Walmart Pallet Labeling Requirements
Does your organization ship palletized products to Walmart? If you do, then be aware that there are some very specific requirements for Walmart pallet labeling that Walmart will start enforcing on January 1, 2023.
Walmart’s preferred pallet is a grade A, 40 by 48-inch CBA grade-A white wood or pooled pallet. Among those pallet pooling suppliers accepted by Walmart are iGPS, CHEP, and PECO. Corrugated pallets are not accepted, and all pallets must be edge-rackable.
A durable pallet helps to reduce product damage during transportation. This goal is reflected in the other requirements Walmart outlines for pallets shipped to their distribution centers. For your convenience, a summary of Walmart’s main pallet criteria can be found below but we encourage all vendors to confirm this information directly with Walmart to ensure it includes the latest updates.
- A pallet must not have missing or broken boards on its top or bottom.
- A pallet should have at least 7 top boards, 5 bottom boards, and 3 stringers.
- Stringers cannot be patched. Patches using additional boards or metal repair plates are unacceptable, as is stapling or gluing.
- Stringers must not be broken or have cracks visible from three sides and longer than a single inch. Cracks from aging that aren’t visible from three sides and don’t go through the board are acceptable.
- Pallets should be clean and odor-free without debris and stains. Discoloration due to aging and wear is acceptable.
- Cracks on top or bottom boards wider than ⅛-inch wide and 15 inches in length are unacceptable.
- A pallet must be free of splinters greater than three inches in length.
- No tapered breaks with a depth greater than one inch along a ten-inch or longer run.
- Nails cannot exceed ⅛-inch exposure from the surface of the wood at either the tip or head. Pallets will only be rejected if the board between a nail head and stringer has been destroyed and there is no way to drive a nail back into the board.
- No partial footings, occur when ¼-inch of a stringer board’s width or length directly abutting a bottom board is missing or nail shanks are exposed.
The goal of these requirements is to keep pallets in good repair. This is also clear in Walmart’s guidelines for packing pallets. The total height of the loaded pallet should not exceed 96 inches (eight feet in total) and pallets that will be shipped out from Walmart’s distribution centers should not exceed 84 inches in height. A pallet overhang of any sort is not acceptable as it reduces the overall compression strength of the load, making it more likely that products will be crushed.
Walmart does allow the use of alternative pallet materials as long as they have been approved by Walmart Inbound Transportation. One approved alternative pallet material, plastic, is particularly good at preventing product damage and many of the other issues caused by the use of traditional wood pallets.
To learn more about Walmart Pallet requirements, ensure your EDI documents are in compliance, and avoid costly fines, please reach out to our account team for assistance.