Wooden and timber pallets are the most commonly used pallets in manufacturing and logistics industries. They are well known for being one of the cheapest alternatives and can be reused and repaired over their lifespan. However, wooden pallets are heavy and break easily, this means that they need to replaced regularly. Furthermore, wooden pallets are difficult to clean due to their irregular surface and have a high risk of infestation and contamination when damp.
In recent years, pallets have been made from an increasing range of materials, including plastic, metal and even cardboard. Plastic pallets are the fastest growing alternative to wood. This is due to five main reasons below.
1.Plastic pallets are durable
Plastic pallets are more durable than wooden pallets as they are less likely to breakdown on repeated trips. These pallets are ideal for carrying heavy cargo during shipping and being moved around via forklift in a warehouse. Furthermore, they are more able to withstand weather elements in between transport compared to wooden pallets.
2.Plastic pallets are cost effective
As plastic pallets tend to be lighter than wooden units, freight rates are lower whether it is by road, sea or air. A big advantage plastic pallets have over wooden pallets is their nestability. Nestable pallets often feature a nine-leg bottom which nests into other pallets, saving precious space in a warehouse.
Although plastic pallets often have a higher initial cost, the cost per trip of a plastic pallet is often significantly lower due to their durability. In recent years, new breakthroughs in technology have lowered the costs of plastic pallets to be comparable to that of wooden pallets.
3.Plastic pallets are hygienic
As plastic pallets do not absorb moisture, common issues with wooden pallets such as rot, infestation, fumigation and odour absorption are no longer a concern. Unlike other types of pallets, plastic pallets are usually constructed in one solid piece. Thus, the smooth surface of plastic pallets can be easily and thoroughly cleaned between usage. Plastic pallets are perfect for industries with regulatory and hygiene requirements such as pharmaceutical and food and beverage.
4.Plastic Pallets are environmentally friendly
Plastic pallets are more environmentally friendly compared to wooden pallets as choosing a plastic pallet over wood reduces deforestation. Plastic pallets made of recycled plastic would further promote a circular plastic economy where waste is reduced instead of produced.
5.Plastic pallets are safer for everyone
Plastic pallets do not have weak spots at their points unlike wood due to the way they are constructed; in one solid piece. This results in lower risks of units failing under a heavy load. Choosing plastic pallets over wooden pallets eliminates nails, splinters and broken boards. This means that your valuable goods are less likely to be damaged and your employees have a safer working environment.
Although plastic pallets offer numerous benefits over wooden pallets, the choice to use either ultimately depends on the purpose of the pallet. If the pallet is used to ship goods overseas with a low chance of return, the lightest and lowest cost alternative would be ideal. However, if the purpose of the pallet is to be reused for multiple trips to the same stores or in your warehouse, a durable alternative is a more economical choice.
Re>Pal makes this decision easy with pallets designed to fulfill different needs. Our light nestable and nestable stackable pallets are perfect for exports while our rackable and heavy duty pallets are ideal where long term durability is of essence. Contact us to find out more today!