattern. This method enhances stability by distributing weight evenly and reducing the risk of items shifting during transit. 

Column Stacking involves stacking items directly on top of one another in straight columns. While this method maximises vertical space, it may require additional containment measures to ensure stability. 

Load Displacement refers to the movement or shifting of items on a pallet during handling or transportation. Minimising load displacement is essential for maintaining stability and preventing damage. 

Pallet Jack is a manual or electric tool used to lift and move pallets within a warehouse or distribution centre. Proper use of pallet jacks is essential for maintaining load stability during handling. 

Forklift is a powered industrial truck used to lift and transport pallets over short distances. Forklift operators must handle loads carefully to prevent instability and ensure safety. 

Load Securement involves using various methods and devices to fasten and stabilise a load on a pallet. Securement techniques help prevent movement, ensuring the integrity of the load during transit. 

Dunnage refers to the materials used to fill empty spaces and cushion goods on a pallet. Common dunnage materials include airbags, foam, and paper. Dunnage helps protect items from shifting and damage. 

Palletisation is the process of placing goods on a pallet and securing them so they can be moved or stored as a single load. 

Corner/Edge Protectors are used to protect the edges of packages or pallet loads from damage caused by tight strapping, and to help distribute strap tension evenly. 

Wrap Tension is the amount of tension applied when wrapping a pallet with stretch or shrink wrap to ensure the load is held tightly. 

Cross-Tiering is alternating the direction of each layer of goods or boxes on a pallet to improve stability and reduce the risk of shifting. 


By understanding and applying these key terms, logistics and supply chain professionals can significantly enhance pallet stability, ensuring safe and efficient transport of goods.