What is a Plastic Pallet?

Back before there were pallets, moving and storing large and extremely heavy industrial products and objects was a lot more difficult. Thankfully, today pallet technology has made industrial storing and international freight shipping not only feasible but even routine. A pallet is a very simply designed technology made of simple materials that is remarkably effective in holding very heavy loads and making them fast and easy to move around on flat surfaces and into and out of freight trucks for fast shipping. A traditional wooden pallet is made of uniform wooden planks, running in a cross hatch pattern with thin gaps of about 6 inches between the floor and the top of the pallet, where workers can insert the front tongs of a pallet jack or the forks of a forklift machine. Once the pallet is loaded up with extremely heavy goods, a worker can insert a pallet jack or forklift into the pallet to quickly and easily move the entire load from one spot on a flat surface to another. While wooden pallets are extremely common and well known, even more advanced and new pallets, known as plastic pallets are becoming increasingly prevalent and popular due to their special features and capabilities that wooden pallets lack. Plastic pallets are setting new standards in shipping and industrial storage thanks to their extreme strength, durability and low prices.

Why Are Plastic Pallets Special?

Plastic pallets have a number of advantages over normal wooden pallets. For one thing, plastic pallets are extremely strong and can hold static loads of up to 30,000lbs as long as the plastic pallets doing so are going to remain in place. If they are going to be moved on pallet jacks or forklifts, plastic pallets can easily handle loads of 3,000 lbs.

Pest Resistance

There is another very interesting feature that only plastic pallets can boast; namely a resistance to certain pests and temperatures that have become the bane of traditional wooden pallets during long distance international freight shipping operations. When wooden pallets are being prepared to be shipped with heavy (and expensive loads) across great distances, they must first be heat-treated to prevent their fragile bodies from splintering and weakening when they encounter extreme temperature fluctuations in the course of their transit. For example, wooden pallets being used for international freight shipping might experience intense heat on an airport tarmac, sitting in the direct sunlight while waiting to be loaded on a cargo plane for transport. Next, the same wooden pallet might experience subzero temperature as the cargo plane enters the lower stratosphere. This kind of extreme tremperature fluctuation can lead fragile wooden pallets to splinter, and therefore lose structural integrity to the point that they might buckle and crash underneath their expensive loads, damaging the products or making it next to impossible to quickly and efficiently offload the goods at their destination.

No Need for Heat Treatment

Plastic pallets, on the other hand, don't require this labor intensive heat treatment process before being used in international freight shipping operations. They are already durable enough to handle intense temperature fluctuations as their plastic can expand and contract along with fluctuating temperatures.

Another special treatment that plastic pallets do not require is fumigation. Wooden pallets often require fumigation before a large and long distance shipping operation because plenty of wood loving pests like termites can easily make a wooden pallet their home and meal throughout the course of an international freight shipping operation. This, again can lead to disaster. Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are far less appetizing to pests, and so more reliable. Plastic pallets are also inexpensive, from an industrial business perspective, because they can be bought for anywhere from $37 to $76 each and can be reused many times before needing to be replaced. Plastic pallets can be bought in bulk so that business owners can get a break on their per unit price. Plastic pallets also handle liquid spills far more effectively than wooden pallets which can be easily stained and saturated. Plastic pallets, on the other hand can simply be wiped down and put back to work!

Companies that are starting up or restructuring their inventory and shipping processes would be well advised to opt for these synthetic pallets as opposed to the traditional wood ones, especially if they are going to be shipping their items long distance or to countries that require pest control and heat treatment ahead of time. In the long run the plastic varities of pallet can save a company money that would have otherwise been spent on constantly replacing less durable wooden pallets and costly pre-treatment procedures. The plastic varities are also far more resistant to spill damage that can occur when some of the palletized product seeps or splashes over the side of its container - wooden pallets on the other hand can suffer this type of damage and absorb the chemicals they were intended to transport.