Pallets may look alike at first glance, but there's more to pallets than meets the eye. If you're in the market for wholesale pallets here's what to look out for.

Your Pallet Supplier: Like everything else in business, who you do business with can be the most important element in your purchase. Make sure your supplier is reputable, transparent and honest. Ask for references from some of their other customers. You can often buy one thing and end up with another.

Don't just shop for price. Quality and reliability is equally important. Think about what could happen to your business and your bottom line if a pallet fails or does damage to the shipment or the warehouse personnel. In other words, don't be penny wise and pallet foolish.

Respect Your Specs: Your pallet needs to honor your specs each and every time. If you don't know how to spec your pallets, a quality pallet supplier will. That's most often determined by the weight load and cargo each pallet needs to carry. Wood quality, type, dimensions, moisture content, nailing patterns, special requirements, board spacing, inspection and safety effect the quality and integrity of your pallets.

Make sure you are getting what you paid for in every order. Check the stack in the middle to be sure every pallet you buy is what you ordered. If you're shipping out of the country, make sure your pallets meet foreign standards. Remember that European shipping standards are different and pallets need to be speced in metrics not inches. Shipments have been returned unloaded because they failed to meet metric standards.

Environmental Issues: Wood or plastic pallets, which are greener? Wooden pallets are usually more environmental because they are made from the unusable trim in the lumbering process and then are repaired and recycled over and over again. Plastic pallets can be recycled but plastic production comes with a heavy carbon footprint. Environmental issues are increasingly important so be sure you go the greenest way you can.

Pallet Size Standards: Pallet standards vary around the world. In North America, the most common size used by the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) is 48"X40".

Other common pallet sizes in North America are:

  • 42"X42" most commonly used for communications equipment and paint
  • 48"X48" most commonly used for Drums
  • 40"X48" most commonly used for military and cement
  • 44"X44" most commonly used for chemical drums
  • 36"X36" most commonly used for beverages
  • 48"X36" most commonly used for shingles

For International Shipping (ISO):

  • 1200 mm X 1000mm Europe and Asia
  • 1140mm X 1140 mm Australia
  • 1100 mm X 1100 mm Central Asia

Worldwide Standard:

  • 42" X 42"

Follow these guidelines to make your pallet buying simpler. For more information on buying pallets wholesale, contact us.