Pallets

Pallets are load platforms with both a top and bottom deck that are primarily used to store and transport materials. They are essential to nearly any warehouse space for shipping or organizing large bundles of products. To secure items on a pallet, it’s recommended to wrap them with stretch wrap. Pallets come in a variety of different configurations, so read carefully to make sure you spec your product correctly.

Attributes

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Capacity

Performance

The maximum weight a pallet can support.


There are three common ways to measure capacity:

  • Dynamic Load Capacity - maximum weight capacity for pallet while moving.
  • Static Load Capacity - maximum weight capacity for pallet while stationary.
  • Rackable Capacity - maximum weight capacity for a pallet while on a pallet racking system.


What’s the difference between static load and dynamic load?

The primary difference is that static loads don’t move and dynamic loads do. Typically a static load is a loaded pallet on the floor and a dynamic load is a loaded pallet on moving equipment.

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Class

Style

A pallet class refers to the structural design of a pallet. 


There are two common classes:

  • Block – named for the 9 blocks that are placed in corners and centers of each side of the pallet. Commonly thought to be stronger than stringer pallets, but results vary by manufacturer. Also referred to as a “four-way” pallet for its four entries. 
  • Stringer – named for the stringers (typically three planks that run parallel and lengthwise down 2 sides and the center of the pallet) used to support the load. Also referred to as a “two-way” pallet for its two entries, but can be modified for 4-way entry.

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Entry

Style

A pallet entry is an opening on the side of a pallet for inserting the forks from a forklift or similar moving equipment.


What’s the difference between a 2-way pallet and a 4-way pallet?

  • 2-way – entries on two sides for forklifting.
  • 4-way – entries on all four sides. 

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Height

Dimension

The overall height of the pallet from floor to surface.

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Length

Dimension

The overall length of the pallet from edge to edge.

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Material

Style

What are the different pallet materials?

There are three primary materials used in pallets:

  • Wood – the most common type of pallet. Cheap and easily customizable sizes and strengths. Note that wood pallets get wet and are prone to bacteria build-up, so do not use them for transporting food, beverages, chemicals, or other substances that can’t be contaminated.
  • Metal – the strongest type of pallet, typically available in aluminum or galvanized steel. Expensive, but useful for heavy loads, extremely durable, and high weather-resistance. 
  • Plastic – the most versatile type of pallet, available in ACM, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and PVC. Used in nearly every industry for any type of load, subject to weight constraints. High durability (don’t need to be discarded often) and protection to ensure items are less likely to be damaged during transportation. Recyclable.

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Type

Use Case Specific

There are three common types of pallets:

  • Nestable – for nested stacking. Reduce space, decrease freight costs, and lower unit cost. 
  • Stackable – for stacking on top of one another. Save floor space, provide a solid platform, and suitable for racking. 
  • Rackable – for storage on supported or edge rack systems.


What’s the difference between nestable and stackable pallets?

Nestable pallets “nest” inside one another, while stackable pallets “stack” on top of each other. Due to their design, nestable pallets save more space in comparison to stackable pallets when empty.

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Width

Dimension

The overall width of the pallet from edge to edge.

Frequently Asked Questions

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We’re always working to improve the quality of our knowledge base. If there’s anything you think we’re missing or needs changing on this page, let us know.

What is the point of pallets?

Pallets are primarily used to store and transport materials while protecting your load in the process.

What is a combo pallet?

A combo pallet is a wood pallet with both new and recycled wood – reducing costs while maintaining the strength of a new pallet.

What can I use instead of pallets?

Slip sheets are commonly used instead of pallets, though you’ll need to weight the pro’s and con’s before choosing which is best for you.

What is a 2 way pallet?

A 2-way pallet is a pallet with 2 entry points for a forklift.

When did pallets come into use?

The early 1920s.

What's the difference between a skid and a pallet?

A skid has no bottom deck, while a pallet does.

How many types of pallets are there?

There are three primary types of pallet (see Materials).

What dimensions are pallets?

Dimensions are customizable based on your needs, though you’ll need to consider what is compatible with your forklift, racking, or other storage/moving systems used in your operation.

How much weight can a pallet hold?

To figure out how much weight a pallet can hold, simply check the dynamic, static, and rackable load capacities. These numbers will ultimately vary depending on the material, class, and manufacturer.

Stackable vs. nestable pallets?

Nestable pallets “nest” inside one another, while stackable pallets “stack” on top of each other. Due to their design, nestable pallets save more space in comparison to stackable pallets when empty.

How much does it cost for a pallet? 

With prices constantly changing and 100s of vendors out there, the easiest way to find out is with Response.

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