What does palletized mean? (With examples)

February 20, 2024
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What does palletizing mean?

Palletizing simply means placing goods on pallets for storage or transportation. 

For example, “The warehouse staff spent the morning palletizing boxes of shoes.” Or, “The bakery’s confections are palletized and shipped to stores each morning.”

Palletizing often involves stacking goods on pallets and then securing them in place with straps, shrink wrap or netting

This helps keep products stable during transport and storage. For example, pallets of bricks or tiles are often shrink-wrapped to prevent slipping, while pallets of cartons may only need strapping to stay in place.

The efficiency benefits are huge, as it allows for dense, vertical storage that maximizes space.

It also enables easy movement of entire pallet loads using forklifts and pallet jacks, which speeds up loading, unloading, and transportation. 

Overall, palletizing significantly increases productivity and cuts costs for many businesses.

How palletizing works: The process explained

The basic steps involve:

  • Organized stacking: Start by arranging cases or items neatly on the pallet, optimizing space to load as much as possible while making sure they’re stable to prevent shifting during transit.
  • Securing and moving: After loading, secure the pallet with stretch wrap, straps, or netting, then move it with a forklift or pallet jack for shipping or warehouse storage.
  • Efficient unloading: At the destination, unwrap the pallet and methodically unstack items for distribution.

What can you palletize?

Pretty much anything, as long as you can put it on a pallet. 

Some examples are: 

  • Versatile palletizing: From bags of cement and boxes of nails to steel beams and wooden boards, many items are commonly palletized for more efficient handling, storage, and transport.
  • Finished goods on the move: Consumer goods like bottled drinks, packaged foods, and retail products are often loaded onto pallets, simplifying the shipping process between warehouses and stores.
  • Heavy machinery handled with ease: Large, heavy items including machinery, engines, and equipment are secured to pallets.
  • There are limits: While many items are OK for palletizing, very small, fragile, or irregularly shaped goods are not ideal for standard palletizing methods and may need custom solutions.

The majority rule: Despite a few exceptions, palletizing is a highly efficient (and cost-effective) method for the storage and distribution of a wide range of products.

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Can anything be palletized?

While many items can be palletized, some products are better suited for palletizing than others. 

As a rule of thumb, bulky, heavy, or unwieldy goods that are hard to manually handle are ideal candidates for palletizing. 

Products with smooth, flat surfaces that can be stacked securely also work well. 

However, light, fragile, or oddly shaped items may be damaged during the palletizing process and are usually not good options.

What is a palletizer?

A palletizer is a machine that automatically loads products onto pallets. 

Palletizers can pick up and place individual units, packs, cartons, bags or crates onto a pallet to create a stable, unitized pallet load. 

They use robotic arms to grab product layers or entire pallets and stack them on top of each other.

How do you palletize?

There are a few common ways companies palletize their goods:

  • Going manual: Ideal for smaller setups or startups, manual palletizing relies on human workers to stack products onto pallets using specific patterns for optimum stability and space utilization – although it becomes pretty labor-intensive with higher volumes.
  • Semi-automated: Using tools like pallet lifts, turntables, and dispensers, semi-automated palletizing eases the physical demands on workers while maintaining the need for manual operation and stacking, suitable for moderate production scales.
  • Going full auto: High-volume operations clearly benefit from fully automated palletizers, where robotic arms or Gantry robots methodically stack products onto pallets, significantly boosting efficiency and reducing labor costs, despite the initial investment.


How long does palletizing take?

The palletizing process is highly efficient, so it typically only takes a few minutes to palletize a full truckload of goods. The exact time will depend on the size of the load and the complexity of the patterns required. Modern palletizers can construct pallets at a rate of 10-30 cases per minute.

Do I need a forklift to move pallets?

Pallets are designed to be moved using forklifts, pallet jacks or other material-handling equipment. Once goods have been palletized, they can be easily loaded, unloaded and moved around warehouses and distribution centers without having to handle the individual items. Some pallets are also designed to be moved manually over short distances.

What are the benefits of palletizing?

Palletizing offers many benefits including:

  • Increased efficiency. Palletizing speeds up the loading, unloading, and transportation of goods.
  • Improved safety. Palletizing reduces the risk of injury to workers by minimizing heavy manual handling.
  • Space optimization. Palletizing allows goods to be stacked on top of each other, making the most of available storage and transportation space.
  • Product protection. Palletizing helps keep products clean, undamaged and stabilized during storage and transit.
  • Standardization. Pallets provide a standard base for efficiently stacking and moving all kinds of packaged goods.

Do pallets damage products?

When done properly, palletizing should not damage products. Pallets provide a stable, elevated platform so goods are not in direct contact with the floor. Proper palletizing, with goods stacked evenly and securely tied together and to the pallet, protects against damage during transportation or if pallets are bumped or knocked over. Some pallets also have top decks with slatted or mesh surfaces that provide ventilation and prevent sliding.

Summing up

Whether done manually or using automated palletizers, palletizing can benefit many industries by optimizing logistics, reducing labor costs, and preventing product damage. 

Now, the next time you see a perfectly stacked pallet ready for shipping, you'll know how the magic happens! 

Next steps

Considering stepping up your palletizing game? RO1 by Standard Bots is the top dog for both SMEs and industrial titans. 

  • Cost-effective: RO1 leads its class, delivering exceptional value at half the price of its nearest rivals.
  • Powerful and precise: With a top-of-the-line payload of 18 kg, RO1 eclipses competitors in both speed and accuracy.
  • Built-in safety: Featuring comprehensive safety mechanisms, including sensors and collision detection, RO1 makes your shop floor as safe as can be. 

Contact our solutions team for a free, 30-day on-site trial, complete with professional advice for seamless RO1 integration.

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