Minimizing Food Wastage: Keeping your Food Shipments Secure

box with apples

When you are in the food distribution business, you know how important every case of food is to the bottom line. Accidents and other problems can lead to wastage and that ultimately hurts the business. It is just like throwing money away when the goods are on the floor instead of on the customer’s shelves. It is so vital to any business to get the goods out the door. There are ways to optimize your profits by minimizing food wastage.

Here are the best known methods to secure the cases on the pallets while they are being moved around the warehouse, create steady pallets that are secure for transport, and storing products safely to protect the employees and the products.

Proper training

The first step in the process to reduce food waste is to instill a proper training system in the warehouse. Workers should be trained on the equipment, which is one of the first things. However, it can’t stop there. It is so important to make sure that they know how to build a proper pallet.

This could start with the warehouse being set up in a way that encourages the selectors to choose the heavier cases first. This could include things like beverages, sauces, and other cases with liquid. It is a great idea to have these on the bottom of the pallets anyways because if they break they will not ruin the cases underneath them.

If double pallet jacks are used for an order, the selector should make sure to fill the bottom layers of both pallets with the heavier items. They should also know to build their pallets evenly and interlock the boxes to create a more secure load. Every selector should make it a practice to wrap their pallet as they go.

They can keep a ream of stretch wrap in their lift, so that they can wrap the pallet after a few layers. Choose a durable and thin option to make it easy to use and strong enough to keep the cases on the pallet as it makes it through the warehouse.

Secure smaller cases or single items

When selectors are loading pallets, they don’t always think about the person that has to take it back apart. This can lead to single items or small cases being put in the middle of the pallet where they can’t be seen. If this happens, it is possible that as the case falls into cracks in between the other cases and this could lead to breakage.

Some warehouses even have pallets checked for accuracy. They are randomly selected and then checked to ensure that it the right product is on the pallet. When the selectors just throw these single items in the middle of the pallet, the auditor may not realize it. This can lead to breakage as well. Not to mention the time that it will take for the item to be replaced and cleaned up.

The best way to ensure that smaller items are not just thrown in the middle and left to fend for themselves, these items can be put in one area of the warehouse. Set up an area of assembled corrugated boxes. That way the selectors can grab a box and then use that to put the smaller cases and individual items in them.

It will prevent these smaller cases from getting lost in the pallet and from being damaged. Train your staff to not load them too heavily, so that they can be safely removed from the pallet. It is a great way to show your customers that you care about them getting their products safely as well.

Be sure not to use boxes that are too big for these items because the selectors will feel the urge to fill they or they will only partially fill them and that would cause them to be weaker. The product needs to have little room to move around inside of the box. These boxes won’t be a very good base for the pallet and need to be put near the top with hardly any other cases on top of them to prevent heavier cases from falling into them.

Wrapping and loading

Before the pallets are put on the truck, they need to be wrapped. Stretch wrap machines are great for this part of the project. They allow the pallet to be wrapped secure so that the cases cannot move around in transit. Most machines can only wrap a pallet so high, so that means that the pallets should not be stacked higher than the pallet machine can wrap them.

It is really important to purchase steady wrap for the wrap machine so that the items that haven’t been wrapped on top don’t shift during transit. If the pallet does have boxes that the machine wrap can’t secure, hand wrap can be used to secure them.

When loading the truck, it is so important to make sure that it is done properly. If you don’t have the loaders load the pallets with like sizes next to each other, this can cause damage during transit. When the pallets of the same height are loaded together, they will help with the security of each pallet.

When you have a taller pallet next to a smaller one. The cases on the taller one don’t have anything to keep them from shifting over the smaller pallet. When the entire top of a pallet shifts too much, the products can fall and that could lead to lots of damage.

When it comes to protecting your products, you need to make sure that you take a proactive approach. With proper planning, food wastage can be minimized. There is no need to continue to throw food away because cases are broken. When you take the time to train your staff to stack their pallets properly, wrap their pallets frequently, and load the trucks properly, you don’t have to worry about hurting that bottom line due food wastage.