A pallet is typically a form of the outer packaging. It is a flat structure used as a base for the unitization of goods in the supply chain. According to the definition of MH1-2016 standard, the pallet as a “horizontal, portable, rigid, composite platform used as (a) base for storing, assembling, handling, stacking, and transporting goods as a unit load. It is usually equipped with (a) superstructure.” The superstructure is the assembly fixed to the supporting base of the pallet.
Often, we make use of pallets to stack, store, protect, and transport materials in the course of being handled by materials handling equipment such as pallet jacks, forklifts, or conveyors, being stored in racking or bulk storage or being placed in transport vehicles. The pallet is commonly used as a base for the unit load, which includes pallet and goods stacked atop it, typically in place by stretch wrap, strapping, shrink wrap, adhesive, pallet collar, or other means of binding material. You can use fresh pallets or second hand pallets.
Why Should You Use Pallets?
Palletization has been in use for more than a century around the world and comes with different benefits. For example, pallets allow you to move more products at a faster pace, which also helps to reduce transportation time for trucks and can decrease the time needed to unload/load trucks, means your dock spaces will be free faster. Also, pallets reduce the need for manual handling, which can lead to less product damage and even fewer worker injuries.
Though the trend of palletizing is increasing, it can be a daunting task to manage pallets flowing in and out of your supply chain. When you enter the pallet industry, you will come to know the science behind the pallet design with many different aspects to consider.
New vs. Second Hand Pallets:
When determining what kind of pallets are best for you, you will first need to choose between new or second hand pallets. New pallets are built from scratch with new lumber. Second hand pallets, on the other hand, can be built in a few different ways. Second hand pallets include:
Remanufactured Pallets – These pallets are built by reusing board components (used lumber) to build a pallet configuration.
Recycled/Repaired Pallets – These are pallets that earlier had damaged boards that are replaced by new or used boards.
Combo Pallets – These pallets are a combination of used/recycled pallets with some deck boards being new lumber.
Second hand pallets will always be cheaper than a new pallet with a similar design. However, the prices of each type of second hand pallet will vary depending on the specifics of the pallets.
Key Considerations for Pallet Selection:
Expendable or Reusable – An important distinguishing point is between durable or reusable pallets versus expendable or single-use pallets. Where pallets are easy to reuse, the cost per trip is lesser and feasible and have a less environmental impact than pallets used only once, subject to the cost of reverse logistics. Besides, investing in a better quality pallet usually lasts longer, providing a lower cost per use than cheaper options when investing in the reusable pallet.
Pallet Materials – Pallets are manufactured from different materials. The wooden pallet dominates the marketplace, providing an excellent value regarding price and performance. It is stiff, inexpensive, and easily fabricated into different sizes as required.
Pallets made of other materials are also crucial. Plastic pallets are prized for several reasons, including ease of cleaning, durability, exemption from ISPM 15 requirements and other benefits. Paper pallets are popular due to their cleanliness, ISPM 15 exemption, light weight, and ease of recycling. Wood composite pallets are also ISPM 15 exempt, providing a stiff, competitively priced product which can be readily recycled. Metal pallets presence is essential, especially in applications where pallet strength and durability are an essential requirement.
Second hand pallets can easily be used in place of brand new ones, saving you investment cost, while doing the same function. Hence, make a wise choice before investing in pallets.