The material handling sector is growing quickly. Accelerated by Covid-19, this sector has just got a whole lot busier and will continue to for the foreseeable future, with growth estimated to continue over the next few years.
Pallets are extremely important in the material handling sector; they’re critical to the business operation and the type of pallet is important too.
Wooden pallets are most cost-effective
Wooden pallets are by far the most common pallet type, with over three billion in circulation throughout Europe. The reason that wood is the most common material for pallets is because a pallet isn’t an investment the business can hold onto; once it leaves your doors, you probably won’t see it again. Therefore, a wooden pallet is much more affordable because the price per pallet is a small fraction of a plastic or metal pallet.
What size pallet for my business?
In the UK and Europe, the most commonly used pallet is the euro pallet. The euro pallet is 1200 x 800mm, and if your goods are shipped to and from the UK, this is a standard European size. The euro pallet is also very popular in the UK. Of course, pallets come in all sizes and there are a number of other less common sizes that are stocked as standard within pallet companies, ranging from 600mm x 400mm up to 1200 x 1200mm. If you have a custom pallet size requirement, a reputable pallet supplier will be able to provide you with custom pallets. This is something we do for customers who typically need the pallet to meet their load, storage and handling requirements.
Should I buy new or used pallets?
Used pallets typically cost around 60% less and they’re usually refurbished to a high standard, which makes them a popular choice for many businesses. There are pros and cons to used pallets. The main benefit is cost but you must also consider performance and durability of the pallet. Used pallets are graded, so you can purchase different grades depending on requirements. The grades meet different weight brackets, but also other standards such as the finish and look and whether they can be stored on pallet racking.
In the food industry, the finish of the pallet must be clean and splinter-free in order to avoid any potential contamination. Other sectors such as pharmaceutical also have legislative requirements, which means a new pallet might be the only suitable solution.
What grade of pallet for my business?
Used euro pallets are graded A through to D. Grade A is the highest quality pallet. It is able to take up to 2500kg of weight and is often used with pallet racking. Grade A pallets are very ‘clean’ in appearance. Grade B pallets perform to the same weight capacity and can also be used with pallet racking. However, they are grade b pallets because they tend to look more used and weathered. If presentation of the pallet is important, then grade b pallets won’t be suitable for your business. Grade C pallets are much lighter, weighing in at 12kg and their maximum weight capacity is 750kg. This makes a grade C pallet unsuitable for pallet racking. Grade D is lighter still and its maximum weight load is 300kg. A grade D pallet is also not suitable for pallet racking.
Heat treated pallets
ISPM15 is the new European legislation that requires all pallets, which are being shipped to and from Europe, to be heat-treated and stamped. The reason for this is to prevent disease and infection. Pallets are re-used over and over again and untreated wood can carry many diseases. As the pallet is passed from business to business and from country to country, this presents a potential health risk on a large scale. Therefore, if you are importing or exporting goods, your pallet must meet ISPM15 standards. Pallets are treated with heat using a kiln that heats the pallet to a minimum core temperature of 56 degrees celcius.
To read the full government guidelines on ISPM15, visit their website: ttps://www.gov.uk/wood-packaging-import-export
What do I do with pallet waste?
Space is premium and as the warehousing and logistics sector gets busier, pallets can become a real nuisance to businesses. If you use a lot of pallets, then a pallet waste management and collection service is probably best for you. You may also wish to read about the different ways to get rid of your pallets
If you’d like a quote for your pallet requirements, or if you’d like more help and guidance to choosing the right type of pallet, please contact us at TIPCI HQ.