Re-Thinking Wood Pallets for Shipping and Storing Goods
Information overload may have you questioning your options when it comes to shipping and storing goods. You know the industry standard is wood pallets. But, you may have heard or read that wood pallets cost more to ship because of their weight or that they’re bad for the environment. Some may have you believe that a majority of wood pallets are only used once and then discarded. This simply is not true.
In fact, according to an independent landfill avoidance study conducted at Virginia Tech, 95% of wood pallets are being recycled; this is the highest recovery rate compared to other prevalent materials.
Is Anything Better?
Many suppliers are pushing alternatives such as plastic, metal, and corrugated options. While all will do the job, each have drawbacks as well. For example, metal pallets are strong, but even heavier than wood and more expensive. Plastic pallets are sanitary and have a long lifecycle, but they are also more costly. Corrugated pallets are lighter than wood, but they are not stackable or as strong.
Of course, pallets are not the only option. Slip sheets weigh less and are cheaper, but they cannot support as much weight as pallets. They are ideal for filling every cubic foot of a trailer with product, which is not always possible to do with pallets. Forklifts will not work with slip sheets, however, and special equipment is required for its handling.
For companies that have fewer products to move per shipment, the old-fashioned method of loading and unloading by hand can work. But, this process is time intensive and the risk for injury is greater.
A Strong Case for Wood Pallets
Ultimately, there are many reasons why wood pallets continue to dominate the industry. Here are just a few that make a strong case:
Protection – Wood pallets are sturdy. Their strong base combined with protective wrapping means less manual handling and less chance for product damage.
Cost Effective – Wood pallets are inexpensive compared to other alternatives and, while heavier than some options, the safe transport of goods outweighs any added fuel expense.
Faster Deliveries – Pallets can be handled and quickly moved with standard forklifts, making it much faster to deliver one pallet containing 50 boxes than moving 50 boxes by hand.
Smarter Storage – The uniform shape of pallets makes them easy to stack and store without taking up much space in a warehouse.
Safe for Workers – Unlike heavy boxes, people do not lift pallets. This means less risk of back injuries.
In spite of all the talk otherwise, if you’re shipping your products on wood pallets, you’re in good company. And, there’s no need to re-think your decision. Wood pallets remain the most reliable and cost-effective mode to ‘move the world.’ And, if you need pallets, you’re in the right place. Contact us for a free quote or consultation.