Pallet Pooling vs Buying Pallets

When your business heavily relies on shipping products both nationwide and internationally, you need to invest in quality-made plastic pallets to transport them. Are you exploring your pallet options, including buying an inventory of pallets or participating in a pallet pooling program? In the content below, we compare the pros and cons of pallet pooling vs buying pallets.

Plastic Pallet Pooling

Pallet pooling companies manage pallet storage for you. In lieu of buying your own pallets, pallet pooling allows you to rent them from a shared pool.

If your business relies on various pallet applications including one-way and multi-trip shipping, it may be easier to purchase your own pallets. Below, we explore two benefits and two downsides of utilizing plastic pallet pooling programs.

Benefit of Pooling: Less Storage Necessary

For those with little warehousing space, pallet pooling may be to your benefit. As pallet pooling entails a renter’s program, you no longer need to find space in your warehouse for storing as many unused pallets. Additionally, the program also makes the necessary arrangements for the collection of the pallets you shipped out domestically. This especially benefits companies who solely rely on one-time shipping within North America.

Benefit of Pooling: No Maintenance or Pallet Recovery Necessary

A pooling company delivers a constant supply of pallets in optimal condition, ready for immediate use. As a result, your company is spared from both the time and resources required to maintain the quality of your pallet products. Therefore, pooling eases the processes of pallet recovery and management. There are typically costs associated with pallets that are not recovered by the Pallet Pooling company after shipment.  Provided this cost is not excessive, this has the potential to lower your Total Cost of Business (TCOB).

Pallet pooling allows you to reduce the costs of additional storage, and the staff for those facilities. Additionally, with pallet pooling, you may experience lower transportation costs as the service manages pallet retrieval and recovery.

Downside to Pooling: Constant Costs

Regardless of enrolling in a pay-by-month program or a pooling program that charges you for the pallets used, consider the potential of additional expenses. Many pallet pooling providers have additional charges for pallets that are not recovered after shipping. 

For example, most pallet pooling will only recover pallets shipped in North America.  If a pallet is shipped internationally, it will not be recovered and would incur a significant charge for the un-recovered pallet.  This also applies if the destination for the pallet does not return the pallet to the pallet pooling company. 

While the prices per pallet appear low and manageable, you experience continual billing throughout the duration of your pallet pooling enrollment for pallets used in addition to un-recovered pallets. However, when you opt to purchase new or used plastic pallets, you experience a one-time pallet payment and only pay costs associated with shipping and occasional pallet maintenance.  If you are capable of recovering and re-using your purchased pallets within your supply chain, you can see a significant reduction in your Total Cost of Business.

Downside to Pooling: Sanitation and Quality Control

Although pooling programs guarantee that each pallet in use adheres to FDA pallet regulations and other requirements, you lose the ability to effectively know the quality and previous shipping history of each pallet. As the pallets belong in a rented pool for other businesses to use, your delivered pallets may appear more worn and susceptible to damage or excessive wear-and-tear.

Additionally, even though the pallets are cleaned between uses, the previous renter’s shipping intentions may clash with yours. For example, if the company before you utilized the same pallets for carrying pharmaceutical products or harmful chemicals, there may be traces of such chemicals on those pallets. If your company utilizes pallets for food transport or other consumer products, this may put your products at risk of cross-contamination. Therefore, by owning your own pallets, you know exactly where each pallet has travelled and what products were transported.

Buying Plastic Pallets

If your business relies on various shipping applications, including one-way and multi-trip shipping pallets, it may be easier to purchase your own pallets. Below, we explore two benefits and one downside to buying plastic pallets.

Benefit of Buying: One-Time Payment

While pallet pooling programs offer enticing rates or low-rate monthly fees, total costs can quickly add up. However, if you work with an experience professional like the consultants at Plastic Pallet Pros when buying plastic pallets, you will be able to identify the best possible option for your application. Oftentimes, the true cost of plastic pallets is lower than wood with fewer surprises and additional costs than pallet pooling.

Benefit of Buying: Sanitation and Quality Control

By purchasing reusable pallets, you know exactly where each pallet has travelled and what products were transported. Especially if your industry requires high sanitation and pallet safety, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you get to maintain the quality control of each pallet. When buying and owning your own plastic pallets, your business ensures proper pallet cleaning and sanitation procedures for reuse.

Downside to Buying: Warehouse Space

Owning your pallets benefits you by having enough pallets on demand to promptly respond to peaks in activity. However, you may need to maintain a larger inventory of pallets on hand to ensure adequate supply.

Depending on the size of your warehouse or other storage facility, it may be hard to find enough floor space to efficiently store plastic pallets not currently in use. As a result, owning your own pallets may require more storage space than pallet pooling.

Fortunately, you can opt to purchase nestable or rackable pallets to work around a small warehouse. Also, working with companies like Plastic Pallet Pros that has warehouse space to store adequate supply specifically for your company, may be able to reduce the need to store as many pallets in your facilities

Solution 1: Nestable Pallets

Nestable pallets offer lower transport costs and reduce storage fees by up to 75%. This means they take up one-quarter of the space when nested together as compared to designs that do not nest.

Nestable pallets are favorites for use in warehouses, distribution centers, and for transportation from factories to warehouses or retail centers.

Solution 2: Rackable Pallets

Quickly, you will find many benefits to utilizing a pallet racking system. Rackable pallets allow maximized square footage through stacking on top of each other and storing vertically.

Depending on the height of your warehouse and weight of the products, you can customize them to stack as high as necessary and preserve valuable floor space within your warehouse. Additionally, you have multiple racking system options that cater to various, standard pallet sizes.

Buying the Right Pallets for Your Application at Plastic Pallet Pros

Buying plastic pallets does not have to be a stressful experience! Our team at Plastic Pallet Pros is dedicated to finding affordable solutions for all your pallet transportation, export, and storage needs.

Our experts will guide you through our current supply to see what we have readily available in our warehouse. Additionally, we will help you decide which pallets best support your industry needs. Contact us today to see how we can help with your pallet requirements.