Pallets are the most popular way to store and transport goods within warehouses and distribution management. However, not all pallets are the same. You can choose from several different styles and materials for your pallets. Choosing an appropriate material is one of the ways you can reduce costs on your pallets. Here are the four different types of pallet materials and their advantages and disadvantages.
Wood is the most common pallet material used worldwide in various industries. Manufacturers typically produce wooden pallets from oak or pinewood. Some benefits of wood pallets include affordability, availability, and the ability to carry heavy loads. These pallets also have higher levels of friction, so products don’t slip or slide during transportation. The major downside of wood pallets is that they are more susceptible to rot, decay, and insect attacks.
Another popular material that manufacturers make pallets out of is plastic. People will often use plastic pallets to transport and store products like food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. Manufacturers make these pallets out of polyethylene or recycled plastic materials. Unlike wooden pallets, plastic pallets are resistant to water, weather, rot, and insect attacks. Plastic pallets are durable, easy to clean, and can last for decades. However, the main disadvantage of these pallets is that they tend to be costlier options.
Metal is a less common pallet material that only a few industries utilize for its strength and durability. Manufacturers make these pallets from aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Metal pallets are perfect for transporting military equipment, construction equipment, and automotive parts. The major benefits of metal pallets are their strength over other materials and resistance to weather, chemicals, microbes, and moisture. However, some metals are more prone to corrosion and rust than others. The other downside of metal pallets is that their weight increases transportation costs significantly.
Another pallet material option becoming more popular today is paper. Manufacturers produce these pallets out of recycled paper, cardboard, and corrugated sheets. People typically utilize these pallets to transport goods like beverages, food, shoes, and furniture. Paper pallets can handle heavy loads just like wooden or metal pallets, but they mostly manage light to medium weights. Paper pallets are the most cost effective and environmentally friendly of all the materials. However, the downside is that they are not water or fire-resistant.
Keep the four most common materials for pallets in mind as you determine the best choice for your organization. Weigh the pros and cons of each option to figure out what is the most suitable material for the goods you need to store and transport.