The first thing to determine when buying pallets is how they will be used. Your customers are actually the first consideration in determining that as different industries have different standards and different needs.
Key questions are:
- Pallet type (stringer or block)
- Handling situations including racking, handling equipment and load weight
- Moisture content, lumber grade, nail quality and spacing
- Destination (domestic or international) – This is of prime importance because international pallets must meet international shipping regulations and may need to be metric, not inches, or your delivery may not be accepted.
Generally the U.S. Grocery Industry (GMA) uses stringer style pallets which measure 48” X 40”. Something to note is that some companies in the food industry have begun to request plastic pallets. These have some issues including price. Currently, plastic pallets can cost as much as four times more than wooden pallets. Recently, the use of flame retardant chemicals in plastic pallets has raised concerns and Oregon has banned their use in the shipments of food products all together.
The Chemical Industry uses the following sizes: 48″ X 40″, 52″ X 44″ and 45″ X 45″. They must be able to support one metric ton.
The European Chemical Industry requires nine different pallet sizes in block style pallets. These are: 1000 X 1200mm, 860 X 1200mm, 1140 X 1140mm, 1100 X 1300mm, 760 X 1140mm, 1200 X 1000mm, 1300 X 1100mm.
The Printing Industry uses four sizes: 44″ X 44″, 48″ X 42″, 48″X 40” and 42″ X 42″.
The Auto Industry uses four sizes: 30″ X 32″, 40″ X 48″, 45″ X 48″, 54″ X 48″.
Euro Pallets are generally block style 800 X 1200mm with a unidirectional base.
Other custom sizes can be ordered from your pallet supplier depending on your individual needs. A quality supplier can help you determine what you need and guide you through the process.
Like other components of your business, durability and reparability is determined by quality of materials and price. Make sure you know and get what you need and always check your deliveries against your specs.
For more information on pallet specifications, contact us.