For many logistics companies, using wooden pallets to transport goods is the norm. But this has one major flaw. Wooden pallets are not built to last. The average wooden pallet lasts just a few trips before needing to be replaced. And this costs a fortune in the long run.
Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are much more durable and are known to last an average of 10 years before needing to be replaced.
What Is The Difference Between Wooden Pallets And Plastic Pallets?
Many companies feel inclined to purchase wooden pallets given that they have a lower upfront cost compared to plastic pallets. However, there are many more factors to consider before coming to a decision between the two.
Strength and Endurance
Wooden pallets are much more prone to breakage than plastic pallets. This means that you will have to replace wooden pallets every few months. In addition to this, you risk damaging goods if a wooden pallet breaks unexpectedly.
Another issue is that you may be putting warehouse operatives at a higher risk of injury than if you were to use plastic pallets. By nature of their solid construction, plastic pallets can endure very high weight loads up to 5,000kg.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of pallet manufacturers who source their wood unethically and are therefore contributing to the growing deforestation problem. Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are often reused by many different companies before passing their ‘use by’ date.
Once they cannot be used anymore, they are melted down and re-moulded into a new pallet. And although wooden pallets can be recycled, they’re often only repurposed as mulch or another kind of product before eventually reaching the end of their life cycle.
Using wooden pallets requires that you meet very specific international customs regulations. This includes ISPM 15 regulations that ensure wooden packaging is certified as pest free. As such, you are required to fumigate each wooden pallet before it is shipped to another country.
Not only is this time consuming, but there’s also no guarantee that it will work. If customs decide that your wooden pallets are not up to ISPM 15 standards, your supply chain will be heavily disrupted.
Should customs decide to return your product it can take several weeks. This isn’t an issue with plastic pallets, however, as they are completely pest free.
Although wooden pallets are made in a specific size, the inconsistencies in the material mean that no two pallets are identical. Additionally, one pallet might have some loose nuts and bolts that change its shape and cause injury.
Plastic pallets don’t have the same problem, however. They are made using a meticulous moulding process to ensure that each pallet is identical in both size and weight.
How To Avoid Broken Pallets (Regardless Of The Material)
How you care for your pallets is equally as important as the material they’re made of. Even if you are using wooden pallets instead of plastic pallets, below are some useful top tips for keeping them in excellent condition.
Carefully Stack And Store Pallets
First, be sure that you avoid stacking pallets too high to prevent them from falling over. Not only will this protect your pallets, but it will also help safeguard your employees from health and safety hazards. Some pallets with heavier goods on should only be stacked in single layers.
When it comes to storing your pallets, it is imperative that you keep them in cool, dry conditions. Storing wooden pallets in moist environments, for example, will encourage mould to form and gradually wear the pallet down over time.
Transport Pallets Safely
To ensure that your pallets do not become damaged or broken in transit, operatives must be cautious about the way in which they move them around. They must avoid dragging or aggressively pushing them across the floor.
Regular staff training will teach operatives how to lift pallets appropriately and help them learn the importance of proper handling procedures.
Adhere To Max Load Capacity
Each time that you purchase a new pallet – wooden or plastic – be sure to check its maximum load capacity. It is crucial that you know this figure in order to prevent overloading pallets with too much weight.
Failure to do so will result in permanent damage to your pallets’ structure.
Where Can I Source Reliable Plastic Pallets?
If you are looking for the most reliable pallets, look no further than Eco Pallets.