Within the shipping and receiving industry, no other item sees as much traffic and use as the common pallet. Often referred to as skids, these structurally sound platforms are used to stack, transport and move goods more efficiently and safely.
How The Pallet Has Impacted Supply Chains
It’s hard to believe, but without the pallet, the way we ship and receive goods would be far more difficult and time consuming. Not only would goods have to be hand stacked in trucks or containers for shipment, but they would also have to be unloaded and processed entirely by hand as well.
Without pallets, there would be no need for forklifts, stacking lifts or pallet jacks. What now takes just minutes to accomplish, would take several people hours to complete. Because of these small square and rectangular platforms, large amounts of materials, merchandise and supplies can reach their destinations according to schedule.
Visiting the Delivery Quote Compare website when you are looking to find a courier is always a great plan. If it’s freight delivery to France you’re needing, then consider Barrington Freight. Choosing the right vendor is critical in maintaining accurate timescales, controlling costs and turning those positive forecasts into well executed plans.
Different Types of Pallets And Their Applications
While pallets are constructed from a variety of different materials, they all serve the purpose of safely, securely and efficiently moving goods from place to place. There are however, numerous instances when one type of pallet is more suitable than another.
Softwood – These pallets are on the low end of the commonly used material types. They break easily and often cannot be salvaged for reuse. Softwood pallets are only suitable for transporting light weight merchandise. Because of the material’s tendency to bend under weight, heavy loads are not ideal. Too much weight placed on a softwood pallet will impede transport ability with manual and powered pallet jacks.
Plastic – Plastic pallets typically come in two different types. Hard plastic pallets are great for transporting heavy loads and will last for many years, possibly even a lifetime. Softer plastic pallets are a more durable alternative to softwood. While they will bend under heavy loads, they don’t break easily despite their light weight.
Hardwood – The most commonly used type of pallet today. This is likely because hardwood pallets can be re-used for many years and are capable of holding tremendous amounts of weight. Hardwood pallets are also easy to repair if they encounter damages.
Metal – As expected, metal pallets are most commonly used within heavy industrial sectors. These pallets are needed to carry loads that exceed 2 tons. Heavy equipment and machinery are often transported on these types of pallets.
Paper – The cheapest and least sustainable of all pallet types. Paper pallets are often part of fabricated company shipments that contain light weight merchandise or supplies. The paper is extremely thick, and paper pallets are capable of handling more weight than might be expected.
Regardless of the material used to fabricate them, there are two common styles of pallets used in commercial shipping. Stringer pallets are the most common kind of pallet. They get their name from the parallel pieces of wood used in their construction that are also known by the same name.
Block pallets or four-way pallets differ from stringers because they can be jacked or lifted from both sides. These type of pallets offer improved flexibility over stringer pallets, but are not a necessity within most shipping and transport operations.
Pallets Benefit Commercial Shipping In Many Ways
Without the pallet, courier and shipping services would operate quite differently. When an order is placed, its contents is securely stacked on a pallet, strapped or shrink wrapped if needed, and then loaded onto a truck or container for departure.
Whether you are looking to ship skateboards or wedding jewellery, commercial shipping is an integral part of your business functions and, as such, requires considerable time in planning, selecting and learning about.
No matter what the goods being shipped are, this is the typical process of preparing product for commercial transport. The next time you place or fill an order for your business, think of what it would be like without the pallet. After considering the cost of additional labor and resources, it’s clear to see that many businesses could not operate without the amazing, yet simple help of the pallet.