Pharmaceutical Grade Pallets: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to the pharmaceutical industry there is a law, regulation, rule or guideline for everything. Even what would seem to be the simplest thing. Considering all the different steps to get pharmaceutical products to the consumer, from research and testing to manufacturing and distribution, shipping the products seems the least challenging part. Even there, though, pharmaceutical grade pallets are required. Here is everything you need to know.

Sanitation is a Key Factor

In some industries, hitting the mark only some of the time is acceptable. For instance, people often joke that weather forecasters only need to be right half the time. The pharmaceutical industry has no such luxury—everyone, from the CEO, to stockholders, and the public expect 100 percent quality assurances, every single day.

A huge part of this equation is sanitation in every step until the product reaches the consumers’ hands. Pallets play a large role in this from the point the product is loaded onto them, through the shipping process, and onto the store display.

Will any pallet do? How do you know your pallets will keep your product safe and not become contaminated? The key to this is the material used to make them. There are three choices—wood, plastic and metal. There are benefits and drawbacks to each.

Pallets Get the Grade

Wood pallets: For a long time, wood pallets were the only option. They come with inherent risks, including: broken wood and nails that can puncture product containers; moisture absorption turning the wood into a breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms such as E. coli, salmonella, and listeria; and the need to heat-treat the wood or treat with a fungicide and pesticide.

On the plus side, they are the most economical of the three options at first glance. However, that claim doesn’t hold up when comparing their lifespan against the other two options.

Plastic pallets: Plastic pallets are quickly gaining market share as manufacturers do their homework and discover the possible 10-year, 250 trip lifespan could level the financial playing field with wood pallets. They can also be made from lightweight polyethylene, a plastic resin that results in a surface that not only is easily cleaned and sanitized, its properties don’t let much stick to it.

These properties make plastic pallets the perfect choice for an industry that requires a clean, contaminant-free environment. In addition, once the ROI of plastic pallets is determined (go here to find out how to calculate ROI for your company), the cost savings make the decision easy to make.

Metal pallets: Metal pallets are also easy to clean and sanitize. There are three downsides, though, including cost, weight and hardness. The hardness factor can result in scratched flooring that results in increased maintenance and sanitation costs. That can be a hard pill to swallow when looking at an ROI that is significantly higher than plastic pallets.

Get All the Information You Need

As you weigh your options, two things will stand out—ensuring the safety and well-being of your end-users and the need for current pricing for the proper pallet for your business.

Contact us at Plastic Pallet Pros and we will quickly help you choose the right pallet for your application and provide you with pricing. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to you.