Title:
PALLET BAG
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pallet bag for a palletized load includes a body portion having at least one panel, at least one restraining or tightening device, at least one fastening device, at least one identification device and at least one tamper-proof evident security device, so that the pallet bag provides covering for a palletized load in order to protect the contents of the load from exposure to external elements or to reduce the risk of tampering of the palletized load.



Inventors:
Young, Graham (Castlemaine, AU)
Application Number:
11/756917
Publication Date:
12/20/2007
Filing Date:
06/01/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D65/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EDWIN D. SCHINDLER (HUNTINGTON, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pallet bag for a palletized load, comprising: a body portion including at least one panel; at least one restraining and/or tightening means; at least one fastening means; at least one identification means; and, at least one tamper-proof evident security means so that the pallet bag provides covering for a palletized load for protecting the contents of the load from exposure to external elements and for reducing risk of tampering of the palletized load.

2. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein the body portion comprises five panels including a top panel, a front panel, a right and left side panel and a back panel.

3. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 2, wherein each panel is able to be secured to each adjacent panel by a cohesive water-resistant seam or join achieved via a heat sealing process.

4. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pallet bag has a folded seam extending along the entire bottom edge of the body portion of the pallet bag.

5. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 4, wherein a first tightening strap is positioned within or outside the folded seam.

6. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein a second tightening strap is provided on the body portion on at least one of the panels.

7. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein the identification means is a pocket or panel made of a transparent waterproof material, so that the content of the pocket or panel is visible from the outside.

8. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 7, wherein the pocket/panel has an opening on one or both side edges of the pocket/panel for enabling content to be inserted and removed.

9. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 7, wherein the content includes a label providing identification of the pallet contents, address details for the palletized load, instructions, manifest or packing lists.

10. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pallet bag has two fasteners in the form of a closure zipper.

11. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 10, wherein the closure zippers are positioned vertically on the front panel in close proximity to the side edges of the front panel of the pallet bag for allowing for access to the palletized load.

12. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein a first tamper evident security means is in the form of at least one security locking tab on the folded seam of the pallet bag.

13. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 12, wherein the security locking tabs are provided with an eyelet at one end which is in line with the zipper ring so that a tamper-proof/evident security tag is able to be applied thereto for locking the closure zippers in place until the pallet has been delivered to the intended recipient.

14. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 1, wherein two restraining straps are secured to the front panel and two restraining straps are secured to the back panel of the pallet bag.

15. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 14, wherein an upper portion of the restraining straps is attached to the front panel or back panel of the pallet bag, while the free ends of the lower portion of the restraining straps allow for movement and adjustment of the restraining straps.

16. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 14, wherein the restraining straps are connected to each other via a securing means in the form of a fastening clip.

17. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 16, wherein the fastening clip has a complimentary male and female attachment portion for allowing the ends of the restraining straps to be interlaced through the fastening clip for securing the fastening clip to the straps.

18. The pallet bag for a palletized load as claimed in claim 17, wherein a second tamper-proof evident security means is in the form of a tag for securing the complimentary male and female portions of the fastening dip together.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to covering systems used in the transportation of goods, and in particular, to a pallet bag which provides covering for a palletized load in order to protect the contents of the load from exposure to external elements and/or reduce the risk of tampering of the palletized load.

While the invention may be applied to alternate methods and devices for transporting goods, for convenience sake it shall be described herein in terms of a pallet bag for palletized goods.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Conventionally, in order to transport goods in bulk lots to a particular destination, the goods are loaded on shipping pallets which are specifically designed to enable machinery to move the entire pallet load so that it can be loaded and unloaded from a transport means such as a truck, ship, airplane or the like in a simple and efficient manner. The pallet load is generally shrink-wrapped and secured to the pallet load using nylon strapping to ensure that the pallet load remains in tact. The disadvantage with this current method is that the goods can easily be tampered with as a result of intentional, and or accidental, damage to the shrink wrap material by a sharp object. In addition, the shrink wrap material fails to provide suitable protection for the palletised load from external elements such as the weather, dust or rodents or the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to overcome or substantially ameliorate the disadvantages of the prior art by providing a pallet bag which provides covering for a palletized load in order to protect the contents of the load from exposure to external elements and/or reduce the risk of tampering of the palletised load.

The present invention provides a pallet bag for a palletized load including:

a body portion comprising at least one panel;

at least one restraining and/or tightening means;

at least one fastening means;

at least one identification means; and

at least one tamper-proof evident security means whereby the pallet bag provides covering for a palletized load in order to protect the contents of the load from exposure to external elements and/or reduce the risk of tampering of the palletized load.

The body portion preferably comprises five panels including a top panel, a front panel, a right and left side panel and a back panel. Each panel is preferably adapted to be secured to each adjacent panel by a standard cohesive water-resistant seam or join achieved via a heat sealing process.

It is preferred that the pallet bag has provided a folded seam which is adapted to extend along the entire bottom edge of the body portion of the pallet bag.

A first tightening strap(s) is preferably adapted to be positioned within or outside the folded seam while a second tightening strap(s) is preferably adapted to be provided on the body portion of one or more of the panels.

It is preferred that the identification means is a pocket/panel made of a transparent waterproof material so that the content of the pocket/panel is visible from the outside. The pocket/panel preferably has an opening provided on one or both side edges of the pocket/panel to enable content to be inserted/removed. The content can preferably include, but not be limited to, a label providing clear identification of the pallet contents/address details for the palletized load, instructions, manifest, packing lists or any other suitable information/content relevant to the palletized load.

It is preferred that the pallet bag has two fastening means in the form of a closure zipper. The closure zippers are preferably positioned vertically on the front panel in close proximity to the side edges of the front panel of the pallet bag to allow for easy access to the palletized load.

A first tamper evident means is in the form of at least one security locking tab provided on the folded seam of the pallet bag. The security locking tabs are preferably provided with an eyelet at one end which is adapted to be in line with the zipper ring so that a tamper-proof/evident security tag may be applied thereto in order to lock the closure zippers in place until the pallet has been delivered to the intended recipient.

It is preferred that two restraining straps are adapted to be secured to the front panel and two restraining straps are adapted to be secured to the back panel of the pallet bag. An upper portion of the restraining straps is preferably attached to the front panel and/or back panel of the pallet bag while the free ends of the lower portion of the restraining straps are designed to allow movement and adjustment of the restraining straps.

It is further preferred that the restraining straps are preferably connected to each other via a securing means in the form of a fastening clip. The fastening clip preferably has provided a complimentary male and female attachment portion which allows the ends of the restraining straps to be interlaced through the fastening clip to secure the fastening clip to the straps.

A second tamper-proof/evident security means is in the form of a tag which is adapted to secure the complimentary male and female portions of the fastening clip together.

In order that the invention may be more readily understood we will describe by way of non-limiting example of a specific embodiment thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the pallet bag shown covering a load of palletized goods, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the pallet bag according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a back view of the pallet bag according to a preferred embodiment of the invention showing the restraining straps which attach the pallet bag to the pallet while in use;

FIG. 4 is an open plan layout of the five panels of the pallet bag according to a preferred embodiment of the invention; and,

FIG. 5 is a close-up view of the bottom portion of the front panel of the pallet bag according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1 to 5 show a pallet bag for covering a palletized load according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.

In this preferred embodiment, the invention provides a pallet bag 101 which provides covering for a palletized load in order to protect the contents of the load from exposure to external elements and/or reduce the risk of tampering of the palletized load. The pallet bag 101 is preferably made of a tarpaulin material, such as XF film, which is lightweight, tough with excellent tear/tensile/puncture and impact resistance, recyclable, UV resistant, waterproof and non-degradable, inert to most chemicals, flexible and durable. The material preferably comes in different grades of strength and thickness including, but not limited to, 45, 70, 90, 120, 150, 200 and 250 gsm. However, it is envisaged that any other suitable material may also be adopted which is strong, durable, waterproof and/or provides adequate protection for the goods being covered. It is further envisaged that the shape, style and/or dimensions of the pallet bag 101 may vary as required to suit different pallets and/or applications. The material can preferably be fabricated to a custom made size to meet customer requirements. Whilst the material may be of any suitable colour, it is envisaged that certain colours may be used for particular applications for example, a red colour may be used to indicate that the pallet contains hazardous materials and a green colour may be used to indicate that the pallet contains refrigerated materials.

The pallet bag 101 preferably has provided a body portion. The body portion preferably comprises at least one panel. In a preferred embodiment, the body portion preferably comprises five panels including a top panel 601, a front panel 603, a right and left side panel 604, 605, and a back panel 602. Each panel 601, 602, 603, 604, 605 is adapted to be secured to each adjacent panel 601, 602, 603, 604, 605 by a standard cohesive water-resistant seam or join which is achieved via a heat seating process. However, it is envisaged that the joins can also be achieved by any other conventional means including, but not limited to, adhesives, ultrasonic, diode laser, radio frequency or the like. In a further embodiment of the invention, the panels 601, 602, 603, 604, 605 of the body portion may be integrally formed with one another.

The pallet bag 101 preferably has provided a folded seam 206 which is adapted to extend along the entire bottom edge of the body portion of the pallet bag 101. Adapted to be positioned within or outside the seam 206 is preferably at least one tightening strap 302. The folded seam 206 is preferably formed by attaching the outer layer (not shown) of the folded seam 206 provided on the exterior wall (not shown) of the pallet bag 101 along an edge (not shown) using any suitable securing means including, but not limited to, adhesives, ultrasonic, diode laser, radio frequency or the like. The tightening straps 302 allow the pallet bag 101 to be tightened around the pallet of goods. It is envisaged that at least one additional tightening strap 303 may be provided on the body portion of one or more of the panels 601, 602, 603, 604, 605. The tightening straps 302, 303 are preferably made of the same material as the body portion of the pallet bag 101. However, it is envisaged that any other suitable material may also be employed and/or that the tightening straps 302, 303 may be appropriately reinforced. The tightening straps 302, 303 may preferably have provided a securing means which is adapted to hold the tightening straps 302, 303 in place in a tightened position. The securing means can preferably be an adhesive means such as Velcro or a fastening stud or the like where complimentary portions are attached to the end of the tightening straps 302, 303 and body portion/folded seam of the pallet bag 101.

The pallet bag 101 preferably has provided at least one pocket/panel 202 which is adapted to provide an identification means for the pallet bag 101. The pocket/panel 202 is preferably adapted to be made of a transparent waterproof material so that the content 203 of the pocket/panel 202 is visible from the outside. The pocket/panel 202 is preferably adapted to be attached to the front panel 603 of the pallet bag 101. In a preferred embodiment, the content 203 of the pocket/panel 202 is adapted to be in the form a label providing clear identification of the pallet contents, address details for the palletized load and/or any other suitable information. It is envisaged that the content 203 may also be in the form of instructions, manifest, packing lists or any other suitable information/content relevant to the palletized load. The pocket/panel 202 is preferably sealed and secured to the front panel 101 of the pallet bag 101 along its top, bottom and/or side edges, with an opening (not shown) provided on one or both side edges of the pocket/panel 202 to enable content 203 to be inserted/removed. However, it is envisaged that the opening could also be positioned along the top edge of the pocket/panel 202.

The pallet bag 101 preferably has provided at least one fastening means 207 which is adapted to provide a means of opening the pallet bag 101 for easy access to the palletized load. In a preferred embodiment, the pallet bag 101 preferably has provided two fastening means in the form of a closure zipper 207. The closure zippers 207 are preferably provided on the front panel 603 of the pallet bag and are preferably positioned vertically on the front panel 603. The closure zippers 207 are preferably positioned in close proximity to the side edges of the front panel 603 of the pallet bag 101 to allow for easy access to the palletized load. The closure zippers 207 may preferably be any suitable type of zipper whereby the length of the zippers 207 is dependent on the height of the palletized load/pallet bag.

The pallet bag 101 preferably has provided at least one tamper evident means. A first tamper evident means is in the form of at least one security locking tab 205 provided on the folded seam 206 of the pallet bag. In a preferred embodiment, there are provided two security locking tabs which are adapted to correspond with each closure zipper 207 and be positioned at the base of, and perpendicular to, the length of each closure zipper 207. The security locking tabs 203 are preferably made of the same material as the pallet bag 101. The security locking tabs 203 are preferably provided with an eyelet at one end which is adapted to be in line with the zipper ring so that a tamper-proof/evident security tag 208 may be applied thereto in order to lock the closure zippers 207 in place until the pallet has been delivered to the intended recipient. In a preferred embodiment, it is envisaged that the security tag 208 is in the form of a tamper-evident cable tie which cannot be readily removed without indication of tampering with the tag 208. In a further embodiment of the invention, it is envisaged that any other suitable fastening means may also be adopted.

The pallet bag 101 preferably has provided at least one restraining strap which is adapted to secure the pallet bag 101 over the palletized load. In a preferred embodiment, two restraining straps 401 are adapted to be secured to the front panel 603 and two restraining straps 501 are adapted to be secured to the back panel 602 of the pallet bag 101. An upper portion (not shown) of the restraining straps 401, 501 is attached to the front panel 603 and/or back panel 602 of the pallet bag 101 via a suitable means, such as being sewn or otherwise bonded thereto. The free ends of the lower portion of the restraining straps 401, 501 are designed to allow movement and adjustment of the restraining straps 401, 501. The restraining straps 401, 501 can preferably be made of any suitable material with an adjustable portion (not shown) to enable tensioning of the bag 101.

The restraining straps 401, 501 are preferably connected to each other about the palletized load/pallet bag 101 via a securing means. In a preferred embodiment, the securing means is preferably in the form of a fastening clip 402. The fastening clip 402 preferably has provided a complimentary male and female attachment portion which allows the ends of the restraining straps 401, 501 to be interlaced through the fastening clip 402 to secure the fastening clip 402 to the straps 401, 501. However, it is envisaged that any other suitable method may also be employed. The complimentary portions of the fastening clips 401, 501 may then be secured to each other by the connection of the complimentary portions which are adapted to be removably locked into place and/or via a second tamper-proof/evident security tag 209 which is adapted to provide an additional level of protection. It is envisaged that any other suitable fastening means may also be adopted.

The pallet bag 101 provides a benefit to the transportation market in the respect that it allows self-contained coverage with the option of using tamper-proof/tamper-evident security tags 208, 209 to allow drivers and delivery personnel to remove a pallet of loaded goods covered by the pallet bag 101, without the need to remove and reapply part of all of the tarpaulin covering a load on a delivery vehicle.

The storage and manufacturing industries are offered a solution in the form of the pallet bag 101 that provides individual protection from external elements and the ability to use outside loading areas or hard stands in inclement weather with greater security.

As a feature of the pallet bag 101 the locking system, using tamper-proof/tamper-evident security tags 208, 209 allows for the securing of both the restraining straps 401, 501 which secure the pallet bag 101 to the pallet and the front mounted zippers 207 preventing the opening of the pallet bag 101 or the removal of a product(s) during transhipment of products without the removal of the security tags 208, 209. Consisting primarily of a of a light weight tarpaulin material combined with webbing strapping 401, 501, fastening clips 402 and security assemblies 208, 209 the pallet bag 101 presents a foldable and easily storable option to the protection of palletized loads in addition to the protection from tampering as described above.

While we have described herein a particular embodiment of a pallet bag 101, it is further envisaged that other embodiments of the invention could exhibit any number and combination of any one of the features previously described. However, it is to be understood that any variations and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.