What are wooden pallets?

A pallet (also called a skid) is a flat transport structure that stably supports goods when lifted with a forklift, pallet truck, front end loader, lift or crane. The pallet is the structural basis of the unit load and allows for efficient handling and storage. Goods in shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with tape, stretch wrap, or shrink wrap and shipped. Since its invention in the 20th century, its use has significantly replaced older crate forms such as the wooden box and wooden barrel, as it works well with modern packaging such as corrugated boxes and intermodal containers commonly used in bulk shipping. In addition, pallet frames can be used to support and protect goods that are shipped and stored on pallets.

While most pallets are made from wood, pallets can also be made from plastic, metal, paper and recycled materials.
Shipping containerization has encouraged the use of pallets because shipping containers have smooth, flat surfaces necessary for moving pallets easily. Many pallets can carry a load of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). As of 2020, approximately half a billion pallets are produced each year, and approximately two billion pallets are used in the United States alone.

Pallets make it easy to move heavy stacks. Loads with pallets underneath can be towed with forklifts of all sizes, as well as hand pumped and towed pallet trucks. Traffic is easy on a large, firm and flat ground: the concrete is excellent. The largest investment required for an economical use of pallets is the construction of commercial or industrial buildings. The ability to go through standard doors and buildings makes it more convenient to use. For this reason, some modern standard pallets are designed to fit through a standard door, such as a B. European pallet (800mm × 1200mm) and US pallet. Military 890 mm × 1,160 mm (35 in × 45.5 in).

The lack of a unified international standard for pallets results in significant and ongoing expenses in international trade. A single standard is difficult due to the multitude of requirements a standard pallet would have to meet: fit through doors, place in standard containers and keep labor costs down. For example, organizations that already handle large pallets often see no reason to incur the higher handling costs associated with using smaller pallets to go through the door.

Eighteen-wheel wagon for transporting used wooden pallets
California wood pallet truck used
Pallet pooling is becoming more and more common due to cost reasons and the need to focus on core business. Some pallet suppliers offer users reusable pallets, sometimes with built-in tracking devices. A pallet transport company can help you deliver, clean, repair and reuse your pallets.

Heavy duty pallets are a form of reusable packaging and are designed to be used over and over again. Lightweight paddles are disposable. In the EU, legislation based on the Waste Framework Directive requires packaging to be reused rather than recycled and disposed of.

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