If you own or operate an export business in New Zealand, you’ll no doubt already be familiar with shipping pallets from NZ and the pallet export requirements. These ubiquitous items are essential for transporting goods at scale. While the specific regulations pertaining to exporting products vary across industries and countries, it is highly advisable, no matter where you work or what you work with, that you have a solid understanding of efficient shipping practices, international pallet sizes and the ISPM 15 customs regulations.
The following article goes over the important New Zealand pallet export requirements on international shipments.
New Zealand Export Pallet Dimensions
It is important that the recipient of your goods is capable of handling the shipment quickly, safely, and efficiently. Different companies will have different arrangements and systems in place for receiving and handling products. This includes variations in terms of things like fork-lift sizes and types of storage rack. Being aware of the specifics of their operation and sending goods on pallets that are compatible with their storage system is highly conducive to developing fruitful relationships with your clients.
The standard pallet size used for shipments in New Zealand is 1200 mm x 1000 mm. However, these are not standard measurements throughout the world. This is further complicated by the fact that, while most countries have a set of pallet dimensions which are considered the norm, any company is free to use whatever pallet sizes they choose. With this in mind, one of the most important parts of developing an international supply chain is communicating with the suppliers and partners you work with to establish which pallet measurements they use.
Typical export pallet dimensions include:
- 1000 mm x 1200 mm, frequently used in the US.
- 1100 mm x 1100 mm, popular in Asia.
- 1200 mm x 800 mm, common in Europe.
Also, keep in mind that conventions similarly differ across different industries. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has detailed six main categories of size that most businesses use in their export operations when choosing pallet sizes.
The following table will helpfully provide you with a point of reference for likely pallet sizes according to location.
|Dimensions||Countries commonly used in|
|1219 mm x 1016 mm||North America and South America|
|1200 mm x 800 mm||Europe including the UK|
|1067 mm x 1067 mm||European Asia, North America|
|1165 mm x 1165 mm||Australia|
|1100 mm x 1100 mm||Asia|
|1200 mm x 1000 mm||New Zealand, Europe, Asia|
Pallet Export Requirements In New Zealand: How To Meet ISPM 15 Regulations
In developing your international supply chain there are additional challenges to overcome. As well as arranging suitable sizes for your pallets, you will also need to ensure that you are satisfying international customs regulations. In approaching this problem, you need to gain familiarity with ISPM 15 regulations. These policies were co-authored by a number of nations across the world and act as a set of standards for international shipments that involve wood packaging.
Specifically, the ISPM 15 regulations were designed to tackle the international spread of disease and insects through wooden transport materials, and thus protect ecosystems around the world. Unfortunately, wood makes for an ideal home for a range of pests and bacteria that can threaten different environments. This makes transport between countries a particularly salient worry.
As shipments that contain wooden transport materials arrive at customs, those transporting them will have to provide evidence that they have been sufficiently treated so as to prevent contagions spreading to the recipient country. This means that you will need to prove that you have fumigated the wood in question, by presenting the appropriate documentation. To be extra cautious, it is wise to check whether countries you are shipping to conduct any additional checks for signs of infestation.
It is very important that all paperwork associated with this process is correct and in good condition. Any paperwork issues may lead to significant delays. It may be the case that you have to pay for your pallets to be treated again. But in severe cases shipments are returned to their port of origin for not meeting these standards adequately.
Companies that opt to use plastic export pallets rather than wooden ones don’t need to worry about this at all.
Other Pallet Considerations For International Shipping
A further issue that you need to take into account is the weight and strength of your pallets. These items need to operate throughout the entire transport process. They must pass through many companies’ hands, and they are all likely to have different operating systems. As such, it is important that your pallet be sturdy enough to handle this.
Each pallet is limited in terms of the maximum weight they can carry. These limits differ according to whether or not the pallets are being stored on the ground, being transported, or being loaded onto racking. This adds an extra layer of complexity to your operations. That’s because if your partners plan on moving the goods around or storing them up high in their warehouses, you will need to find out exactly how they intend on doing this. It will help you ensure that the pallets you use are compatible with these plans.
In terms of the weight of the pallets themselves, this is a variable that pertains more to your own operations than your partners’. It will be beneficial to keep the weight to a minimum so as to save on weight-based shipping fees. It goes without saying that the lighter the freight is the less you spend on fuel. In this regard, plastic is a much better choice of material, since plastic pallets are significantly lighter than wooden ones.
It is also the case that shipping providers sometimes calculate costs based on the volume of space that a shipment occupies. In this instance, it is beneficial to consider what pallet sizes would make the most efficient use of space during both the outgoing and return journeys.
If you need some advice around the type of pallets that would best support your New Zealand export business – contact Eco Pallets today. As experts in all things pallet and shipping-related, including customs regulations and typical dimensions, we are on hand to assist you.
For more information about exporting things from New Zealand, abroad, you can visit the Ministry For Primary Industries and find specific requirements for product-specific scenarios; from animals to plants to food and beverage.
You can also view our most frequently asked questions.
Next: Comparison of wooden pallets vs plastic pallets.