US 20020124527 A1
Method and apparatus for securing a pallet against pilferage is disclosed. A pallet seal is comprised of two-part seal structure, one male and one female, having one, or more locking devices, with male and female connecting ends. The Seal is secured together against the pallet strap, by a double-sided adhesive secured to each of the male and female part of the seal. The seal is then marked with seal numbers and can be bar coded and color-coded for additional security.
1. A security seal adapted to be attached to a shipping strap, having at least one body, said body having at least one locking device and containing a sealing adhesive, and specialized serial number.
2. The security seal of
3. The security seal of
4. The security seal of
5. The security seal of
6. A method of protecting a shipment on a Pallet from pilferage by applying a security seal that encapsulates the strapping clip securing the Pallet.
7. The method of
8. The method of
 Everyday Billions of dollars worth of goods are shipped around the world via air, ocean, truck, and rail carriers. Security is an important issue for the shipper, receiver, the carrier and insurance companies, and everyday millions of dollars in goods are pilfered while shipment are en route.
 Usually when such a loss occurs, shippers, carriers and insurance companies suffer. If the loss is concealed, meaning the shipment has been pilfered but it is not obvious at sight, the shipper is left with the loss. Today various companies provide a variety of seals to secure cargo during shipment.
 Various types of seals and security devices are used to secure ocean containers, Railroad Cars, and Trucks but there are very few devices available to secure a pallet, and none are available to secure and provide a serialized seal number without a use of a crimping device. And none is a self-locking device.
 One prior art is the use of tamper evident tapes to secure a skid, however none of these tapes can provide a shipper with a serialized seal number. Also, some of the tamper proof tapes can become damaged during shipment or simply becomes loose due to temperature changes. This allows for easy access to the products by thieves and loss of valuable cargo, and it is very difficult to determine the point pilferage took place.
 Another prior art of shipping goods on a pallet, shippers usually use a metal or plastic banding to secure the goods on the pallet via a crimping device that secures the goods to the skid. However, thieves have simply managed to remove the crimps, which are commonly used and are readily available, remove the goods they want, replace the weight by placing in the box items such as bricks, and simply re-crimp the skid.
 Yet another prior art, is to secure a pallet using a four pronged crimping device, but a secondary seal has to be used to provide a seal number to the pallet. Also this clip uses a crimp and if the skid is too tall, it is almost impossible for a normal operator to apply this clip to the top of the skid where the straps meet as per invention. This clip is cumbersome needing a crimping device and is usually used to secure boxes and not pallets.
 Currently there is not a self-locking pallet seal on the market that does not use a crimp or provides the shipper with a seal number; and is secured to the strap with adhesive so that a new strap is not used as replacement.
 Accordingly, the objective of this seal is to provide the shipper with a method of sealing his cargo without a use of a crimping device and with ease of use; so that pilferage is held to the minimum or is almost impossible, and make apparent the point of pilferage. This seal is an indicative seal and not a barrier seal.
 The present invention accomplishes the above stated objectives, as well as others, as may be determined by a fair reading and interpretation of the specifications herein including the drawings, abstracts and claims appended thereto; by providing a new and improved Security Seal for Pallets.
 The above objective as well as others are accomplished by the present invention which comprises of two part seal structure, one male and one female, having one, or more locking devices, with male and female connecting ends. The Seal is also secured together against the pallet strap, pallet strap crimp, and each other; by a double-sided adhesive secured to each the male and female part of the seal.
 Once the pallet has been secured with a strap and a strap clip has been applied, the clip and the strap are placed between the male and female part of the seal. The adhesive cover is removed from the male and female part of the seal and the male and female part of the seals are pressed into each other and are secured by the self-locking devices. The adhesive is then automatically applied to the strap, crimp and to each other. This would be like creating a sandwich with the buns being the male and female part of the seals and the meat or the inner part of the sandwich being the strap and the clip holding the strap.
 The seal will also have serial numbers, and different colors can be used for male and female part of the seal making it even harder for the would-be thieves to break into the skids. The shipper can use multiple seals on multiple straps to further secure the shipment. The adhesive tape attached to the male and female part of the seal will also have a foam inner section which easily indicates any tampering with the seal. The strap cannot be cut and removed from the seal as the seal is attached to the clip and the strap and any attempt to separate the male and female part of the seal will result in the adhesive foam to become damaged, therefore indicating tampering.
 Various other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the following drawings in which;
FIG. 1 is the view of the inside of the female part of the seal;
FIG. 1A is the close-up of the female locking device used in the female part of the seal;
FIG. 2 is the view of the inside of the male part of the seal;
FIG. 2A is the close-up of the male locking device used in the male part of the seal;
FIG. 3 is the angled view of the female or back part of the seal;
FIG. 4 is the angled view of the male or front part of the seal;
FIG. 5 is the angled view of the female part of the seal with the foam adhesive tape;
FIG. 6 is the angled view of the male part of the seal with the foam adhesive tape;
FIG. 7 is the view of the pallet (skid) secured with a banding strap;
FIG. 8 is the close-up view of the KV Pallet Seal over the strap;
FIG. 9 is the close-up side view of the male (front) part of the seal with adhesive tape, female (back) side of the seal with adhesive tape; with the Metal Strapping and the metal clip securing the strap, sandwiched in between the front and back of the seal;
FIG. 10 is the top view of the outside of the male and female seals showing seal numbers on each seal and use of different colors for additional security.
 As required, detailed embodiment of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functioning details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
 Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like characteristics and features of the present invention shown in the various figures are designated by the same reference numerals.
 The K.V. Pallet Seal consists of two sections of plastic, metal, or other suitable material, with a male and a female section as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The approximate size of the each male or female part will be 2 inch×2 inch squared with a thickness of approximately ⅛ th of an inch. Sizes, Shape, and thickness of the seal will vary depending on the application.
 Each seal section has 1, 2, 3, 4 (or more depending on the application) male or female counter parts which when pushed into each other, create a self-locking device, securing the seal. The Female and Male locking devices are shown in FIGS. 1A and 2A.
FIG. 1 is the top view of the inside of the Female side of the seal with placement of the female locking devices as shown in FIG. 1A. FIG. 2 is the top view of the inside of the Male side of the seal with placement of the Male locking devices as shown in FIG. 2A. FIGS. 3 and 4 show the side view of the Female and Male part of the seal sections.
 Both the Female and Male part of the seal are applied with a foam dual sided sealing tape (5A & 6A) on the inside as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 respectively. The thickness of the sealing foam tape or other type of adhesives may be used depending on the application.
 When the cargo is ready for shipment, boxes are placed on a Pallet (FIG. 7A) and usually wrapped with a plastic wrap and metal banded (FIG. 7B). In FIG. 8 a close-up view of the front of the K.V. Pallet Seal (FIG. 8C) with respect to the Metal Banding (FIG. 8B) and the Pallet (FIG. 8A) is shown and banding is clipped and crimped as shown in (9C).
FIG. 9 shows the side close-up view and the correct process to apply the K.V. Pallet Seal. After the shipment has been wrapped and banded with Metal Banding (9B), the Female part of the seal (9F) is positioned next to the Pallet (9P). Then the protective adhesive foam seal cover is removed from the foam seal (5A), allowing the adhesive foam seal from the female side to adhere to the Strap Clip (9C) and the Male part of the Seal (9M). Once the cover is removed from the Female side of the seal (9F), the seal is then place between the skid or pallet wall (9P) and Metal Banding (9B) which contains the Strap Clip (9C). The Adhesive foam (5A) is pressed against the Strap Clip (9C) and Metal Banding (9B). Then the same procedure as above is used for the Male part of the seal. The protective adhesive foam seal cover is removed from the foam seal (6A), allowing the adhesive foam seal from the Male side to adhere to the Strap Clip (9C) and the Female part of the Seal (9F) after the Male Side of the seal (9M) is depressed into the Female side of the seal (9F). This procedure locks the seal with the self-locking devices (1A & 2A) and places the Strap Clip (9C) in between the two seals, preventing the would-be thief to tamper with the clip. If the thief cannot tamper with the Clip or the Metal Bandings (as one or more seals can be used on bandings), he has to cut the strap to pilfer the cargo. This will indicate tampering as any attempt to removed the seal sections from the Metal Banding (9B) will result in the foam adhesive to tear as well as show tampering with the self-locking mechanism.
 Since we intend to use different seal numbers and coloring on the Male (10A) and Female (10B) part of the seal, it will be almost impossible to duplicate both numbers and match the coloring. These seal numbers can be either related or unrelated to each other depending on customer specifications. For example either part of the seal, male or female, could have a number or a barcode. These numbers and barcodes could be corresponding to each other or to another database as requested by the client.
 The two part seal is advantageous in way that a completely random number can be used on one part of the seal, and a specialized customer generated seal number can be applied on the other part of the seal. This generates a seal number that is a totally unique combination of numbers providing for greater security.
 The above-described embodiments of the present invention thereby accomplish the stated objectives by providing a substantial theft proof method and apparatus for sealing shipping pallets.
 While the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in certain terms or certain embodiments or modifications that it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention is not intended to be nor should it be deemed to be limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by teachings herein are particularly reserved especially as they fall within the scope of the breadth and scope of the claims here appended.