We went over an essential guide to plastic pallets in a prior article, but many people are skeptical as to whether or not plastic pallets are right for their shipping process at all. If your business has never used plastic pallets before, there are a few things you may want to be aware of.
Things to Be Aware of When Using Plastic Pallets
First and foremost – plastic pallets can be confusing. There are many different options regarding the size, weight, dimensions, types, styles, designs, and colors of plastic pallets that can all contribute to a headache when selecting which one is best for you. Although this shouldn’t scare you away. In fact, the variety of options is the primary reason that so many people love using them.
If your company is using wood pallets right now and is curious as to whether or not there is a better solution to shipping and stacking your goods, plastic pallets may provide what you’re looking for. Below are a list of the top 3 benefits of plastic pallets in shipping.
Top 3 Benefits of Plastic Pallets
This list could probably fit 10-20 different benefits and subcategories on the topic, but for sake of time, here is our simplified list on the 3 benefits of plastic pallets.
1. Organization Benefits
Plastic pallets can be ordered in a variety of different colors. While many see a rainbow of distracting colors, there are a multitude of warehouses and distribution centers that have optimized workflow, organization, and efficiency by using pallet color coding to their advantage.
Often times, companies will attribute certain pallet colors to shipment lanes, containers the goods should go in, warehouse placement, days of the week, hazardous/non-hazardous goods, etc. You can be as creative with pallet color coding as you’d like. There’s no denying that leveraging these various colors can work in your favor.
2. A Pallet for Every Shipment Dimension
One of the top benefits of plastic pallets is that they can accommodate almost every shipment size. Unlike wood pallets which come in one size (apart from Euro pallets,) plastic pallets are manufactured in a variety of different sizes. Companies that ship goods which are too small for a standard pallet often use plastic pallets because there are sizes that better accommodate their needs.
It would be difficult to list numbers here, as there are such a wide range of plastic pallet sizes. It would be worth it for your company to list your dimensional needs first and then begin calling suppliers to hear their options. Call as many suppliers as you can, as each will most likely manufacture or offer unique types.
3. Better for International Safety and Hazardous Materials
One of the primary concerns with regular wooden pallets revolves around whether or not the wood has been treated. Untreated wood can carry disease, insects, pesticides, or extraneous matter from foreign countries that can damage cargo or cause concerns at the cargo’s destination. However, these risks can be mitigated through the use of plastic pallets. Since plastic pallets do not provide a suitable living environment for pesticides and diseases like untreated wooden pallets, they are considerably safer for international use.
Furthermore, plastic pallets are often a great alternative for moving hazardous materials. Wood pallets may be damaged or rendered useless for non-hazardous shipments once hazardous cargo has touched it. It’s all a part of maintaining safety for other non-hazardous cargo that may be placed on the same pallet in the future.
Plastic pallets are easy to clean and don’t absorb leaking liquids, gels, powder, or other wet substances. The pallets are capable of being rinsed and returned to be used on any type of shipments. If your company does a lot of hazardous material shipments, plastic pallets may be a great option for you.
There are many benefits of plastic pallets. Since these pallets come in a variety of sizes, companies who ship cargo that is just below or just over the regular dimensions of a standard wooden pallet may find great value in use plastic pallets. The fact that they can be ordered in multiple colors also helps with organization and storage in distribution centers to maintain operational efficiency and improve customer service.
If you have never used plastic pallets before and are wondering if they are a good choice for your company, reach out to one of our team members at Interlog USA and we’d be happy to help you!