Difference Between Pallet and Skid when Shipping5 min read
pallet vs skid

Find out about shipping with a skid or pallet and which of the two you need based on your specific requirements. Although you may not be concerned about whether a skid is the same as a pallet, each of these types of wood packaging is better suited to different situations.

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What is the difference between pallet and skid, or are they the same?

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are quite some differences between pallets and skids, mainly structural.

What is a pallet in logistics?

Pallets are the most popular type of packaging used in road freight transport. They are ideal for transporting heavy loads of up to 1,000 kg (or 2,200 lbs). The most distinguishing feature that differs in pallets and skids is the decking layout. Pallets have a top and bottom deck with three or four stringers that connect the deck boards, providing more stability.

Having top and bottom decks creates more friction and makes pallets more difficult to drag. This lack of mobility makes pallets efficient for transporting cargo but not as good for storage.

Pallet advantages

  • Top and bottom decks, allowing pallets to support heavier loads
  • The bottom deck makes it easier to stack and store pallets
  • Easier to move with a forklift and other equipment

Pallet disadvantages

  • The bottom deck creates resistance, making it harder to drag pallets
  • Pallets are heavier and more expensive than skids since they use more material
  • They are larger than skids, so they take up more storage space

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What is a skid in shipping?

Skids are the original type of pallet and have been in use since the 1930s. But is a skid really the same as a pallet? Not quite. Unlike a pallet, a skid has only one deck, making it easier to drag if you need to move them without equipment. Since they have legs instead of a bottom deck, skids are ideal for storing and moving large stacks of goods from one location to another.

Additionally, they are cheaper and lighter than standard wooden pallets since they use less lumber. Another difference between pallets and skids is that skids are smaller than pallets, meaning they take up less space, and it is easier to store them.

Skid advantages

  • Cheaper and lighter than pallets since they use less material
  • No bottom deck provides less friction, making it easier to drag skids
  • Good for non-mobile use, ideal as a foundation for heavy machinery

Skid disadvantages

  • The missing bottom deck makes skids less stable than pallets
  • Harder to move with a forklift, so they are less practical for transport
  • Less secure, they cannot support as much load weight as a pallet

pallet vs skid vs crate

What is the difference between a pallet, skid and crate?

Another packaging material that often comes into the comparison when choosing between pallet or skids are crates.

All three can be used for transport and storage, however, learning the difference between a pallet, skid and crate can really help you optimise your logistics operations. Pallets, skids and crates each have specific advantages and disadvantages, so it will really depend on why you need them or how you intend to use them.

Unlike pallets and skids, which are flat, crates are boxes with four walls and a floor. Crates are ideal for secure storage, and they can hold a large volume. On the other hand, crates can be more expensive to ship than pallets or skids.

Shipping skid vs pallet: which should you choose?

When comparing the differences between a pallet and a skid, always consider whether you will use them for shipping or storage, as well as the item you will load on them. Overall, pallets are used for shipping, while skids are normally used for storage purposes.

Check the tips below to help you make the right decision:

  • Pallets have a top and bottom deck, making them a more stable option for transporting cargo.
  • For heavy shipments weighing up to 1,000 kg or 2,200 lbs, pallets are more suitable.
  • If you want a cheaper or lighter packaging option, you should opt for a skid.
  • If there is no forklift or lifting equipment available onsite, skids are easier to drag than pallets.

You may use a skid or pallet to ship different items, though in most cases, standard wooden pallets would be the best and simplest option for most logistics needs.

If you need any help or advice about shipping pallets, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!

Interested in learning more about pallet and freight shipping? Check all our blogs about pallet deliveries!