For many years now, Dr. Mark White has emphasized the importance of embracing the bigger picture when designing transport packaging and pallets. Material handling and transport equipment must be considered, as well as other load characteristics. Last November, I discussed this very issue in Pallet Enterprise Magazine.
Still too often, however, purchasers tend to have a component-based perspective, rather than trying to optimize the entire unit load. Sometimes, for example, investing in a more substantial pallet can pay off bountifully if less secondary packaging is required as a result. Dr. White notes in Modern Materials Handling that customers investing in a systems approach to unit load design will often reap an 8 to 18% cost avoidance.