Pallets: The Workhorses of Shipping

palletYou’ve seen them, but you may not have taken notice of them. Pallets are the workhorses of shipping. Without pallets you wouldn’t be able to move shipments around or hold your shipments together. If you are new to shipping, then read on to see what pallets can do for you and what kind of pallets are available for you to buy.

What Pallets Do for You

So, you have paid for packaging, and then you paid to have the packaging crated for shipment. Now you need to pay for pallets on top of it? It might seem excessive at first, but pallets are a huge necessity when shipping.

Pallets are what allow your shipments to be loaded on to the truck. Their first function is to allow pallet jacks and fork lifts to be able to pick up your crates and move them around. Without a pallet under your shipment, they would be difficult or nearly impossible to move.

Pallets also create a uniform footprint for storage in warehouses. While the height may vary, the standard pallet footprint allows warehouses the ability to calculate how much they can store before being at capacity.

You need to make sure that everything you are shipping stays together. Pallets are an excellent way to bind a bunch of smaller boxes together into one order that won’t come apart. Using something like straps or shrink wrap in conjunction with a pallet will allow you to keep your entire shipment together so that critical items do not get lost.

The last thing pallets can do is help protect you from flooding. Pallets will raise your crates and packages up off the floor and keep them dry should adverse weather or a leaky truck let too much water in during shipping and storage.

Pallet Materials

So now that you’ve decided that having pallets are a good thing, what kind of pallets are out there for you to purchase? There are two main materials that pallets are made of: Plastic and Wood. Sure, you can find steel pallets for special shipments, but they are typically a custom job for custom shipping. Each pallet has its advantages and drawbacks.

  • Wooden Pallets: The major advantage of a wooden pallet is that it is very inexpensive. They are the cheapest way to get things set up and ready to ship. Wooden pallets are usually constructed of wooden slats nailed over top of cross beams to hold them together. This arrangement is surprisingly strong and will hold quite a large amount of weight.

The drawback to wooden pallets is that they are typically only good for a few uses. Yes, you can reuse them if care was taken in the loading and unloading of your shipment, but odds are after a few trips they are going to be too beat up to continue.

  • Plastic Pallets: While being more expensive, they are more durable and are great for being used for multiple shipments. Plastic pallets are great if you are going to be shipping a lot and can afford the investment.

Contact Cratex Group today for any help in custom industrial packing or crating that you might need before you load your shipment onto its pallets.