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Pallet Materials and Dimensions for Supply Chain Logistics

If you are starting up a business that involves the distribution of products locally or internationally, then you must be involved in the logistics part of your business as well. In layman’s terms, logistics involve the handling of the products from the one end to another end. It involves the pickup of the products from the factory line, storage of the products in a warehouse, then transporting the products to the end customers. When storing products in warehouses, it is also important that you have contacts with a pallet supplier to better store and move your products.

What Are Pallets?

Pallets are portable, flat, and rigid platforms that are used as bases for stacking, storing, handling, and transporting products by transport equipment such as conveyors and forklifts. Pallets are also useful in providing protection to the product that is placed on it.

In the supply chain process, pallets are an integral component of the unit load. The unit load is the term used for the system which includes the base pallet, the products on top of it, and the means to secure and stabilize the system such as stretch wraps or pallet collars.

What Materials Are Used for Pallets?

Pallets can be made from a huge variety of materials such as plastic, metal, composite, paper, and wood. However, wood such as pinewood and hardwood, are still the most common pallet materials being used and available to be purchased from a pallet supplier.

  • Wooden Pallets

Wooden pallets are the most common pallets being used in the supply chain process for the following reasons.

  • Cost- Wood materials used for the manufacturing of pallets are mostly from pinewood which is abundantly available and sustainable. This means that they are cheaper to acquire and costs significantly lesser than pallets made up of other materials.
  • Customization- A pallet supplier may easily customize the pallet sizes based on the requirements of their customers by adjusting the length of the wood needed to produce the pallet without having to perform major retooling.
  • Different Recycling Options- Wooden pallets are also appealing to a lot of customers since these pallets can be recycled and refurbished in different ways. There are a lot of ways to reuse wooden pallets such as creating DIY furniture from the pallet materials of discarded pallets.
  • Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are the second most common pallet materials being used in the supply chain process. Plastic pallets are extremely durable and are uniform in their size and weight. The uniformity and precision of manufacturing plastic pallets make them the ideal unit load bases for international shipping and export. However, pallets made from plastic are significantly more expensive than wooden pallets.

What Are the Most Common Sizes of Pallets?

To maximize trailer and container van spaces, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has standardized the recommended pallet dimensions into 48 inches by 40 inches, or 1219 mm by 1016 mm. The pallets that adhere to these dimensions are commonly referred to as GMA pallets and are accepted as a worldwide standard. However, other countries have their own standardized pallet dimensions such as a square 42 inches by 42 inches pallet, and the 48 inches by 48 inches pallet. In Australia, the standard pallet size is 1165 mm x 1165 mm.

A pallet supplier will generally customize the size of pallet that your company requires and may adjust according to your needs. However, it is best to adhere to the common pallet dimensions that are being used by logistics companies within your country and across the globe.

Author bio: Reba Webb is a freelance writer. Apart from writing quality articles on various niches, she likes to read & write fiction. More than anything, she loves to spend her time with her family, explaining technologies to the elders.

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