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Pallet Buying Guide

Aug 17, 2007
The most important part of any busiess that has a traditional brick and mortar distribution system are pallets. They are an integral part of the transportation business and are indispensable when it comes to storing and moving cargo. Having good pallets can potentially save thousands of dollars worth of product that would otherwise have fallen and broken.

1. Pallets

Every good business should consider purchasing or constructing their own pallets. Pallets are, as you know, flat devices that allow the transportation or the moving of cargo by the use of forklifts or jacks. They make sure that the cargo is stable and balanced. Pallets are usually made out of plastic or wood, and can be secured by plastic wrapping or by straps that go around it.

2. Pallet Information

Surveys show that over half a billion pallets are manufactured each year in the United States. Most of these pallets are made out of wood in fact, 90 percent of them are. Because of this great demand, pallet construction typically uses up to 12 percent of the total lumber production in the United States and only home construction needs outstrips this demand.

Pallets have truly revolutionized the transport business. In the older days, it would take about 3 days to unload cargo from a train because it was unpalletized. When pallets where introduced, it then took only 4 hours to unload most cargo from trains. This is because pallets make carrying a whole load of cargo a lot easier and simple on a single pass.

If you are looking to buy pallets and are looking for hard and fast tips for purchasing them, then look at the following before going to your supplier.

Size Most pallets are of the standard 40 by 48 by 5 inch dimension. This is the standard measurement for such equipment. Most lifting and heavy-industry transportation device will support this size.

Of course, if your machine is specialized, or if your industry makes the use of varying size pallets necessary, then do cater your pallets to your needs. It is easy to have these fit your needs; just ask your contractor or your supplier.

And with the introduction of ISO standards, it has become increasingly easier to match ISO qualified pallets with ISO qualified containers. This has proven to be a blessing to transport companies as everything now seems to fit each other thanks to standardization.

Strength Pallets should be able to handle weights up to 2000 pound easily. Consult your suppliers for figures as most modern pallets are capable of handling more than this amount. Also you should make sure that the actual amount the pallet carries hitches up to 80 to 90 percent of its announced limit.

Wood pallets are popular nowadays, but there are up and coming alternatives that, while still expensive, could very well be the next generation of pallets. Plastic and other materials are being experimented with to provide the strength needed by these equipments. They should also be lightweight as well.

Safety Pallets that are made of wood should be inspected if they pass the safety ratings of the International Plant Protection Convention. The IPPC strives to make standards so that wood pallets do not unwittingly become carriers of not only cargo but also insects and tiny plants.

3. What Pallet Is Right For My Business?

If you are going to use your pallets for a very long time, it is in your best interests to use metal pallets. Pallets that require a light weight should be plastic. Pallets that need to be cheap and easily repairable should be wood.
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