Category Archives: Metal Pallets

7 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Using Plastic and Metal Pallets

container exchanger plastic pallet

Almost every storage and warehouse facility use pallets, whether they are plastic or metal. These handy items make it easy to move heavy items with a forklift but working with pallets can also lead to injury if you or your team isn’t taking proper precautions. While pallets may seem harmless, they can be more dangerous than you might expect when used improperly. OSHA lays out clear guidelines for lifting weighted pallets, but empty pallets can be a hazard as well. Use these safety tips to make sure your employees handle all your pallets with care. Continue reading

How to Know You Are Picking the Right Size Pallet for Your Freight

several stacks colorful beverage bottle crates

Pallets are some of the most important materials in the shipping industry. They’re available in materials like plastic, wood and steel, and they come in an array of different sizes. You can always ask the professionals for help, but it’s up to you to figure out which size pallet makes the most sense for your company. Once you learn what there is to know about pallets and their configurations, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. Continue reading

Reasons Why Stackable Pallets Are a Warehouse Essential

Staying stocked up on inventory means being able to provide your customers with the products they need, but you also need a place to store your products until they hit the shelves. That’s where the warehouse comes in. Your warehouse must be able to handle the amount of products you have to store, however, and that means you’ll need to think about what kinds of pallets you use. You’ll have to find a safe way to store your inventory so that it doesn’t become damaged, which can be done with the help of the right types of pallets and a commitment to organization and safety.

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Why Companies Are Switching to Metal Pallets

Mention the word pallet, and the image that most comes to mind is a wooden flatbed, of sorts, on a warehouse floor. A pallet is a structural foundation used to hold and ship large bundles of items, and it comes in a variety of materials, such as wood, plastic, and metal. It is an essential link in the global supply chain. 

By 2017, it is estimated there will be almost 10 million shipping pallets in global circulation. Needless to say, the material used to construct the pallets and how often they are reused will have an enormous impact on budgets, the environment and the needs of many industries.  

Metal pallets are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel. They are the strongest and most durable pallets on the market. They are heavier than wood pallets and usually have a higher initial cost. They meet USDA and FDA cleanliness standards and are part of the growing green business trends.  

Why Metal?

In a time of economic and environmentally conscious awareness metal or aluminum, pallets are the perfect solution for warehouse and shipping needs. They offer an excellent alternative to the traditional wood or plastic options, and they are a better return on your investment.

Usage of metal pallets has significantly increased over recent years, especially in industries requiring transportation of heavy goods. Catering businesses are also participating in these green business trends due to easy sanitation. Some benefits of metal pallets are:

  • Weather resistant and do not warp or rot
  • They are fire resistant
  • They are stronger
  • Reusable indefinitely
  • Maintenance free
  • Easily sanitized and appropriate for food and chemical industries 
  • Improved sustainability with no performance constraints
  • No insect infestation
  • Lower costs over their lifetime
  • Longer lifespan
  • Withstand extremes in temperatures
  • Do not splinter like wood pallets

Environmental Impact

From an economic point of view, the lifecycle of cleaning, disinfecting, durability, and recyclability, these cost less than wood or plastic pallets.

  • Metal pallets have a positive environmental impact because they last longer than pallets made from other materials.
  • They are stronger and can transport or store larger amounts of a product, so the number of pallets needed is less, which ultimately means fewer to dispose of. 
  • More product can be shipped on the metal pallet, so transportation is less frequent, and vehicle emissions are lowered and air quality is improved. Your carbon footprint is reduced. 
  • Metal pallets have a lifespan of around 15 years, and they are extremely durable, whereas wood pallets, for example, are used for a short period of time before being discarded in a landfill. 
  • They are 100% recyclable. 
  • They can be sold to scrap metal dealers at the end of their lifecycle. 

Economic Impact 

  • The most significant economic impact on a company using metal pallets is the ability to reuse the pallets, therefore, reducing procurement of new pallets. 
  • Metal pallets can be adjusted for size, so it is unnecessary to purchase different sizes. 
  • Freight costs are reduced because of the durability of the pallets and the increased return load density.
  • Insurance premiums are lowered because metal pallets are fireproof. 
  • Less money is spent on repairing broken pallets and disposing of metal pallets.
  • They withstand extremes in temperatures so do not need special climatizing.  
  • There is no costly heat treatment or certification. 
  • Electrical costs are reduced because of metal conduction.
  • Protect inventory from damage.

Sanitation & Safety 

Sanitation is one of the main reasons metal pallets have become so popular in several industries. Wood pallets are less hygienic and absorb moisture, harboring germs. Plastic pallets harbor bacteria in scratches, which can be costly to sterilize. 

  • Has a smooth and polished surface which is dirt and bacteria resistant.
  • Use hot water and detergent to clean. 
  • Is corrosion resistant. 
  • Has visible parts and no cracks to hold debris. 
  • Seldom breaks and is easy to repair. 
  • Easy to decontaminate. 
  • Fire resistant,  so there is less risk of fires. 

Final Thoughts

When you walk into any warehouse, manufacturing, or retail facility, it is hard to miss the pallets strewn around. This simple piece of warehouse equipment attracts a lot of attention, and often for the wrong reasons, such as broken pallets and spoiled inventory. 

Many companies are introducing metal pallets an alternative to wood or plastic options because of the improved impact on their bottom line, as well as environmental and safety improvements. The characteristics that shippers prioritize will ultimately dictate pallet preference. Certain industries may favor one type of pallet material over another. 

With so many pallet options to consider, diligent shippers, warehouse management, and other industries can find the best match for their organization to help keep their company operating efficiently and economically. In the long run, following green business trends will not only cut costs, but cut waste as well!   

Comparing Different Pallet Types: Which One Is Best for You?


Need to purchase pallets for your new business? Not sure which type to choose? This is a common occurrence for many business owners, and it can be confusing to decide which ones would best suit your needs. For those who are new to pallet types, the following is a guide to which pallet types may be best suited for your transport and business needs.
Types of Pallets
Aluminium/Metal Pallets
Metal pallets are generally made from aluminium and steel, and are used for the transportation of heavy goods, including at-sea storage, air freight, and outdoor long-term storage. Over the years, the use of aluminium pallets has become increasingly popular with many industries. This is because they provide higher-strength properties than other form of pallet types. Catering businesses and restaurants are also using metal pallets because they are  easy to keep sanitary.
Advantages of Metal Pallets

  • Extremely durable.
  • Ideal for chemical and food industries because they’re easily cleaned.
  • Recyclable, time and time again.
  • Don’t cause splinters like wooden pallets do.
  • Mostly free of pests and bugs.
  • Stronger than plastic and wooden pallets.
  • Don’t decay, and they are highly weather-resistant.

Disadvantages of Metal Pallets

  • May cost more in transportation.
  • Heavier compared to other pallets.

Lightweight Plywood Pallets
Plywood pallets are designed for holding light- to medium-weight products. They offer a durable and strong packaging solution for many industries.
Advantages of Plywood Pallets

  • Ideal for layer stacking and rack stocking.
  • Plywood features a clean smooth surface area.
  • Have minimal absorption of moisture.
  • Perfect for transportation and shipping due to their lightweight, strong design.

Disadvantages of Plywood Pallets

  • Tends to be more difficult to store in racking systems.
  • If left outside, can suffer water damage.
  • Moving between warehouses can be limited as many warehouses don’t store these pallet types.

Wooden Pallets
Available in various designs, wooden pallets are ideal for holding heavier products that require a one-way flow in your warehouse.
Advantages of Wooden Pallets

  • Durable and strong in design.
  • Ideal for rack storing.
  • Reliable load carriers.
  • Tend to be less expensive than metal-based pallet materials.
  • Feature high friction compared to metal and plastic pallets.
  • Easy to construct in a short amount of time.
  • Can be recycled with paper and mulch.
  • Can be easily fixed with recycled materials.
  • Easily resold.
  • Easy to repair, as broken boards can be replaced.

Disadvantages of Wooden Pallets

  • Tend to be more susceptible to protruding nails, splinters, shrinking, and warping, which can lead to continual reordering.
  • If they become wet, they can be very difficult to clean. The wetness can also cause fungi and bacteria to grow.
  • More costly for air freight due to their heavy-weight design

Presswood Pallets
Presswood pallets are constructed with high pressure and high temperature, creating a solid piece from fibers of dried wood.
Advantages of Presswood Pallets

  • Easy to handle.
  • Low moisture content.
  • Can be effectively stacked on top of each other.
  • Easily recyclable.
  • Provide great strength, though lightweight.

Disadvantages of Presswood Pallets

  • Rack storing can be difficult.
  • If left outside they can succumb to water damage.
  • Many warehouses store these pallets, so movement between warehouses tends to be limited.

Use Metal Pallets for Heavy Items

When it comes to storing and transporting heavy items, metal pallets are the ideal solution. Metal pallets are not only stronger than wood pallets; they also resist bacterial contamination and breakdown due to environmental influences. Using metal pallets allows companies to move and ship very heavy items on a single pallet, something that is impossible to do with wooden pallets. The expected maximum weight tolerance for wooden pallets is approximately 2,500 lbs. Plastic pallets can accommodate weights up to 25,000 lbs., But for those items that are heavier, such as for loads that reach upwards to 50,000 lbs., the only viable solution is metal pallets.
Metal PalletMetal pallets can withstand the increased weight of heavier loads and prevent a catastrophic failure during movement or shipping, which can lead to damage to your products and result in hefty insurance claims. In addition to being able to withstand the greater pressure of heavy loads, they also have an increased lifespan over other pallet materials. Metal pallets are built to last, meaning that they can be used over and over again. This allows companies that use metal pallets to save money by not having to replace them after every use.
Metal pallets have a host of other benefits as well. Unlike wooden pallets, metal pallets are resistant to bacterial infection as well as breaking down due to rot. This means that there is less of a chance that your goods will be damaged during transport because there is less of a chance of failure on the part of the metal pallet.

Container Exchanger Shows Value of Reusable Metal Pallets

Container Exchanger is an online marketplace that offers manufacturing and distribution businesses an outlet for procuring or selling used returnable packaging. The product offerings include many standard and common reusable packaging solutions, including but not limited to plastic totes, plastic collapsible bulk boxes, metal containers, wire baskets, and plastic pallets. Launched in 2005, has empowered companies to reduce packaging acquisition costs through access to used returnable packaging inventories and it has enabled companies to maximize return during disposal of their used packaging fleets.
According to David Madden, President of Container Exchanger, “Metal pallets last a lot longer than plastic pallets, so they can be used for years.  And they are available in a sealed weld configuration, which is attractive to companies that process food, because it meets the strict guidelines for the food industry.  Also, the metal pallets are easy to be cleaned, they are 100% recyclable, and for insurance reasons, it may be of benefit to have a pallet that is non-flammable.  I recently lost a deal on a lot of bulk containers, because our customer would have to upgrade his sprinkler system if he bought them (because plastic is flammable).”
Metal pallets are virtually unbreakable and there is less worry of chemical contamination, which may occur with plastic pallets and wooden pallets. Many metal pallets are custom engineered and designed. Metal pallets are durable and rarely need to be replaced. Many metal pallets have a galvanized metal finish they hold several thousand pounds of static weight without breaking or bending. These pallets are ideal for warehouse storage and extremely useful when dealing with 55 gallon drums.