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Plastic Pallets are the First Stop for Efficient Shipping and Storage

If you’re exploring the switch to plastic pallets, this detailed guide unpacks the essentials: durability, safety, and sustainability. Before you decide, understand how plastic pallets stand up to repeated use, the safety features they offer, and the ways they can contribute to greener operations.

Key Takeaways

  • Plastic pallets offer durability, safety, and hygiene over wooden counterparts—lasting up to ten times longer, reducing the chances of injuries due to nails or splinters, and resisting moisture and pests.
  • Plastic pallets come in various designs to meet different needs, including nestable, rackable, and export pallets, for efficient storage, safety in racking systems, and ease in international shipping.
  • Sustainability is a key advantage of using plastic pallets. They are made from recyclable materials, can be easily recycled at the end of their lifespan, and their production is energy-efficient, contributing to a circular economy.

The Advantages of Plastic Pallets

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Imagine a tool that is as strong as it is light, as durable as it is versatile. That’s what you get with plastic pallets. With consistent size and strength, these pallets offer reliable performance, ensuring your goods are safe and secure. But their benefits don’t stop there. Plastic pallets outlast their wooden counterparts by up to ten times, offering a maximum return on investment and reducing the risk of splintering or nail-related injuries common with wooden pallets.

Safer manual handling is another remarkable advantage of plastic pallets. Their design eliminates the risks associated with nails or splinters, reducing the chances of injuries. Plus, their impervious nature to moisture, weak acids, and alkalis make them versatile tools for different storage conditions, ensuring your products remain safe and secure no matter where they are stored.

Durable and Long-lasting

The secret to the durability of plastic pallets lies in their high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP) composition. These materials provide the robustness required for repeated use, ensuring the pallets can withstand heavy loads without giving in. While HDPE and PP do increase the initial cost of the pallets, their longevity and resistance to damage make them a cost-effective solution in the long run.

In fact, the upfront investment in plastic pallets is balanced by long-term savings from reduced replacement costs and added safety for products and workers. Plus, the molding process under extreme pressure ensures accuracy in dimensions and loading capacities, creating pallets designed to endure high-repeat use and rigorous conditions, making them perfect for closed-loop systems.

Lightweight and Easy to Handle

Another commendable feature of plastic pallets is their lightweight design. Tipping the scale at around 22 kilos, a typical plastic pallet is almost half the weight of a wooden pallet, which can weigh about 40 kilos. This reduced weight makes it easier for workers to handle the pallets manually and use equipment such as forklifts, even when loaded with heavy items.

Moreover, the design and materials of plastic pallets offer several safety benefits:

  • They eliminate the risk of loose components that could cause injury when lifting.
  • They facilitate safer manual handling conditions.
  • They ensure a safer working environment.

So, not only do plastic pallets lighten the load but they also ensure a safer working environment, making them a winning choice for storage and shipping needs.

Resistant to Pests and Moisture

Plastic pallets also shine in industries that prioritize hygiene. Their smooth and non-porous surface resists bacteria and contaminants, making them an ideal choice for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Plus, they are easy to clean and sanitize, ensuring they maintain cleanliness and safeguard against contamination.

The design of plastic pallets offers several advantages:

  • They are devoid of hidden crevices, ensuring they remain free from dirt, dust, mold, and pests.
  • They are impermeable to particles, guaranteeing a contaminant-free state for the goods they carry.
  • They are resistant to weak acids and alkalis, enhancing their suitability for various storage environments.
  • They are non-hygroscopic, outperforming wooden pallets in maintaining product safety during exporting processes.

Types of Plastic Pallets for Various Needs

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Just like a versatile actor who can play a variety of roles, plastic pallets come in various designs to cater to different storage and shipping needs. Some common types of plastic pallets include:

  • Stackable pallets
  • Nestable pallets
  • Rackable pallets
  • Display pallets

There is a ready plastic pallet for every requirement.

Nestable plastic pallets, as the name suggests, nest within each other when not in use, saving significant storage and transportation space. On the other hand, rackable plastic pallets feature picture frame bottoms or three runners for stable storage in racking systems. Stackable pallets can be stacked one on top of another when loaded, optimizing space usage in warehouses with limited area.

Then there are different types of pallets, including:

  • Standard pallets, which are used for general storage and transportation purposes
  • Export pallets, which are designed for one-way use and conform to international standards, simplifying global trade
  • Display pallets, which are crafted for retail settings and provide a visually appealing and durable platform that eases the transition from shipment to merchandise display.

Nestable Pallets

Nestable plastic pallets are designed to nest into each other when not in use, creating a Russian doll effect. This design significantly reduces the overall space needed for storage, making them a favorite choice for industries looking to save space.

The retail sector, for example, can benefit from the space-saving features of nestable plastic pallets, especially for display purposes. The efficient storage and optimized space utilization offered by nestable plastic pallets mean you can stock more products in the same area, boosting your operational efficiency.

Rackable Pallets

Rackable plastic pallets are specialized pallets designed to be used with racking systems. They effectively optimize warehouse space and storage capabilities, allowing for better organization and easy access to goods.

These pallets typically feature:

  • a picture frame bottom or three runners, enabling safe and stable placement on racking systems
  • edge-rackability, meaning they can be stored on their edges within a rack without warping
  • the ability to support considerable weight, with some being able to handle up to 1250kg in racking systems

This aids in efficient storage and transportation solutions.

Export Pallets

When it comes to international ship transport, black plastic export pallets, also known as skids, are a game-changer. They are exempt from the International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) regulations, which apply to wood packaging, making them a hassle-free option.

Export pallets are:

  • Crafted to meet international shipping protocols
  • Typically made from 100 percent recyclable materials, aligning with the trend of eco-conscious shipping practices
  • Specifically designed for one-way exporting
  • Adaptable for longer-term purposes, showcasing their versatility.

For longevity in transit, these pallets conform to international shipping standards and possess the necessary durability to withstand multiple handling procedures and long-distance travel.

Going Green with Plastic Pallets

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While plastic pallets are the unsung heroes of the shipping and storage industry, they also play a vital role in promoting sustainability. They last up to ten times longer than wooden ones, reducing waste and enhancing sustainability. This longevity means they need to be replaced less often, which reduces waste and enhances sustainability.

Moreover, once plastic pallets reach the end of their usefulness, they can be recycled instead of being sent to landfills, thereby minimizing waste. This practice aligns with the current global push towards a circular economy, where resources are reused and recycled rather than discarded, and companies are encouraged to add sustainable solutions like plastic pallets to their operations.

Furthermore, the production of plastic pallets often incorporates recycled materials, further diminishing their overall environmental footprint.

Eco-friendly Material

Plastic pallets often owe their green credentials to the eco-friendly materials used in their production. Many plastic pallets and boxes are made from recycled materials, minimizing the need for new, virgin plastics and thus reducing environmental impact. In contrast to the red flags raised by some traditional manufacturing methods, these green practices are a step in the right direction, leaving behind the yellow caution signs of less sustainable options.

The materials used for creating recycled plastic pallets include a mix of unusable pallets and other plastic waste, such as bottle tops. Therefore, using plastic pallets made from recycled materials helps to reduce environmental impact and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability. Plus, post-use, plastic pallets can be reprocessed to produce new products, creating a closed-loop system that prevents contribution to landfill waste.

Some suppliers even provide 100% recycled plastic pallet options that comply with ISPM 15 regulations, ensuring eco-friendliness without compromising international shipping standards.

Easy Recycling

Recycling plastic pallets is a straightforward process that supports environmentally friendly practices. These pallets are designed to be recyclable, maximizing their use throughout their life cycle.

The recycling process for plastic pallets includes the following steps:

  1. Collection of used plastic pallets, regardless of their shapes, sizes, colors, and conditions, typically sourced from large facilities.
  2. Sorting the pallets based on their plastic composition.
  3. Shredding the pallets into smaller pieces.
  4. Blending the shredded plastic to ensure consistency.
  5. Granulating the plastic into small pellets.
  6. Removing any metal components from the plastic.
  7. Recycling the plastic pellets to create new plastic products.

This recycling process is not just eco-friendly; it also contributes to the economy by creating jobs, reducing waste management costs, and supporting the market.

Energy-efficient Production

The production of plastic pallets offers several benefits:

  • It is eco-friendly
  • It is energy-efficient
  • Life-cycle assessments take into consideration their extended life cycle
  • They have lower environmental impacts from emissions and resources consumed during production

These assessments note emissions and resources consumed but also factor in the extended usability of plastic pallets over wooden ones, contributing to a lower overall environmental impact. For instance, a study by Virginia Tech on Orbis Corporation’s plastic pallets showed that their reusable plastic pallet could endure 280 use cycles, much higher than the 11 cycles for wooden pallets, highlighting energy savings across the pallet’s life span.

Choosing the Right Plastic Pallet for Your Business

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Choosing the right plastic pallet for your business is crucial for ensuring safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Several factors come into play when making this selection, including the load capacity, dimensions, and industry requirements of the pallets.

Considering the load capacity is crucial to ensure the pallets can safely support the weight of the products being stored or shipped. Likewise, choosing the right dimensions is key for efficient use of space in storage areas and transportation vehicles. It’s also essential to select pallets that are compatible with your existing equipment, such as forklifts and racking systems, to maintain an efficient workflow.

Load Capacity

Load capacity is a critical consideration when selecting plastic pallets for the storage and shipping of products. An iGPS plastic pallet, for instance, can sustain various loads, including a 2,800-pound edge-rackable load, a 30,000-pound static load at rest, and a dynamic load of 5,000 pounds when evenly distributed.

Maintaining within the dynamic load capacity is crucial to avoid pallet breakage during movement, which is essential to prevent costly delays within warehouses and across the supply chain. Plastic pallet load capacities vary based on the material used (virgin or recycled) and their design (rackable, stackable, nestable, etc.), highlighting the need to evaluate load capacity as a factor in pallet quality.

Dimensions

Choosing the correct size of a pallet is as crucial as picking the right outfit for an occasion. The standard 48” x 40” pallet, also known as a GMA pallet, is the most commonly used size for storage and transportation.

Aside from the standard GMA pallet, the 42” x 42” and 48” x 48” pallet sizes are also popular to meet diverse storage systems and transportation methods. Proper pallet sizing is key to optimizing trailer space, contributing to more efficient loading and unloading processes.

Choosing the correct pallet size requires evaluating the size and weight of the load, as well as the specific shipping process requirements, ranging from standard, Euro, half, to quarter pallets.

Industry Requirements

Different industries have different requirements when it comes to pallets. For instance, iGPS plastic pallets comply with the highest standards of platform hygiene as mandated by the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, ensuring their suitability for applications involving food products.

Industries with strict hygiene standards should prioritize smooth, non-porous plastic pallets that are easy to sanitize and resistant to moisture, chemicals, and bacteria. The pharmaceutical industry particularly benefits from pallets composed of hygienic materials.

On the other hand, plastic pallets have several advantages over wooden pallets:

  • They are not subject to ISPM15 regulations, which diminishes the complexity of international shipping procedures.
  • They do not need to be heat-treated and certified like wooden packaging.
  • They offer customization options for branding, enhancing brand consistency.

These advantages make plastic pallets a versatile and convenient option for shipping and packaging.

Plastic Pallet Offers and Sales

Getting the best deal on plastic pallets is not just about finding the lowest price; it’s about getting the best value for your money. And there are several ways to achieve this. Plastic pallets are often available at discounted rates through overstock sales and special promotional offers.

Clearance events are an excellent opportunity to acquire plastic pallets at a reduced price, especially during a sale when sellers are looking to clear out inventory for new models. Moreover, businesses purchasing large quantities of plastic pallets can often negotiate bulk pricing, which may involve discounts or added benefits like free shipping.

Finding Deals

Online industrial suppliers offer a selection of plastic pallets for bulk purchase, catering to various use-cases and specifications. By comparing the offers from different suppliers, you can find the best deals that provide the most value for your money.

Remember, the cheapest option may not always be the best. It’s important to consider the quality, durability, and the specific needs of your business when evaluating different deals. With the right research and a bit of patience, you can score fantastic deals on high-quality plastic pallets.

Buying in Bulk

Buying in bulk is a tried-and-true strategy to save money, and it’s no different when it comes to purchasing plastic pallets. Bulk purchase discounts on plastic pallets are available through various industrial suppliers, providing style options tailored to specific needs.

Purchasing plastic pallets in bulk is more cost-effective as suppliers often offer discounts to bulk buyers, leading to significant savings. Moreover, establishing a long-term relationship with a plastic pallet supplier is beneficial due to potential scarcity and specific industrial requirements, ensuring a reliable source for future bulk purchases.

Evaluating Quality

Quality is paramount when choosing plastic pallets. Good quality pallets feature:

  • Four-way access
  • Resistance to various substances and organisms
  • Closed-deck designs
  • Gas-assisted technology for heightened rigidity
  • Rounded borders for reduced fork access damage, especially in high rotation usage.

Partnering with a reputable supplier guarantees not only quality assurance but also expert customer service and compliance with specific needs in diverse industries. Requesting plastic pallet samples for testing purposes and obtaining feedback from warehouse staff, such as forklift operators, is essential to assess the real-world performance and identify any practical challenges before making a bulk purchase.

Summary

In conclusion, plastic pallets are a game-changer in the shipping and storage industry. Their durability, lightweight nature, and resistance to pests and moisture make them a safer and more efficient choice for handling goods. With various types catering to different needs, eco-friendly production methods, and the potential to find great deals, plastic pallets offer a range of advantages over their traditional counterparts. It’s time to embrace the potential of plastic pallets and step into a more efficient and sustainable future!

Frequently Asked Questions

The problem with plastic pallets is that they are up to three times more expensive than wooden pallets and are difficult to repair, often requiring replacement when broken. Therefore, quick fixes are rarely an option.

No, plastic pallets are not cheaper than wood, as they can cost up to three times more and are difficult to repair, often requiring replacement when broken. Therefore, they are not a cost-effective option compared to wood pallets.
Plastic pallets are commonly manufactured from virgin or recycled HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) or PP (Polypropylene). These are the primary materials used in their production.
Plastic pallets come in different designs such as nestable, rackable, stackable, and display pallets, serving various storage and shipping requirements.
Yes, plastic pallets are eco-friendly as they are made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan, reducing waste and enhancing sustainability.
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