Wooden pallets – risks during transportation and the cost of damage4 min read


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You are moving out and have decided to ship your wardrobe on a pallet? It is considered to be of the safest ways to ship your items away, but is it always like that? Let us spare you the additional costs that could occur from such scenarios.

What is a pallet and why is it required to be shipped on a pallet?

Pallets are usually wooden flat surfaces to serve as a base for what the goods are being placed on. They are used as supporters for the items and has its function as a bound between them.

When it comes to shipping most people send smaller packages. But every now and then you might find the need to ship something bigger than your favourite book collection. When it does, you might want to store it on a pallet. Why is that necessary?

Depending on the industry, fragility, size or just bulkier items would dictate for choosing pallets when shipping. If shipping multiple packages at once, shipping as business or even just placing your wardrobe on a pallet could be a necessity that many couriers would ask you to have.

The risk while transporting on a wooden pallet

What is important before placing your items on the pallet is to make sure that the pallet is safe to ‘travel’. To avoid wooden pallets damaged during transportation, check for any loose boards, see for any damaged parts that could easily crack, and if the pallet has already absorbed any moisture. Here, at Eurosender we offer you some tips on how to correctly pack and ship a pallet.

You would not only spare yourself of the fussiness for having to replace the pallet, but you would also add less risk to the items while transporting on the wooden pallet and to the person taking care of it. They are put on risks such as being hurt if a pallet breaks while being lifted.

You have securely placed your packages on the pallet and expect nothing wrong, and why would you, when you had them securely placed just as you would find on many webpages. However, it is not always just this that has the biggest influence on how your shipment will be delivered.

What happens if the courier damages my pallet?

Let us tell you something more about forklifts. They are meant specifically for such shipments, handling their loading and unloading. It is not often, but an incident could occur due to misjudgement by the forklift driver while manoeuvring with the load too high or a sudden change in directions. They are not always the reason a pallet could be broken, but it is one of the reasons for it. This could happen in transit or at the first place of loading and there are two scenarios that would affect this shipment:

  • Damaged pallet –the items are not affected, just the outside of the pallet is damaged. Just the cost of a damaged pallet would have to be covered so you would spare yourself of the possibility the courier to further refuse to ship the pallet.
  • Both the pallet and the items are damaged – this would mean higher cost of a damaged pallet, plus the value of the items, too. This would not only require re-packaging a product but possibly replacing the old one.

In such situations that the pallet gets damaged during delivery, the customer is entitled to start a claim procedure. When shipping via our platform, basic insurance is already added but you can increase the insurance coverage with a value of up to 5000 EUR! Please note that the courier will have to check all the necessary information (such as invoices, and if the items were on the list of prohibited and restricted items) and only then reimburse you for the insured amount.

However, it does not necessarily mean that the forklifts are to blame for the damaged pallets. Having rotten and reused pallets is a very frequent reason for such situations. Another reason could be a natural disaster, that no one could prevent from happening.

Are there any alternatives to wooden pallets?

It could happen that pallets have a short life-span as it absorbs moisture and over time causes damage to the structure of the pallet. Thus, to avoid wooden pallets damaged during transportation some ship by other alternatives such as metal and plastic ones. The metal ones can withstand breakage, fire damage etc, but are costlier and heavier than normal ones. Plastic ones, on the other hand, are lighter to carry (even to those compared of wood) and are moisture and pests resistant. However, it could be a challenge to find a dealer to provide you with the amount you need and the price you are willing to give.

What can I reuse my pallet for?

Pallets are such a unique way for a DIY project at your home! Reuse the older and slightly damaged pallets to make something cool in your house. There are plenty of ways to re-decorate by going full vintage style and we are here to offer you some. Check out our suggestions on how to make a DIY project with pallets.

Last modified: September 9, 2019

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