Pallets are a packaging material often used to store and transport goods from a warehouse to distributor. Wood pallets are commonly used because they are eco-friendly, inexpensive, and easily repaired. Fast production times and the ability to be resold are two additional factors when choosing wood pallets.
With increased concern for environmental impact of shipping materials, wood pallets provide an eco-friendly option. Materials used in their construction can be harvested from old pallets, or recycled for other uses. The pallets can be recycled into mulch, poster board, and paper. Old ones made from wood can also be used to construct new pallets, depending on the condition of the material.
Unlike those made of plastic, if wood pallets break, repairs can be made to restore them for use. Many wooden models are made with various boards. These boards can be removed, if broken, and replaced individually. If a plastic pallet cracks or breaks, repairs are not as simple because the material would have to be melted down and remolded in order to make a repair.
Wood pallets are quick and easy to construct. Many pallet manufacturers build them by hand. Construction of the simplest design, stringer pallets, often requires only three stabilization boards, with deck boards attached. Stringer pallets can be constructed in just a few minutes, once the materials are measured to meet the manufacturing size standards.
Raw materials used to manufacture wood pallets can be inexpensive. Softwood is often used to build disposable pallets, and is extremely cost effective. Hardwood is more expensive and often requires a down payment from the business ordering hardwood pallets before they are built.
Hardwood pallets may cost more than other wood pallet varieties, but they can be resold, or even sold back to the manufacturer for replacement parts or resale. Some hardwood manufacturers will reduce the price of the pallet, if the business agrees to return those that are used. Many hardwood models are known as block pallets, which can be lifted from all four sides. Wood pallets that can be lifted from all sides may be easier to store in a warehouse, and to maneuver with forklifts or pallet jacks.
When choosing a pallet variety for shipping purposes, the business may consider both wood and plastic pallets. Cost, resale value, and impact on the environment may be evaluated before choosing the best material. Wood pallets may also need to meet certain health guidelines before being shipped between countries.