Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2006.
Palletization of the Contents of a Floor Loaded Container
Depending on the pallet configuration, 4 to 12% of the container floor space can be lost if pallets are used. Thus, containers used to carry retail goods are often "floor loaded" to maximize the available volume, since in the case of light commodities (e.g. electronics) the container will "cube out" before "weighting out". For the final delivery, this often requires the palletization of the container's contents through various systems, most labor intensive. The pallets can then be loaded into trucks for final delivery to stores or regional warehouses. Palletization is also convenient because of different pallet size standards, such as the North American pallet (1016mm x 1219mm) and the European pallet (1000mm x 1200mm or 800mm x 1200mm). The cargo can thus be assembled depending on the most efficient local load unit. On the above photos, the floor loaded contents of a maritime container are being manually unloaded, placed on a conveyor and then on an European pallet (1000mm x 1200mm). This is taking place at the JVC distribution center in Boom, Belgium.