Sharpen Your Packaging Vocab with These 5 Essential Terms

Industry jargon and common terms related to pallets and packaging can be confusing for those outside the industry. However, having a basic understanding of some of these terms can help you make better, more informed decisions when preparing your unit load for shipment. 
Of course, if there is anything you need extra clarification on, the experts at Millwood are happy to help you with any of your pallet and packaging needs.
  1. Durability - A pallet’s life expectancy and cost per trip, in terms of number of one-way trips. While newer pallets typically have the highest durability, used and recycled pallets can be repaired multiple times, adding to their life span.
  2. Dunnage - Packaging material used to secure or support your unit load by filling empty voids in a shipping container to prevent cargo from shifting during transport, which helps protect it from damage. One example of dunnage is a shipping air bag.
  3. Strapping - Thin, flat banding strap is used to secure your unit load to a pallet. Strapping can be made of a variety of materials, including metal or plastic. The unit load experts at Millwood can help you determine what kind of strapping is right for you.
  4. Stretch film - Tightly fitting, stretched, extensible, plastic film around loose or palletized goods often including pallets. Depending on the type of film, it can be applied by hand or loaded onto a stretch film system such as a turntable system or an overhead system.
  5. Shrink film - Tightly fitting, heat-shrunk, plastic film around loose or palletized goods including the pallet. Shrink film is fabricated of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, saran or vinyl. It comes as a bag that is applied over your unit load before applied heat shrinks it to the load. It can be used with a shrink system like Millwood’s Liberty branded turntable and column systems.
How many of these terms did you know before this mini-lesson? Let us know in the comments if you’re a total newbie or practically an expert!
Note: These terms and their definitions were provided by the Approved American National Standard on Pallets, Slip Sheets and Other Bases for Unit Loads.
Author: Jessica Chizmar