The 5 Pros and Cons of Reusable Pallet Containers

Plastic barrels

Choosing between reusable and single-use containers is one of the most important decisions you can make as a business owner. Regardless of the nature of your operations, you will need to use containers to move, ship and store a wide range of products and materials. Reusable bulk pallet containers come with their fair share of merits and a few drawbacks. The use of bulk containers is expected to grow over the next five years as the global supply chain continues to pick up speed. 

If you’re thinking of including these containers in your operations, use these quick facts to make up your mind. 

The Pros

  • Lower Costs

One of the main benefits of utilizing pallet containers is that you don’t have to order more supplies down the line. You can reuse your containers and put them back into your supply chain without worrying about ordering new containers or restocking your supplies.

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While pallet plastic containers may cost more upfront than cardboard boxes and other one-time use containers, you don’t have to worry about recycling or disposing of used materials. Just make sure your containers are clean before putting them back on the shelf. 

  • Durability and Quality Assurance 

Bulk plastic containers are made with highly durable materials that will keep your goods safe during transit. Cardboard boxes and disposable plastic materials can only do so much to protect your products from everyday turbulence. Plastic pallet containers are weatherproof, so you don’t have to worry about your products getting wet or corroding as they make their way to their destination. 

orange bulk containers

As David Madden, president of Container Exchanger, says, “Plastic businesses which do not currently use returnable packaging should consider the use of returnable in an effort to reduce transport damage, such as crushed cardboard boxes or cardboard boxes stabbed by forklifts in transport. Returnables also help prevent part-on-part damage, by providing a protective housing for each individual part.”

Nothing will soil your reputation with consumers like delivering damaged goods. You will then have to spend the money sending out another order, taking a bite out of your bottom line.

  • Space Efficiency 

Unlike disposable materials, pallet containers can be either stackable or collapsible, depending on your storage needs. This helps you free up space around your facility so your workers have more room to complete the task at hand. You will be able to quickly make sense of your inventory as you get orders out the door without getting distracted by a sea of empty cardboard boxes. 

Just quickly stack or fold up these containers as you go about your day to keep things organized. You can quickly deploy them again as new orders come in.

The Cons

  • Cleaning and Sanitation

One of the few downsides to utilizing reusable containers is that you have to clean them from time to time to make sure they are fit for transportation and storage. These containers can easily collect dust, dirt and other potential hazards over time, especially if your company is in the business of transporting or storing hazardous chemicals and industrial products. 

Barrel on a pallet with a metal frame

IBC totes are known for housing all kinds of industrial chemicals, but that means you will need to clean, treat and inspect your containers before devoting them to new products. You may need to label certain containers if they have been exposed to hazardous chemicals to make sure they don’t end up being used to store drinking water.

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Spend time checking your containers for damage before filling them with more of your products. Watch out for cracks, leaks and holes that could put your facility at risk. 

  • Rerouting Returned Containers

In addition to cleaning and treating your containers, you will also have to find a way to get them back to your facility. This may be a challenge if your customers are used to holding on to these containers for long periods of time. You may need to send a driver back out to collect these containers when your customers are finished with them. You can also transfer large quantities of goods in pallet containers and then transfer them to smaller, disposable containers when you reach your destination. 

Utilizing reusable pallet containers may take a little bit of forethought on your part, but the benefits speak for themselves. Use this information to switch to pallet containers today.