Depending on the manufacturer, plastic pallets are either constructed of recycled plastic or virgin plastic. Besides the differences in materials, plastic pallets can be used for a wide variety of purposes, too.
For example, plastic-based pallets are popular among exporters and manufacturers because they do not need to be heat treated before transport like wood pallets do. From a cost perspective, plastic pallets are much less expensive than metal pallets, which are generally very expensive. Additionally, plastic pallets are much lighter than their metal-based counterparts, without sacrificing any of the durability, weigh-bearing capabilities, or impact protection. Plastic pallets also possess shorter lips than metal pallets, making them easier to maneuver in tight spaces.
Other types of plastic pallets include: rackable, stackable, nestable, export pallets, drum pallets, and solid deck pallets. Rackable pallets are among the strongest plastic pallets currently available on the market. These pallets do not have any decking, just a front and a back beam. This sparse design allows rackable pallets to hold a significant amount of weight without buckling.
Stackable pallets, on the other hand, are designed to let an individual stack the pallets on top of each other without damaging the load. Like nestable plastic boxes, nestable plastic pallets are distinguished by raised sidewalls. The reason nestable pallets are popular amongst shippers is that the nested design allows shippers to stack the pallets on top of each other, saving 50% of the space used by conventional pallets.
There are even specially designed plastic pallets that are made for transporting oil drums or drums of liquid. These unique pallets are called drum pallets, and have design features that help contain spillage.
If you plan to use plastic pallets for moving or transporting materials, ensure that the pallet you are using has the structure needed to properly support the weight of your shipment.