When it comes to cargo transport, space utilization is what matters most. The more you carry (up to a point), the more you earn and vice versa. You don’t need to buy the largest trailer you can find. Instead, you can make the best use of the one you already have and maximize ROI.
If you pack items incorrectly, they may get damaged in transit leading to claims and losses. But when you store them the right way, you’ll be able to carry more and be safe at the same time. How can you achieve that goal?
Here’s a guide to help you optimize your storage space.
Pack all the items tightly inside boxes (if you’re responsible for packing). Then, put the same-size boxes in the same row. This tactic will help create a uniform top where you can place more items. Plus, heavier items should be below lighter ones and go in smaller boxes (if you have a say) and lighter items in larger ones. That way, it’ll be easier to carry them. It will also ensure that no box is half full.
When packing heavy items, don’t place them all on one side. Doing so will make the trailer unstable. Such items may also tilt and risk falling. A good practice is to distribute weight evenly on all sides. This move improves stability and minimizes the chances of accidents.
The easiest way to utilize vertical space is to stack goods on top of each other. In this case, start with the heavy, non-fragile goods at the bottom. Then pile the light and fragile items at the top. In some cases, using double-decks or racks may prove beneficial.
If all items are heavy or fragile, a double-deck minimizes the risk of damaging the goods at the bottom. But the problem with double decks is that if you fix them permanently, you may not be able to carry large items in the future. So it’s better to have removable or height-adjustable racks to accommodate different cargo sizes.
Pallets are rigid bases made of wood, metal, or plastic. Pallets allow stacks of boxes to be placed on them, generally stretch-wrapped or covered in a way to increase their integrity. They help to bundle similar items together. The best thing about pallets is that you can often safely stack them together—and you won’t have to worry about damaging fragile items in the boxes.
Pallets are reusable. While you (or your customer) may spend more money on them, they’ll provide an excellent return on investment. You can even design custom pallets to fit the size of your fleet’s trailers. Pallets that fit side to side without leaving space between have two advantages. First, they’re safe since they won’t shift. Secondly, they make the best use of the available space.
The size of the pallet should be considered depending on whether you use machines or people to load the trailer. Machine pallets can be larger.
Packing should start from the front, the furthest point from the door. Large items should go first. That’s because smaller items are much easier to fit in any remaining space and the heavier weight of larger items will be closer to the drive wheels.
For items you might need sooner, you should pack them last. If some space remains in the trailer, fasten the boxes from behind with straps to keep them from collapsing. Avoid leaving spaces between boxes as this will allow shifting and possible damage to the goods.
Finally, do not exceed the weight limitations for your vehicle or federal and state laws! Make sure to stop at all weigh stations as required.
Whether you’re carrying your own goods or a customer’s goods, efficient use of space will minimize the number of trips you make. As a result, you’ll be able to earn more and save time.