Pallet (often referred to as Skid in the freight industry) is a wooden, or sometimes plastic, or metal platform on which boxes or cargo are stacked and sometimes shrink-wrapped.
A pallet is a raised platform made of wood, plastic or composite on which freight is stacked and secured for shipping. The standard-sized pallet is 48” long by 40” wide and about 6” high. The raised construction allows the forks of a pallet jack or forklift to slide under the platform in order for it to be raised, lowered or otherwise moved. Freight that is shipped without a pallet is referred to as floor-loaded. Some carriers will refuse to ship freight that is not properly packaged and palletized due to liability and safety reasons. As this decision usually rests at the discretion of the driver picking up your shipment, it is considered best practice to ensure your shipment is well stacked on the pallet and shrink-wrapped or otherwise secured. If you are unable to obtain or build a pallet, it is always best to double-check the carrier’s policies towards unpalletized freight before booking in order to avoid missed pick up charges and transit delays.
For a quick guide to pallet shipping for beginners, check out our post Ship a Pallet in 15 Easy Steps.