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What is a Warehouse Pallet?

By M.R. Anglin
Updated May 17, 2024
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A warehouse pallet is a device, often made of out of wood, on which goods can be stacked, stored and transported. It is commonly used when large amounts of items or oversized items need to be moved. Pallets are square or rectangular in shape. They are designed in such a way that goods can be securely held while being moved. This allows fork lift, pallet jacks or other equipment to move, hoist, or lower several items at once.

Warehouses often have a lot of goods that need to be stacked and moved. Rather than moving each item individually, the products can be stacked on a warehouse pallet. These items can then be moved by truck, ship or other means and be delivered to their destination. Using a warehouse pallet also allows for better space storage. This is because goods on pallets can sometimes be stacked on top of one another.

It is possible for some pallets to carry loads of over 2000 pounds (approximately 908 kg). A company can use the dimensions and weight of their products to determine how many can go on each warehouse pallet. Therefore, instead of having to count each individual box when getting or shipping a delivery, the company and their clients can just count the number of pallets. However, it is possible for a company to be cheated in this way. A worker who knows what he is doing can stack the pallet short in such a way that it looks like a full pallet.

A warehouse pallet can be made out of a variety of materials. Wooden pallets, for instance, are a common choice. However, wooden pallets must be in good condition when they are used. Otherwise, the load—sometimes thousands of pounds—can break the pallet and fall on warehouse workers, causing injury. Pallets can also be made out of other materials such as metal and plastic.

For safety purposes, both of the workers and the items, products stacked on pallets need to be secured, especially if the pallet is being shipped. Many times, these items are kept in place using stretch wrap, a stretchy plastic that can be wrapped around the items, keeping them together. In order to keep the items from sliding off the pallet, however, the wrap should be placed around both the items and the top of the pallet. Other options of securing items on pallets include strapping and shrink wrap. These options can even be used together for an even more secure pallet.

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Discussion Comments
By Oceana — On Dec 29, 2011

@wavy58 - I’m not surprised that your supervisor told you to hide the broken box on your pallet. Big companies will do a lot to maintain their appearance as a safe organization, even if that means being deceptive at times.

My brother worked at a warehouse that shipped products to stores all around the nation. The bosses harped on safety, and when the workers would go a certain number of days without any accidents, they would be rewarded with a catered lunch. Damaging products was considered an accident.

He told me that they were encouraged to hide damaged goods under the shrink wrap on their pallets. He always felt bad about doing this, but he felt he had to in order to keep his job.

It was so easy to hide things on the pallets. The boxes were packed in so snugly, and the wrinkles in the wrap hid the details.

By seag47 — On Dec 28, 2011

I work at a large garden center, and we use warehouse pallets with wheels to move around shipments of heavy plants. This is the only way I am able to move several trees around the store!

Other plants, like potted rosebushes and hydrangeas, are too heavy to be carried by hand from the truck to the shelves. I use a wooden pallet with wheels and a handle to cart them to different areas of the greenhouse.

When potting soil is added to a container, it increases the weight a lot. I am glad I have these pallets, because I’m not strong enough to do the job without them.

By wavy58 — On Dec 27, 2011

I work at a large warehouse distribution company, and I deal with pallets every day. The boss told us that each one holds a certain amount, so this cuts down on counting.

I was shocked at what my supervisor suggested when I broke a box of yogurt. He told me to just put it in the middle of the pallet. That way, no one would notice it until it got to its destination, and they would think it was damaged in shipping.

Since the broken box would still be on the pallet, it would appear to have the right amount of products. No one would know that some of them were unusable, though.

To avoid getting in trouble, I did what he suggested. I later learned that this is a common practice there.

By shell4life — On Dec 26, 2011

My husband works in a warehouse, and he stacks groceries onto wooden pallets all day. He has to work quickly but safely, since he has a quota to meet.

A computer tells him how many boxes to pick off the shelves and place onto his pallet. He uses shrink wrap to secure the boxes, which are then taken to a truck to be transported to the stores.

The pallets are inspected at the end of each work day. They have to hold heavy boxes of dairy products, and they have to be able to support the weight, or there would literally be spilled milk everywhere.

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