It’s best to attach a pallet to your packages before sending them off for delivery. Without a pallet, your packages will be hard to handle. Your workers will have to pick them up by hand instead of using a lift truck. They may also slide around during transit, damaging your merchandise in the process.
Wooden pallets were quite common in the supply chain industry up until recently. Now, they are considered overly expensive and bad for the environment. Recycled plastic pallets are quickly taking their place at warehouses all over the country. Using plastic pallets is also one of six ways to reduce food waste in the restaurant supply chain industry.
If you’re looking to save money and reduce your environmental footprint, learn about the surprising benefits of plastic pallets.
The End of Wood Pallets
Wood pallets have been around for decades, but they can be costly to produce. Manufacturers have to cut down trees to produce these products, which is bad for the environment. They may be less expensive than plastic pallets, but they are not designed for long-term use. Many companies will reorder more on a regular basis, further depleting the planet’s supply of wood.
These pallets also can be difficult to use in the workplace. Wood tends to splinter and break over time. The floor of your warehouse will likely fill up with chips of wood, tiny pieces of debris and dust that can irritate the eyes and lungs. Your workers will have to use gloves to avoid splinters and other workplace hazards when handling these pallets. You will have to sweep the floors regularly to prevent accidents on the job.
Let’s not forget about customs. According to ISPM-15, “All international shipments using any species of raw wood packaging must be fumigated or heat treated to kill insects or fungus and stamped with the approved stamp(s), before goods are allowed entry or crossing through a participating country.”
If you use wood pallets, customs will need to inspect your shipping materials before they can pass through the checkpoint, which could lead to all kinds of costly delays.
Why Plastic Pallets?
Plastic pallets tend to be a little more expensive upfront than wood pallets, but they are more than worth it. You can reuse these pallets again and again without putting your products at risk. They are made with high-quality, durable plastic that won’t degrade or crumple over time.
Your facility will also be cleaner once you get rid of your wood pallets. Employees can handle these pallets without worrying about injuring themselves in the process. Less debris also means less slips and falls in the workplace.
These pallets are better for the environment and they do not require special handling when shipping overseas. With plastic, your business won’t have to draw from the planet’s supply of wood. They are also built to last the test of time, so you won’t have to reorder pallets as often. This helps you save money in the long run.
Click here for a perspective on the reverse logistics of plastic pallets.
Skid vs. Pallet
Many warehouses face the same question: skid vs. pallet. You may be used to using these two terms interchangeably, but pallets are not the same as skid plates.
A skid is just a pallet without the bottom layer. They usually have a series of blocks on the bottom that leave room for the lift truck. However, skid plates are not as stable as full pallets. The extra layer of support helps the pallet retain its shape and you won’t have to worry as much about warping. Skids can easily break or snap on the job, so they won’t last as long as pallets. Skids may be a little less expensive upfront, but they tend to fall apart after a few trips.
Go with plastic pallets to keep them in rotation as long as possible.
Other Ways to Save Money
If you want to save as much money as possible on your shipping without putting your products at risk, buy used plastic pallets. They are just as effective as new pallets without breaking the bank. It’s the best way to keep your merchandise moving for less.
If you want to reduce the need for pallets in your warehouse, use industrial metal baskets. They come with wheels so your employees don’t have to mess with pallets and lift trucks.
Use these tips to reduce your shipping expenses.