About plastic pallet
Pallets are used for transportation and shipping of various goods, mainly from distributor to the final destination. The goods are stacked on a pallet, often wrapped with a protective film, net or straps. Alternatively, goods can be stacked onto the pallet, loaded on a transportation vehicle such as a truck or a train car, and shipped to the customer. Pallets provide protection of shipped goods from mechanical breakage and simplify handling of the goods.
Presently, there are three types of pallet: wooden, metal and plastic.
Wooden pallets were a traditional tool for product handling in the past.
Metal pallets are used in a very small part of the market, especially in aviation for airdrops. They are extremely expensive and mostly used for shipment of exceptionally heavy loads.
Plastic pallets have been available on the market for about 28 years, but recently they have gained significant market presence and continue to grow at an unprecedented rate.
Applications of Plastic Pallets
The international trend has switched towards the use of plastic pallets and they are already in use in a wide range of industries like: Agriculture, Automotive, Building and construction, Clothing, Electronics, Food and groceries, Freight forwarding, Household goods, Logistics, Nurseries, Pharmaceuticals, Rubber and White goods.
Plastic Pallets for Grocery Distribution
Plastic pallets are used to move goods through all links of the distribution chain. Pallets typically travel through three segments of the grocery industry: the manufacturing plant, the distribution centre and the retail store. The grocery industry traditionally uses a 48 x 40 inch (1219 x 1016 mm) stringer, non-reversible pallet. 90% of all dry groceries are moved on this type of pallet.
The standard wooden pallet is used for all grocery products except dairy, health and beauty aids, slow-selling items, and automated meat and frozen food storage systems.
Plastic pallets used in the distribution industry are replicas of the form and dimensions of the traditional wooden pallet. Plastic pallets used in Europe are designed to substitute standard 9-block 1200x800mm Euro-pallets made of wood. In 1996 approximately 22% of grocery distributors in the U.S.A. used plastic pallets. This number has increased to 37.2% by the end of 1997 and dramatically increasing every year. In 2001, it was just below 50%.
Plastic Pallets for the Automotive Industry
The automotive manufacturers were among the first users of Plastic pallets. Custom-made testable pallets were used to ship parts from manufacturing plants and outside vendors to assembly factories and to move trays/pallets on the assembly floor.
Plastic Pallets for Postal ServicesUnited States Postal Service is currently the largest user of Plastic pallets in the U.S.A. Plastic pallets are used for transportation of mail and telephone books within mail shipping system.Postal officials purchased their first nestable Plastic pallets (some 200,000 units) in 1987 and have been buying them ever since at increased quantities every year.In 1994, U.S.A. Postal Service purchased 3.I million Plastic pallets and continues to order new Plastic pallets. U.S.A. Postal Services is planning to replace all remaining wooden pallets with Plastic pallets.
Advantages of Plastic Pallets
Plastic pallets are easier to handle than wooden pallets.
Plastic pallets can have a 4-way entry.
Plastic pallets offer wider variety of designs than wooden pallets.
Plastic pallets offer easier handling with loading equipment such as forklift or pallet jack.
Pallets are lighter and are safer to handle comparatively to wooden products. Lower weight of Plastic pallets decreases worker compensation and insurance costs associated with back injuries from lifting pallets.
Plastic pallets are safer for use because of smooth design with no nails or splinters. Plastic pallets usage supports a good delivery of product and is cost-effective in insurance to product delivered.
Plastic pallets in contrast to wooden counterparts can be easily stacked on top of each other and are save space.
A stack of ready-to-go nested Plastic pallets will occupy less than half the space a similar number of wooden pallets might. Nesting makes it easy for distribution centres to have a supply of the pallets on hand ready for shipment.
Plastic pallets can be stored outside with no damage and saves factory space.
Plastic pallets are identical to each other and comply with required specifications for dimensions, weight, and load capacity. This is a very important feature for automated material handling and shipping.
Plastic pallets are easy to clean. Plastic pallets are much more hygienic than wooden products. They are easy to clean with solvents, steam or water and are not a substrate for bacteria, fungus and insect contamination as is the case for wooden products.
Plastic pallets do not absorb water and are impervious to acids, fats and solvents. Hygienic properties of Plastic pallets are extremely important in agriculture, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Plastic pallets provides more attractive product displays in retail application because of colour options
Plastic pallets are strong and durable. Plastic pallets can withstand deep freezing conditions as well as open and extreme sun conditions.
Plastic pallets usage minimise the need for costly pallet repairs.
Can not be used for firewood by employees.