The shipping and freight industry is full of decisions that have to be made to get goods from point A to point B. Not only do you have to consider what you are shipping, you need to think about what it is being shipped on. That is why choosing the right pallet for your application can be very important.
There are two main types of pallets, stringer or block. Each have their respective uses, the question is which one is the right one for you?
What is the Difference?
The first question you may have is what is the difference between a block and a stringer pallet? The main difference is in how you can get a fork truck to lift the pallet.
The width dimension of the pallet lifts stringer pallets. There are notches that are cut into the stringer that allow a fork truck to get underneath the pallet to lift it. These notches are only on the width side – stringer pallets cannot be lifted from the other side unless they have been modified to do so.
A block pallet is built with four ways in mind. It is constructed such that a fork truck can lift it from any side of the pallet. No modifications are necessary.
Is Cost an Issue?
The first thing you should look at is cost. It should come as no surprise that block pallets are more expensive than stringer pallets. There is more lumber and more design time that is needed for a block pallet. These factors serve to increase the cost.
However don’t think you can save a few bucks and just use a stringer pallet like a block pallet. They are built differently and trying to save a few dollars on pallets can end up costing you in damaged or broken goods in the warehouse.
How are you Storing your Pallets?
Another consideration for figuring out which pallets are best for you is how they are going to be stored. Stacking block pallets is a function of how the bottom of the pallet is built. Generally they can have boards across the bottom either along the perimeter or in one specific direction. This means there are very specific ways that they must be stacked during storage.
Stringer pallets can have boards added for stacking in any direction. So long as you don’t cover the notches for the fork truck. This makes them more versatile and easily modified for your application.
A Word on Invasive Species
The majority of pallets in the world are made of wood. Unfortunately this means that that an invasive species can take up home in a pallet and be spread to another area. Make sure to keep your pallets, block or stringer, pest free during the summer to stop the spread of invasive species.
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