The Four Ps of Pallet Selection

Hundreds of different pallet sizes are used around the world. While there is no one standard-sized pallet that fits all...

wooden pallets in a grid

Hundreds of different pallet sizes are used around the world. While there is no one standard-sized pallet that fits all applications, two pallet designs are widely used in the United States. The block style has blocks (rectangular, square, multi-sided, or cylindrical deck spacer) between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck and is suitable for a wide range of handling environments due to its open access on all four sides. The stringer style has stringers (parallel pieces of timber used to support and space the deck components) between the deckboards or beneath the panel deck. Stringer pallets cost less than block, but they are not as strong. Also, stringer pallets only allow partial 4-way access if the stringers are notched; otherwise, two-way access is available at either end.

So, which one is right for your job? To specify the proper pallet, consider the “four Ps” of Pallet Selection: Product, Payload, Performance, and Purpose.

  1. Product – What product is being shipped? Specific sizes and styles of pallets exist for transporting products such as food, electronics, manufacturing equipment, and industrial parts to name a few. For some products, heat or chemically treated pallets are necessary to guard against pesticides, mold, or rot during transit, especially if products are shipping overseas.
  2. Payload – What is the weight of the product being shipped? The pallet you select must be capable of supporting the weight of materials being shipped. Block-style wood pallets can carry the most weight; plastic pallets, on the other hand, are more durable, clean, weather-resistant, and stackable. But, they can cost ten times more than hardwood.
  3. Performance – How durable does the pallet need to be? Will the pallet endure extreme shipping and handling conditions over multiple uses or will it only be used sporadically or perhaps just once?
  4. Purpose – How do pallets function within your organization? Do pallets travel along a conveyor or other automated warehouse system? Considering the purpose or role of pallets in relation to other material handling equipment, including forklifts or pallet jacks, will help determine the proper pallet size/style.

Of course, answers to these questions will vary for every organization. Start the discussion with your preferred pallet specialist; contact Rose Pallet today!

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