4 Reasons Why Wood Pallets Are So Popular

The majority of pallets in circulation today are made of wood (about 95%). The remainder are constructed from plastic, wood composite, or cardboard. So—why the large gap? Let’s take a closer look…

Bang for Your Buck

The main reason why wood pallets are preferred over plastic or other materials is because wood pallets are less expensive, and they can carry a lot of weight—typically between 1,500 and 3,000 pounds. Plastic pallets are more expensive. However, they have a higher dynamic load capacity than wood at 5,000 pounds.

Sustainable Solution

As corporations look to increase their sustainability initiatives and decrease their carbon footprint, wood pallets are an attractive option. That’s because, if a wooden pallet breaks, it can be easily repaired or recycled. At the end of its usable lifecycle, a wood pallet can also be upcycled into other products. Plastic pallets can also be recycled, but the process is a bit more complicated and expensive. And, if thrown out instead of recycled, the plastic takes a century to degrade.

Zero Net Carbon

In addition to recycling and reuse, wood pallets store carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere. In essence, using wood pallets reduces an organization’s carbon footprint. (Check out this tool to calculate your impact.)

Global Economy

Wood pallets are also popular for companies that ship one-way or overseas (Note: wooden pallets shipping internationally do require pallet treatment). Plastic pallets can also ship internationally, and they don’t require any treatment because the material does not retain moisture or harbor bugs. But because they are expensive, many companies prefer to use plastic pallets in a closed-loop warehouse where they can be easily tracked and re-used.

If you are unsure which pallet is right for you, refer to our post on pallet selection or contact our pallet pros. Keep in mind, whether wood or plastic, pallet demand still outpaces availability. That means longer lead times for most varieties. So be sure to give your supplier plenty of notice and be open to discussing alternative options.

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