HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PALLET – PART 2Requirements in Choosing a Pallet
It should be resilient to carry all loads, rackable, affordable, environmentally friendly, traceable (RFID), light weight to save on airfreight fuel costs, safe to use, compact for easy storage. However, there is no ideal pallet that meets all these requirements.
Cost Effective Lightweight Airfreight Pallet
For shippers who pay by weight and air cargo users, lighter pallets can save money.
Lightweight pallets are easier to handle. Workers can easily carry up to 5 pieces (1.5 kg each) lightweight pallets at a time as compared to one wood pallet. Also there is no risk of injuries to workers as plastic light weight pallets come as a single piece
and there are no protruding nails or splinters like wood pallets.
Lightweight airfreight pallets save airfreight weight costs. Savings will more than offset its higher price for one single use.Full containers are charged a flat rate per container. But many shippers run into weight restrictions. By using lighter pallets, you can load more freight onto every container before reaching the limit. This additional freight reduces total shipping costs.
Most Lightweight Pallets can't rack, and those that can don't hold much weight. Why?
SIMAX and its manufacturing partners offer a range of rackable plastic pallets that can carry rackable load of 1 ton.
There are Lightweight Pallets (e.g. Plastic and Airfreight). Why others still choose wood?
Basically they are reliable, perform job well, been around a long time. Times are changing, environmental concerns, weight related higher fuel costs and workplace injuries are reasons why you should consider alternatives.
Many people are still used to using wood pallets which can carry heavy loads of up to 2 tons and meet most requirements. However, plastic pallets carry up to 1 ton and can meet most requirements as well. People should consider using plastic pallet
as it is becoming more popular and affordable.
Other alternatives to wood pallet
Metal such as aluminium pallet – strong but heavy and costly.Plastic pallet is durable and light but more costly than wood
but price gaps are narrowing.Airfreight lightweight pallet is the lightest durable pallet in the world, but very costly. However airfreight weight savings more than offset the cost.
Paper pallet is lighter than wood but cannot rack and withstand rigorous handling. Moreover paper disintegrates or softens
upon contact with water or moisture.
Issues with wood pallets
Although wood pallet remain popular, there are many issues such as:
Wood pallets are vulnerable to insect and plant diseases. For this reason, wood pallets require fumigation and heat treatment. The treatment costs extra money and takes time.
Wood pallets occupy significant storage space due to its bulkiness. It may not be worthwhile to keep them for re-use especially when storage space is expensive.
Wood pallets often require repair after initial use, they are easily damaged by forklift. For this reason, they are often discarded after one trip.
For a commonly used wood pallet 1.2 x 1.0m, the weight is about 15kg versus plastic pallet at 5.7 kg.
When you are shipping goods by less than container loads or by air, heavy wood pallets will lead to higher freight costs and hence lesser profits. Moreover, wood pallets are difficult for workers to carry. Often a forklift is required to move empty
pallets around the warehouse.
Wood pallets are not only heavy but present a safety hazard with exposed nails and staples. Workers risk injuries when
handling wood pallets.
Wood pallets are often thrown away and only small percentage is recycled. Governments worldwide are encouraging the use
of “green materials”. Plastic pallets use resins which can be recycled and therefore more “green”.
Wood pallets are poor choice for shipment of food products. Moreover countries in Europe, Australia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and many others (Details in ISPM 15) are beginning to place restrictions on the use of wood pallets.
Polypropylene and High Density Polyethylene materials
These are the two common type of plastic raw materials used for the manufacturing of plastic pallet. Polypropylene (PP) has higher tensile strength and is more suitable for racking, but it is more brittle. High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is more flexible and is more suitable for regular re-use in warehouse and storage.
2 Way and 4 Way entry pallet
2 way – pallet jack or forklift can enter and be retrieved on 2 opposite sides of the pallet. 4 way – pallet jack or
forklift can enter and be retrieved on all sides of the pallet.
Type of Pallets offered by SIMAX
SIMAX offers the most popular size plastic, airfreight and paper pallets that are lightweight, affordable and durable.
Sizes are as follows:
· 1.2 x 0.8m
· 1.2 x 1.0m
· 1.1 x 1.1m.
Dynamic load* capacity ranges from 500 kg to 1.5 tons.
I like the idea of a durable, lightweight pallet, but I cannot afford to meet a very high premium over wood.
SIMAX pallets are priced competitively with wood. In fact the prices between plastic pallets and wood are almost on par after considering fumigation costs and heat treatment costs added to wood pallets.
Identifying plastic pallets through their colour
The three common colours of plastic pallets are black, blue and green. The black pallets are made from recycled PP or HDPE plastic raw materials. The blue and green pallets are made from virgin plastic raw materials. Black-coloured recycled plastic materials are cheaper and the pallets have lower strength compared to their counterparts made with virgin materials. Although the black raw materials are recycled, the final product looks brand new.
Simax can produce colours meeting your corporate requirements but need a minimum run quantity of 500.If you do not need the 500 pieces, it would be costly to produce. However, Simax can arrange for company logos to be printed on the sides of the plastic pallet.