Packaging Corner: Give pallet loads a sustainable edge

In addition to minimizing packaging, corner protectors enable pallet loads to be stacked two-high in a trailer, more efficiently filling out the cube.

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Nobody puts sustainability in a corner… except companies using corner protectors to cut waste. That’s because the V-shaped corner boards can be used with stretchwrap—in place of corrugated shrouds—to secure and protect palletized loads during transport and storage.

Although both methods are completely recyclable, protect the edges of a load and boost stacking strength, the corner boards offer a bigger payoff in other key areas, says Todd Hainer, manager of new business development at Laminations, a part of Great Northern Corp.

“When companies look at sustainability, a big area of focus is transportation fuel costs and maximizing trailer cube,” he explains. “That’s where corner boards make a huge difference. In addition to minimizing packaging, they enable pallet loads to be stacked two-high in a trailer, whereas shrouds do not.”
For shippers transporting pallets from coast to coast, doubling the amount of product in a trailer load can result in fuel and transit cost savings as high as $2,000 per trailer, Hainer says.

However, because Laminations’ customers—and often their customers’ customers—have experienced product damage in shipping due to improperly supported, double pallet load stacking, Hainer says there frequently is an education process, including multiple pilot tests, when introducing the company’s VBoard solution.

“Sometimes, during corner board pilot testing, we discover further sustainability savings by down-gauging the caliper thickness of the corrugated case boxes,” he adds. “Companies, particularly those that have experienced product damage in shipping, will often use boxes with high edge crush test (ECT) ratings that ensure they are strong enough to withstand the forces of pallet loads placed on top.”

Reducing case box weights cuts both their expense, as well as freight costs. And, once inside a warehouse with open floor space, pallet loads with corner boards can be stacked up to four-high with no racking, Hainer adds. “For companies that rent warehousing floor space—particularly seasonally—that’s a huge benefit, because you can fit more product in the same area.”

Plus, the corner protectors are reusable. Because they are made from layers of 100% recycled paper, held together with water-based adhesives, and coated with biodegradable scuff- and water-resistant coatings, they can be recycled at the end of their useful life.

Read more Packaging Corner columns.


About the Author

Sara Pearson Specter
Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.

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