Exploring Methods of Unitizing Your Loads for Shipment

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What is Load Unitization?

Load unitization is an efficient means of packaging, arranging and transporting products into an appropriate unit for easy handling by material handling equipment. This not only contributes to the effective utilization of storage space, but also offers optimal stability for items such as lumber, bagged products and cased goods. Load unitization helps eliminate handling problems and maintain good vertical alignment during rail, road or sea transportation, so product does not get damaged.

Different Methods of Unitization

Shrink Wrapping

Shrink wrapping is a simple and inexpensive packaging process where a flexible plastic film - when exposed to rising temperature - shrinks and closely fits the contours of the package it surrounds. It is mainly used on case good shipments and isn’t used on a larger scale because of the widespread popularity of stretch wrapping.

Stretch Wrapping

Stretch wrapping is perhaps the most popular packaging technique, which is used in a variety of industries to unitize pallet loads for shipment. The process involves numerous wraps of stretch wrap around a load of product to keep them closely together during shipment, to help ensuring damage-free transportation. The stretch wrap can be applied either by hand held stretch wrapping tools or by stretch wrapper machines.


Strapping, or banding, is when a polythene, plastic or metal band is used to hold products together as a unit. This method of unitization is primarily used with high density and bulk products, such as coils, lumber and ingots, but also commonly used with cased product. Strapping can be applied by either hand strappers or strapping machines.

Angle, Corner Boards & Edge Protectors By placing these angle. corner and edge protectors on the corners or edges of palletized loads, commonly cases, they provide added stacking strength and stability, protection from strapping used to secure loads and edge protection by absorbing load impact at load corners.

There you have it! Hopefully now you have a better picture about the different methods of load unitization available. If you are considering load unitization, make sure you take into account the type of products you are dealing with so you can choose the most appropriate method based on your needs.
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