Are Plastic Pallets Better Than Wood Pallets?

If you’re in the shipping or logistics business, you might be wondering, are plastic pallets better than wood pallets? The truthful answer is, it depends on your priorities. After looking closely at the benefits, the answer most often is yes.

There are a number of factors that should be considered, and only you can decide which of them applies to your unique situation and business. After all, the priorities, standards and regulations for a foods or pharmaceutical manufacturer are different from a manufacturer of car parts or asphalt shingles.

The advantages and disadvantages outlined below can help you decide which product will best suit your needs. Beware—you may be surprised by how easily plastic pallets outshine their wooden counterparts and fit right into your budget.

Plastic Pallets—Advantages

  • Durable
  • Long lasting
  • Bug proof
  • Lighter
  • Smooth
  • Safer to handle, no nails or splinters
  • Weather resistant
  • Easy to store
  • Simple to clean
  • Recyclable
  • Can be made from recycled material

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Wood Pallets—Advantages

  • Lower initial cost
  • Recyclable
  • Easy to repair
  • Less sliding and shifting of product
  • Biodegradable

When Considering Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are not only lighter than wood pallets, they are significantly lighter weighing in at just 11 pounds to start. The average wood pallet is typically 30-70 pounds. This increases cost savings through reduced shipping weight. Further reducing costs for plastic pallets are their lifespan—10 years or 250 trips, compared to 5-6 trips for wood pallets that weaken with use, often requiring repairs in-between.

Through the use of RFID technology, plastic pallets can work easily within a closed-loop supply chain, while wood pallets are part of the open loop supply chain. Plastic pallets are also Earth friendly because they are completely recyclable and Plastic Pallet Pros offers a buy-back program.

The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act impacted the pallet industry as well, due to contamination concerns. Plastic pallets meet requirements for food grade and pharmaceutical applications, helping shippers who must be vigilant in avoiding contamination. Plastic pallets can be washed between uses to ensure they are keeping their loads safe.

Making life easier in the workplace is an added benefit as plastic pallets allow sturdy four-way access for forklifts. Gone also are splinters, nails, screws and loose joints, keeping workers and forklift tires safe from harm. They also won’t scuff floors, so they can be easily used for display of product when needed.

The Wave of the Future is Now

Unless they work in logistics, most people have no idea that pallets quite literally move the world, move around the world, and make shipping on a large scale possible. They have no idea how many pallets are in use each day for storage and logistics.

The figure is impressive, with two billion pallets in use each year in the United States alone, according to Phil Araman, a researcher for the U.S. Forest Service.

The plastic pallet industry is growing quickly, already making up five percent of the total number of pallets in use each year. As more industries and businesses see the benefits and overall cost savings, together with the ability to have custom-designed pallets manufactured quickly to their specific application, Plastic Pallet Pros are known for quality and fair pricing.

Contact us to find out more about the different products we offer and why plastic pallets are better for your application than wood pallets.