Pallet Rework Overhang and Underhang: Why It Matters

pallet covered with plastic white background

Do you ship palletized products to major retailers in Houston or the surrounding area? If so, have you ever run into problems with freight being rejected because pallets are not prepared properly? This is a fairly common problem, which is why we offer pallet rework in Houston. Our pallet rework solutions prepare your pallets in such a way as to guarantee acceptance by major retailers without question.

Two of the big problems for retailers are pallet overhang and underhang. Both conditions force warehouse workers at the retailer’s operation to put hands on pallets. They don’t want to do that. They want pallets that can go from truck to sales floor without any additional handling by their own personnel. That is what pallet rework is all about.

To give you a better understanding of why all this matters, this post will discuss overhang, underhang, and two other problems companies have when shipping palletized freight to major retailers. Do not hesitate to contact us for more questions about our pallet rework services in Houston.

Product Overhang

Product overhang is a scenario in which items stacked on a pallet overhang the edge of said pallet. If you can, think of a pallet as the base of a box. Now think of four walls rising from the pallet to go as high as three feet or so. Ideally, all your freight should fit inside that box. Any horizontal extension beyond the box is considered overhang.

Why is overhang a problem? Because overhanging goods are subject to damage. As pallets are moved on and off trucks and in and around warehouses, forklift operators are used to working within the parameters of the pallet itself. Freight overhanging those parameters is subject to all sorts of things. It can be damaged on racking, shelving, or even warehouse walls. Pallets bumping into one another can also damage goods.

Product Underhang

A product underhang scenario is just the opposite. It occurs when there is space left between product and the edge of the pallet or between numerous products on the same stack level. In other words, the product on your pallet does not fit snugly into that box. What is the problem with underhang? Goods can shift and move.

Shifting goods can create an unbalanced pallet that becomes more difficult to safely move with a forklift. If there is enough movement, products knocking into one another could cause damage. Ideally, you want all products snugly confined to that virtual box space.

Three Other Issues

There are three other issues retailers pay attention to when accepting palletized goods. These are just as likely to result in rejection as overhang and underhang. Here they are:

  • Excessively High Stacks – When pallets are stacked too high, they present safety issues. Most major retailers have hard and fast limits on stacking height. On average, you are looking at somewhere between four and five feet. Anything higher and you’re risking rejection.
  • Improper Wrapping – Shrink wrap is used to keep goods in place during shipping. Retailers often reject pallets for being improperly wrapped. Both too much and too little shrink wrap is grounds for not accepting a pallet.
  • Pallet Condition – Finally, pallets may be rejected if they are in poor condition. Wood pallets are more likely than plastic pallets to be rejected for quality. Either way, pallets must be in good structural condition to guarantee safety.

We offer pallet rework services because we know how strict major retailers are with their standards. Ship pallets that do not meet those standards and they are likely to be rejected. That is bad for you and your customers.