At first glance, it might seem like there is hardly any science behind selecting pallets. After all, they are unessential plastic or wooden bases used for shipping and storing inventory, right? Wrong!
These seemingly basic structures require more than your frivolous attention. A palette serves as a foundation for handling and storing goods or shipping containers. In addition to making it easy to move and handle goods, pallets also provide necessary air circulation for certain goods.
There are a number of factors that influence pallet selection. Let’s take a look at them.
The purpose of a pallet is to act as an understructure for the goods you are shipping or storing. The ideal palette should be able to support the weight of such goods. A standard block wood palette is suitable for heavy objects, while plastic pallets can’t bear a load heavier than 1500 Lbs.
On the other hand, plastic pellets are lighter, durable and much easier to stack.
According to the International Organisation for Standardisation (IOS) there are six standard pallet dimensions. Each industry has its own specific standard size, in order to make it easier for vendors in an industry to do business with each other. For instance, the standard palette for the retail industry will be different from one for the construction industry. Smith Pallets supplies tailored pallet solutions for industries around the UK.
Therefore, the palette size you choose depends on the industry you operate in. The right size is essential to ensure efficient handling of goods at all stages of the transport cycle. It’s also important for maximising any storage space and reducing the shipping costs.
Does your organisation have an automated warehouse system? The palette you pick should be compatible with your organisation’s equipment.
Usually, forklifts and pallet jacks are used to handle pallets. To provide superior customer service to your clients, make sure the pallets are compatible with their forklift configurations as well. Therefore, the proper pallet style depends on its relation with the handling equipment.
Nowadays, pallets are made from a wide range of materials such as hardwood, press-wood, plywood, plastic, aluminium and cardboard. Each material has its own set of pros and cons.
Wood, a popular choice, is durable, cost-effective, reusable and suitable for heavier loads. But that being said, block wood pallets can be quite heavy. To tackle this issue, suppliers have introduced lighter-weight plywood and press-wood pallets.
Plastic pallets are easy to handle, clean, stack and offer excellent durability. However, plastic pallets can cost ten times more than hardwood pallets.
Aluminium or metal pallets are typically used in the restaurant and catering industries. Unlike wood pallets, these materials are easy to clean. Also, these pallets stay put during long-haul shipments.
The type of palette you choose drastically differs depending on the shipping duration. For long overseas shipments, chemically treated pallets are necessary. To keep your goods safe during transit, pallets should be resistant to rot, mould and adverse weather conditions.
Apart from the functionality, price also plays a role in choosing a palette. If you are on a tight budget, consider hardwood pallets that are durable and reusable. To further cut down costs, you can opt for used pallets. This is a highly economical and sustainable option.
If you’re looking for a long-term pallet solution and money isn’t an issue, plastic or metal pallets are two great options.
Before finalising a palette type, enquire whether it can be used multiple times or only once. You should look for both reusability and sustainability in a pallet.
Wood pallets check all the boxes in this category. They are durable, reusable, recyclable and sustainable, besides being inexpensive.
In conclusion, pallets are an indispensable part of so many industries. Hopefully, these tips help you find a suitable pallet solution for your organisation.