The European Safe Logistics Association – EUMOS – sets high standards when it comes to the safe transit of goods. We’re proud of our longstanding EUMOS accreditation and we share their commitment to ensuring the safety of all road users, as well as that of our customers and the goods they transport. It’s why we created our Intelligent Load Stability system – which optimises pallet safety and stability as well as significantly reducing cost and plastic waste. We’re proud that the range of equipment and products we recommend to our customers all meet or exceed EUMOS’s exacting standards.
We’re also keen to share the knowledge and expertise we’ve built over the years, to help customers avoid load instability, and any accidents that might ensue. We’ve asked our experts to compile a list of dos and don’ts to help you make 2021 your safest year yet. Let’s start as we mean to go on!
At whatever point in their lifecycle you’re handling or dispatching goods, the quality of pallet-wrapping is your responsibility. Poor initial wrapping and extended storage periods might have compromised the film and the stability of the pallet, so check for film discolouration and dust, or any tearing or slack. (We recommend Extremus nano-tech film, which won’t lose its integrity over time and when optimised as part of our Intelligent Load Stability system can deliver the ultimate in stability).
Of course if cargo is correctly loaded and secured, movement will be minimised, but if there is a need for a sudden stop poorly wrapped pallets can shift forwards under the strain. This in turn creates additional momentum to the vehicle and can significantly increase its stopping distance.
Research carried out by Volkswagen in 2019 revealed that van stopping distances increase by over a third when a 500kg load is added to the vehicle, and that rises as loads increase. At 30mph, that adds over two metres, and at 60mph, over five metres. The same research revealed that only 17% of van drivers could correctly identify the stopping distance for 30mph*. Ensure your drivers are well-aware of the Highway Code’s stopping distances and drive accordingly.
Poor, or insufficient, training is often a cause of accidents in transit or production. What looks to an untrained-eye like a stable pallet and a well-packed vehicle can, in practice, prove dangerous and even fatal. We deliver comprehensive training to operatives using the pallet wrapping machines and systems we install to ensure they get the best out of our solutions, and optimise safety and stability.
Our team of experts can carry out comprehensive tests to measure the stability and effectiveness of your pallet-wrapping and make recommendations that will optimise your operation, reduce or eliminate damages and returns, and cut cost and plastic waste.
As the dispatcher, you’re still responsible for stability once cargo arrives at its destination and is unloaded and stored, and you can face legal consequences if anything fails (and it’s worth noting that even after Brexit this still applies to cargo travelling from the UK into Europe). Poor wrapping and loading, and movement in transit is not only going to cause damages and returns, but if your customer deems a pallet unsafe to load and store, it could also be returned. We asked a customer how much a returned pallet cost them on average and they said “ we could face a £650 charge and a haulage fee each way of £300 to £576”. Common issues include loose tail ends, which can be a hazard on conveyor belts, in high storage and to forklift drivers.
Cutting corners, or opting for cheaper wrap or machinery can be a false economy. So many of the problems we see, like pallet-instability, loose tail ends, damages and returns, the high costs of wrapping then re-wrapping, not to mention unhappy customers and loss of reputation – can be vastly improved by simple measures. We know from long experience that using higher quality film, better machines, optimised equipment and improved processes can all quickly pay for themselves by significantly reducing the cost per pallet wrapped whilst ensuring safer loads.
We’ll always find a way! It might be that you’re achieving load stability, but it’s taking more material or protective packaging than necessary – which might be leading to unnecessary Packaging Returns Notes (PRNs), time and cost. Or you might have already reduced your damages and returns through improvements – but could you do even more?
All it takes is a call and we’ll carry out an assessment then recommend a system of materials, machines and training to ensure that you do the job well, once, and deliver optimised safety and stability.
IT ALL STARTS WITH A CALL
For more information, or to book a consultation just call on 0113 242 6999!
Visit hazel4d.com for more information.
Here’s to a prosperous, healthy and safe new year.