Pallets are very useful for transporting bulky or heavy loads. They can be a cost-effective option for businesses that frequently ship large quantities of goods or an efficient solution for transporting furniture during a relocation. It is important that you choose the right type of pallet for your shipping needs. Find out about different types of shipping pallets and their uses.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
HOW TO SHIP
Euro pallets (or EUR pallets, EPAL pallets) are the standard European pallet. A single pallet weighs 20-25 kg and is available in 4 different sizes:
|EUR-pallet types||Dimensions (W x L) cm||Dimensions (W x L) inch|
|EUR, EUR 1||80 x 120 cm (most commonly used in Europe)||31.50 in x 47.24 in|
|EUR 2||100 x 120 cm (most commonly used in the UK)||39.37 in x 47.24 in|
|EUR 3||100 x 120 cm||39.37 in x 47.24 in|
|EUR 6||60 x 80 cm||23.62 in x 31.50 in|
ISO pallets are available in 6 different sizes, and pallet dimensions vary depending on the region in which they are used.
If you are shipping a pallet across continents, it is a good idea to choose an appropriate ISO pallet for the destination so that the goods do not have to be transferred to another pallet at the other end of the journey.
Here is a summary of the 6 ISO pallets most commonly used:
|Where they are commonly used||Dimensions (W x L) cm||Dimensions (W x L) inch|
|North America||101.6 x 121.9 cm||40 x 48 in|
|Europe and Asia||100 x 120 cm||39.37 in x 47.24 in|
|Australia||116.5 x 116.5 cm||45.9 x 45.9 in|
|North America, Asia, Europe||106.7 x 106.7 cm||42 x 42 in|
|Asia||110 x 110 cm||43.4 x 43.4 in|
|Europe||80 x 120 cm||31.50 in x 47.24 in|
Although they may look alike, every pallet is unique. They are made out of different materials, including recycled wood, plastic, metal and paper. Pallets can be classified in various ways, usually by the type of supports and deck configurations they have, as well as the materials.
Block pallets – Also known as deck-board pallets, these are easy to handle thanks to their parallel and perpendicular stringers, the boards that run between the top and bottom decks of the pallet. They usually have a four-way entry, meaning that they can be lifted by a forklift on all four sides. Another typical feature is the 4 to 12 blocks that support the top deck boards.
Stringer pallets – The stringers are positioned in parallel across the pallet and support the load on top. Stringer pallets are normally two-way, meaning that they can only be accessed on two sides by a forklift. Notched stringer pallets with a four-way entry are also available. Stringer pallets are the most common type of pallet used for shipping in the United States.
Open deck pallets – Also known as ventilated pallets, these have openings or “meshes” on the top deck to make it a lighter and less expensive alternative to other types of pallets. The meshes also allow for easier drainage if the goods get wet in transit.
Solid deck pallets – The top surface of this type of pallet is made of a single sheet of wood, plastic or other material. This makes them a safer option for shipping small items because there are no openings on the surface for things to fall through. Solid deck pallets are also easier to clean and transport, which makes them a popular choice.
Wooden pallets are available in soft or hardwood, with the latter providing more stability for heavier loads. A new wooden pallet can typically hold up to 3,600 kg of static load.
Plastic pallets are made from recycled PET or new HDPE and are more expensive, as they are longer lasting compared to wooden pallets. They can carry a load of up to 680 kg or 1500 lb.
Paper pallets or Eco-pallets can hold the same weight as a standard wooden pallet but are more commonly used for lighter loads. Eco-pallets are the most environmentally friendly type of pallet for shipping, as they are can be recycled easily.
Steel pallets provide the most longevity, especially when transporting freight in harsh conditions. Steel pallets are more expensive but are ideal for heavier loads such as transporting ammunition and machinery.
Wooden pallets are the most common type of pallet material used for shipping because they are durable and cheaper than plastic pallets. They are the best type of pallet for shipping furniture or non-biodegradable products.
Wooden pallets can be divided into the following subcategories:
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