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What Is a Slip Sheet?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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A slip sheet is a type of packaging that is used to protect goods while they are being shipped from a seller to a buyer. Slip sheets come in several different types, with some using heavy plastic, corrugated fiberboard, and laminated paperboard in various combinations. Considered sturdy enough to protect goods in transit, the right slip sheet configuration can render the use of a pallet unnecessary while still providing the stability needed to ship an entire lot of goods.

One of the most basic slip sheet products is the simple plastic sheath. Typically made of heavy clear plastic, this simple sheet fits over the finished goods, providing adequate protection during transport. In some cases, the sheet is fitted to the dimensions of the boxed included in the order. With this approach, the goods may be stacked onto a pallet, covered with the slip sheet, and then secured in place using plastic strapping as a means of preventing slippage during the shipping process.

Paperboard and fiberboard may also be included in the overall slip sheet design. In some cases, the board may provide the platform for the stacked goods, in a manner very similar to the function of a wooden pallet. The board is then paired with a plastic sheet to fit over the goods, and additional paperboard supports are placed at every corner and along the top of the complete lot of goods. Strapping is used to hold all the components in place. If desired, shrink wrap can then be applied, effectively creating another layer that protects the goods from shifting and possible damage during transport.

A slip sheet can be used in the packaging and shipping of many different types of goods. Textiles, electronics, clothing, and just about any type of non-perishable goods can be successfully transported using this method. Even perishable items such as produce and frozen foods may also be prepared for shipment with the use of a slip sheet, making the loading and unloading of the goods much easier to accomplish.

One of the benefit of using slip sheet products as part of the commercial shipping and packing process is that this approach costs considerably less than working with wooden pallets. This eliminates the need to either assess another charge to the customer for the pallets used, or make arrangements to have the pallets returned to the shipper. At the same time, this method does provide adequate protection for the goods being shipped, and will also make it easier to stack those products in a long haul trailer or other type of shipping container.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including About Mechanics, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon954921 — On Jun 04, 2014

Can slip and tier sheets made of high density hardboard ( 1,150 kg/ m3)?

By honeybees — On May 22, 2012

@golf07 - You bring up a good point about the recycling of slip sheets. I think that if cardboard slip sheets are used, these would be much easier to recycle than plastic.

I have seen both of them used, but it still seems like the plastic is used more than anything else.

Because plastic is probably cheaper to use and easier to move around, that is probably why more companies use plastic instead of cardboard.

By golf07 — On May 21, 2012

I understand why the use of slip sheets is so common when it comes to the transporting of goods.

Even though this is less expensive than using wooden pallets, is there any way you can recycle slip sheets for pallets?

Wooden pallets may be more expensive to use, but at least they can be recycled and used over and over again.

Whenever I receive a package that is wrapped in a slip sheet, I simply tear it off and toss it in the trash and never give it a second thought.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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