A pallet is used to store or transport certain unit loads. Generally, the pallets that are used are wooden; but some also use metal, plastic and sometimes those made from recycled material. Each type has its own pros and cons.
Purpose of using pallets –
The pallet has been around for quite a long time, and it is due to its multiple uses. When goods need to be exported, it is easier to load them onto pallets, strap them or shrink wrap them and then ship them. The goods fit into the containers perfectly because of the consistency in size. They can be stacked one on top and thus there is efficient usage of space.
- Due to the pallet structures, it is easier and faster to load as well as unload goods on trucks on containers. Heavy products are lifted with the help of pallet jacks or forklifts. Movement thus is made quite easy.
- When goods are supported by pallets it protects and supports them during the transit.
- Generally, equal distribution of goods is done on pallets and thus it becomes quite easy for stocktaking and shelving.
- Pallets are mostly reusable and durable and hence reduce storage and handling costs.
- Pallets can also be made in such a way that they could feature your company brand and thus acts as an extension too.
- Pallets also reduce risk of damage to both goods and employees handling these goods.
Benefits of different types –
As we have already mentioned, pallets are made from various materials. Now, let’s look at the benefits of some of them.
- Metal or aluminum pallets are stronger and thus used for heavy products, for sea storage, or for outdoor storage over a long term as they are weather resistant. Catering businesses prefer these as they are easy to sanitize and maintain. These are also recyclable.
- Plywood Pallets are perfect for light weight products. These are quite apt for rack or layer stocking.
- Wooden Pallets which are the most commonly used are found in various designs. These are mostly preferred due to their low cost and also as they can be easily repaired and recycled.
- Presswood Pallets are molded from dried wood fibers using high temperatures and pressure. These are also quite light in weight, strong and recyclable.
- These days, Plastic Pallets are also becoming quite common because of their stability and safety. Also they do not need much maintenance. It is low in weight and resistant to weather factors. Some places have timber pallet restrictions, in such cases these pallets are optimum. These are also resistant to chemicals and have a long life span.
- Corrugated Cardboard Pellets are made in such a way that they can withhold a weight of about 750kgs. These are deceptively strong and easy to handle. They’re also quite cheap and totally recyclable. However, they do not withstand outdoor weather factors.
Importance of Pallets –
Frankly, the global supply chain would probably be at a standstill without pallets. They’ve actually been called the workhorses of a warehouse. Take a look around and you would find pallets being used even in your local grocery store. These are used to transport almost everything and anything in the world.
Pallets play a key role in moving several types of products. They are typically the bond that connects manufacturers, distributors, retailers, even farmers at some level as well as the transport and logistics providers. And this is across all kinds of industries.
If pallet systems are managed efficiently, they can help in improving efficiencies as well as economies in the supply chain.
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