Pallets are transport structures used to pack materials for efficient handling, storage, and shipping goods. Pallet has been one of the significant innovative ideas that revolutionized the transportation business Pallets make it easy to handle packed goods manually as they can be moved by forklifts, pallet jacks, or front loaders to shift from one place to other as heavy stacks. The success with pallets evolved as a solution to the need for accurate space utilization following containerization in the shipping industry. Every pallet has a standard size, which can hold a specific number of items and making accounting of good over hundreds of pallets is an easy job. Pallets have evolved from being made from wood, to more durable materials like plastic, paper, recycled materials and even carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Since pallet is now an important part of overseas trade, it has to comply to International Plant Protection Convention, by being made with materials that does not allow transfer of insects or diseases from its native country to a foreign country. For this reason, wooden pallets have to undergo either heat treatment or fumigation with appropriate inscriptions and IPPC logo displayed on the pallet. Most other materials like plastic, metal, recycled materials, corrugated fiberboard, oriented strand board, etc., do not require this treatment as these materials are insect and disease proof.
Pallet Materials And Its Advantages
Pallets materials are chosen by various businesses depending on the material to be transported, the mode and the duration of transportation.
Wooden pallets, especially softwood pallets, are used to transport edible materials, as these pallets can be discarded after the shipment reaches its end user. This is more so because these pallets reach the end user in small numbers and it would not be financially viable or feasible to ship the used pallets back to the sender.
Paper pallets bring down the overall weight of the shipment as they are used to transport lighter loads like soft fruits or eggs, where as engineered paper pallets are used when the pallet has to be recycled or disposed off without long storage.
Plastic pallets are most often made using recycled plastic materials. These are therefore cost effective as they can be recycled and besides this they are durable too. Plastic also absorbs more shock than hardwood pallets. Plastic can also be molded to any shape or design depending upon the goods you intend to load it with. This flexibility with design and its rigidity makes plastic pallet one that has high durability and stackability. Its noncorrosive nature and ability to withstand heat and invasive species of insects makes it the most sought after pallet material.
Steel pallets are fire proof and can withstand higher loads. Galvanized steel pallets are also rust resistant. These pallets are used to transport heavy engineering equipments and transport military hardware through sea which may take longer duration to reach the destination and can withstand exposure to salty sea winds.. Steel pallets also have high stackability like plastic pallets, also come with longer storage, and can be roughly used too.
Aluminum pallets are lighter than steel, yet far stronger than wood or plastic. They are also anti-corrosive and weather resistant. The most important quality of aluminum is its ability to resist salty atmosphere like at-sea storage other pallets dont have.
Now you can make your pallet as there are numerous manufacturers who make custom size pallets for their customers. Businesses that deal with pallets can be your best reference to obtain information regarding the material, design, and the most suitable manufacturer or supplier of pallets. There are also many online sites that provide detailed information about the pallets they manufacture or supply, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its price. So make sure you check them out before you get your pallet.