Pallets are usually not very glamorous to look at, and are taken for granted by most consumers. After use, most pallets are thrown to the ground and cast away easily.
Even though consumers waste pallets in many ways, pallets play a key role while moving goods from one place to another. Pallets act as the serving link between retailers, warehouse specialists, manufacturers, distributors, customers, and different industries. Overall, it is safe to conclude that without pallets, a supply chain can forget about effective functioning at all. Even though pallets cost very less when compared to the entire product cycle, managing a pallet system can improve the efficiency of the cycle. It can add value in the form of economies to scale, and improve the overall functionality of the supply chain organization.
Pallets are available in different shapes, sizes, designs, colors, and material types. This variety in pallets allows the consumer to use them to meet any requirement or need. Choosing a wrong type of pallet can result in slowing down the distribution and delivery of goods, which in turn may result in loss of profit and revenue. In few organizations and industries, the choice of the pallet is influenced by the finished product. The electronics, food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals industries are often influenced by certain shipping needs and requirements. In these cases, industries often choose to opt for a closed-loop network made of pallets and pooling equipment that map to their specific requirements. Some companies do not directly sell pallets. Few companies maintain a pool of high-quality pallets that can be reused. To maintain a high quality and to considerably decrease customer costs these companies use certain shippers only because they can provide them with certain shipment discounts.
Types Of Pallets
For a few companies and industries, the choice of a pallet finally boils down to the type of retrieval and storage systems they use. Some systems require certain specific pallets that do not jam or obstruct the warehouses. In few instances, customers weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the variety of pallets that are available in the market. The most common type of pallet used by customers is pallets made of wood. Wooden pallets are reliable, durable and long lasting. Pallets made of wood exhibit high strength, and are best-suited for large loads. Also, pallets made of wood are cheaper when compared to pallets made of plastic or aluminum. Another advantage of wood pallets is that they are a product of nature and eco-friendly. The disadvantage is that wooden pallets require regular fumigation as they can get infected with pests. In some cases fire-retardant items are required for certain types of internal shipments. Typically companies that offer pallet pooling use pallets that are made up of four-way wooden blocks. Such pallets are made up of hard wood when compared to regular stringer pallets.
Though wood pallets may be the most common type of pallets used, plastic pallets are becoming quite popular. When compared to wood pallets, plastic pallets cause less damage with respect to equipment and employees. Even though they are more expensive, plastic pallets are typically durable and less heavy when compared to pallets made of wood. Additionally plastic pallets are resistant to water and fire. They can be used repeatedly, and are known to cause a fewer number of handling damages. Also, plastic pallets are free of nails and splinters. They can be easily and efficiently replaced with plastic replacement boards. Plastic pallets can offer tracking and bar-coding capabilities through RFID that allows manufacturers and shippers to easily track the movement of goods and finished products.