The Difference Between a Pallet and a Skid

Unless you work in a warehouse or on a construction site, you probably do not know the difference between a pallet and a skid. Because of the lack of knowledge regarding these storage solutions, pallets are often referred to as skids or vice versa. Even though these shipping tools are similarly built, their differences govern their function. The majority of pallets and skids are made out of either wood or plastic. 

Below is a detailed description of the differences between pallets and skids. 



Pallets have both a top and bottom deck, which provides more stability than skids. A pallet consists of three to four stringers. This allows for support of multiple deck boards and the materials being placed on top of the pallets. 

Pallets are typically used for items that are in transit, often taking them to places with fluctuating climate conditions. When deciding on shipping and storage solutions, changing environments must be taken into account in order to select what pallet material to use.

Knowing the temperature and humidity of the locations where you will use the pallets, along with the type of load, will help you determine what is best type for your particular needs. 


Types of Pallets

  • Wood pallets
    • inclined to damage from the elements and overuse
    • cheaper to make 
  • Plastic Pallets
    • Safer to use (no sharp edges or rusty nails)
    • Resistant to fire, flames and bug infestation
    • Easy to clean
    • More expensive
    • Last longer 
    • Available in multiple colors
  • Two-way pallets: designed to be lifted by the deck boards with a forklift or pallet jack through two sides of the pallet
  • Four-way pallets: designed to be lifted by their more rigid stringers and can be lifted by a forklift or pallet jack from any side
    • extremely durable storage solutions
    • recommended for use in an environment with high levels of moisture (even water)


Skids were invented and used before pallets. A skid is a single-deck loading platform which has no bottom deck. It is a mobile platform that rests on pedestals attached to the deck. Since skids have the ability to be mobile, they are often used as a permanent foundation for heavy machinery. Skids are also available in wood or plastic. 

Skids became less popular after the introduction of pallets, because pallets are nestable and more versatile. 


Which Is better?

The slight difference between a pallet and a skid can make it difficult to decide which one to use. There are countless amounts of shipping regulations and you must consider how you will be moving materials around. Due to the two layers, pallets are best for stacking and using forklifts/pallet jacks to move materials throughout the building. They work with automated warehouses and are easy to fit in racks. 

However, skids are best for storing materials that may need to be moved at a later time. Based on the type of supplies being shipped, and your particular requirements, it is best to decide what works for you. 


Recycling Pallets and Skids (both Wooden and Plastic)

One of the greatest attributes of pallets and skids is the ability to recycle or reuse them. With the wood pallets, you can take them apart and use the wood for other projects. Several projects that have become popular involve repainting these wood pallets and using them as furniture or decorations around the house and office. 

Another possible use for a pallet is by turning it into mulch. Throw the pieces of the pallet into a wood chipper and use the mulch in your yard. 

Plastic pallets can be reused again for carrying and transporting heavy materials, or melted down to use for the making of other plastic products. 

Container Exchanger is an innovative company that provides services to those who are looking to recycle repurpose or reduce waste. This company allows people to sell, buy, or blog about materials they need or do not want any more. This visionary organization assists other companies on a significant scale to reduce the amount of waste by recycling or reusing their leftover pallets, skids, and other industrial containers. 



The main difference between a pallet and a skid is their construction, which affects how each of them function. Pallets have a top and bottom deck which allow for more stability and versatility. On the other hand, skids do not have a bottom deck, which allows for more mobility. They are easily moved by using a forklift, front loader, a jacking device or other heavy machinery. 

The storage solutions and needs of your specific business will determine which option is the most suitable. Regardless of which you choose to use in your line of work, they are both easily reusable and recyclable.