How to Build a Book Pallet…

Here is an easy step-by-step guide to help you build your book pallet.

1: Books, Books, Glorious Books!

You will need to collect some good quality reading material. Surplus books from school departments or libraries is a good place to start. Parents and pupils could also donate to the project with books from home.

Criteria of books should be;

* Educational / recreational books for children between 2-16 years
* Good quality with tight binding (not ripped / written in or annotated)
* Useful content and up to date information – some subjects will be less relevant quicker than others
   e.g. Maths vs. Computing books or Science vs. British History books

Due to cultural differences we recommend not sending books that are ‘magical’ in nature or relate to religion.

2: Boxes

30 or so medium boxes. Boxes should be sturdy and ideally the same size, Use parcel tape to ensure the base of the box is secure before filling. Books are best placed flat and packed to fill each box, this protects the books from damage and allows for safer box stacking on the pallet. Don’t forget to include any letters or notes that your pupils have written about their chosen book(s) before closing the boxes.

3: Pallet & Pallet Wrap

All wooden pallets must be made from heat-treated wood: the shipment cannot be sent if the pallet is untreated as wood transmits pests. It is usually very easy to acquire free HT pallets from a local business or company on an industrial estate. Alternatively you may use plastic or paperboard pallets but these are expensive and not as readily available.

Boxes should be made as secure as possible using shrink-wrapping to prevent movement in transit. Pallet dimensions are usually restricted to: –  1m (w) x 1.2m (d) x 1.5m (h) with an approximate weight of 450kg.

If you do not have access to pallet wrap, Book-Cycle can arrange delivery of some to your school.

4: Recipient Address Info

Each pallet should be clearly marked with the consignee / sender info (Book-Cycle) and recipient’s full address. This needs to be bold and attached to all sides of the pallet, placed underneath the shrink-wrap to keep in place. You can print this info or write it out by hand. Capital letters are best as they are much easy to read.

If you are yet to choose the school you would like to receive your book shipment, head over to our partner charities map for more information about organisations involved in the project, click here.

5: Pallet Collection & International Shipping

The final stage of the project is to have your pallet collected and sent on a wonderful adventure over the high seas to your chosen recipient! The shipping company will need to be a given minimum notice of 1 week to arrange collection from your school.  Once the collection is booked, the courier will arrive at a specified time to load the pallet on a truck and take it to a UK shipping port ready to sail the following week.

Transit time can vary depending on the destination you have chosen. As an example; west coast African countries can take between 21 – 29 days to reach the docking port. A representative from the recipient school will have made transport arrangements to move the books from port to their school to build their new library.