A Beginners Guide to Wooden Pallets

pic3Do you have products you need to ship? Not sure which pallet type to choose from? Any business that ships products internationally knows you must have the right pallet to provide optimal protect for the items being transported. Pallets are a common freight packaging option which enables for easy transportation of bulk items. They’re a strong horizontal platform which is used as a base for supporting any bulk storage container.
Worldwide pallets are used in almost every warehouse, cargo ship, and moving truck. If you’re a new business and need to choose a pallet type that best suits your needs, the following is a guide on the advantages and disadvantages of wooden pallets.

What Is a Wooden Pallet?

A wooden pallet is a horizontal grid used as a base, built for the purpose of supporting large bulky storage containers or products. These pallets are designed with special openings for forklifts to easily insert their forks and lift the pallet where needed.
Wooden pallets are generally used for national and international transport of goods. They are generally treated according to each country’s regulations to ensure there aren’t any contaminates that could spread to other parts of the world.

Advantages of Wooden Pallets

When it comes to wooden pallets, there are many advantages. Their advantages include that they are:

  • Inexpensive – Wooden pallets tend to be more inexpensive than pallets made of other materials. Because of their inexpensive design, they provide a cost-effective solution for any business.
  • Easy to Repair – Another great thing about wooden pallets is they’re easily repaired when a breakage occurs. This means you simply have to replace a broken board instead of replacing the entire pallet.
  • Recyclable – Another great thing about wooden pallets is their recyclable properties. Pallets can be made from recycled wood and, when they’re no longer needed, they can be recycled into mulch.
  • Strong – Wooden pallets also offer high strength properties against friction during product transportation. They provide enough support without the risk of breaking while fully loaded.

Disadvantages of Wooden Pallets

While wooden pallets are beneficial for many businesses, they also come with a few disadvantages. These disadvantages include that they are:

  • Susceptible to Wear – The problem with wooden pallets is that they suffer wear and tear. Some of the issues that can occur with wooden pallets include splintering, weakening, and warping of the boards. While the initial start-up costs may be lower than most other pallet types, the continual cost may be more expensive.
  • Harder to Handle – Anyone who has to handle these pallets will have to be careful. This is due to the higher risk of protruding splinters and nails. Workers will have to wear gloves or other protective hand gear.
  • Harder to Clean – Wooden pallets, unlike plastic or metal, will be harder to keep clean. Wood pallets require special treatment to keep them clean and free from insects and pesticides. If shipping internationally, the wood needs to be specially treated to eradicate any infectious plant diseases or species of insects.

Wooden Pallet Overview Table

The following table is an overview of specifications of a wooden pallet:

Wooden Pallet Features Wooden Pallet Results
Shipping Regulation Yes (ISPM-15)
Recyclable Yes
Repairable Yes
Flexibility Yes
Weight Heavy
Anti-slip Good
Last Lasts Long Time
Cost Low Cost

Wood Pallet Facts

  • In businesses, wooden pallets are the most demanded pallet type out of all other materials. In a study conducted by Modern Materials Handling, wooden pallets are still the dominate choice, with up to 95 percent of those who responded using the pallets for their industry needs.
  • In the U.S. alone, there are more than 1.8 billion pallets which are used. 93 percent are made from wood.
  • Over $400 billion worth of U.S. trade is exported on wooden pallets annually.
  • Wooden pallets are 100% recyclable, reusable, and renewable.
  • Wooden pallets are capable of a variety of uses, and are not just for storage and transport of products. They can also be transformed into benches, tables, and more. The possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

When it comes to wooden pallets for your business, they’re a great asset which should be considered carefully. By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of wooden pallets, you can make an informed decision based on the needs of your company.
Wooden pallets are not only used annually by thousands of businesses around the world and in the U.S., but they provide a strong and sturdy support solution for your heavy bulky products, making them easier to move at a later date. So, are you swapping over to wooden pallets? What type of pallet were you using beforehand?

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