A Guide to Choosing the Right Pallet for You
February 25, 2020
Pallets are one of the most fundamental pieces of equipment when it comes to logistics. They come in a wide range of different shapes, sizes and materials so it can be confusing when trying to decide which one is best for your shipping requirements.
Here is a guide to help you find the right pallet for you.
Everything You Need to Know About Pallets
Different Types of Pallets
The three main types of pallet materials are wooden, plastic and aluminium.
Wooden pallets are the most commonly used pallet across the globe and the cheapest one. They are also easily repaired if they are damaged and easily recyclable once finished with.
However, one problem with wooden pallets is that splinters and fasteners can catch on products which could cause damage. As well as this, its permeable properties mean it absorbs and releases moisture, they can inhabit bugs and, unfortunately, they are not easily cleaned.
In contrast to wooden pallets, plastic pallets do not have any fasteners, will not harbour bugs, and can be easily cleaned if necessary. They are also very durable and suitable for shipping loads up to nearly 700kg.
On the other hand, they cannot be repaired once damaged; as they are quite a lot more expensive, this could become pricey. Plus, they are not easily recyclable.
The most expensive pallet is an aluminium pallet; this is because it is strong and durable yet lightweight, weather and temperature resistant, and can be cleaned.
Nevertheless, they don’t come without their disadvantages. Like plastic pallets, they are also difficult to repair, and they run the risk of rusting.
Right Pallet for Different Load Capacities
Pallet load capacity is another important consideration when choosing the right pallet for you as you need to pick ones that have the capability to bear the weight of your goods. There are two main structures of pallets that correspond to different load capacities.
Also known as two-way pallets, these are generally designed for lighter loads. The frame is made up of three or more parallel pieces of wood, known as stringers, and then the top deckboards are attached to these. To transport these, forklifts have the accessibility to fit underneath the deckboards on two sides.
Also known as four-way pallets, these have the ability to carry more weight. In addition to parallel pieces of wood like stringer pallets are made up of, block pallets also have perpendicular ones. This means forklifts have the accessibility to fit underneath on all four sides of the pallet.
Different Pallet Sizes
Pallets need to be able to fit through all sorts of entrances and exits, as well as be able to stack in storage and be accessible for forklifts. As there are so many different aspects to consider, there are a number of different standard sizes that are used.
These different standard sizes depend on where your shipping is being sent to.
Right Pallet for Shipping to the UK & Europe
Although the standard size of pallet used for shipping to the UK is 1200 x 1000mm, it is not universally accepted across all European countries. The most common sized pallet used to ship to both the UK and Europe is 800 x 1200 x 120mm.
Right Pallet for Shipping to the USA & Canada
The most common standard size of pallet used in the USA is 1219 x 1016mm, but this can also depend on what products you are shipping. Other industries use other preferred sizes such as 1219 x 1219mm and 1067 x 1067mm.
As a general rule, these two numbers refer to the stringer length and the deckboard length.
The Right Pallet Guidance from Cross Country Carriers
Choosing the right pallet is only one of the considerations you need to make in the logistics process, you should also find the right pallet distributor for you too.
At Cross Country Carriers, we’ve been distributing pallets since 1978 so we know what we’re talking about. If you have any further questions or need any more guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us today.