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Wood Pallets vs. Plastic Pallets: Which Is the Best Option?

Every year, the pallet industry sells over $1 billion worth of pallets in the United States alone.
Pallets help transport freight all over the world. If you own a business that uses pallets or have worked around pallets, you may have seen both wood pallets and plastic pallets.

Both are popular, but wood pallets are by far more common. We will cover the reasons for this later in the article. If you have been contemplating which would be better for your business, there are some things you should know about each.

Wood PalletsWood pallets have a rugged and durable build.
They can hold thousands of pounds worth of weight. Their design also means they can fit into trailers in an efficient manner.

They come in three basic varieties, and also there are skids. Skids are different from pallets in that they do not have any bottom boards.

Regular wooden pallets are attractive for businesses for a couple of key reasons. The first is that they are cheap to produce and easy to maintain. If they get damaged, you can easily repair them by removing the broken piece and replacing it.

For domestic transport, it is hard to beat wood pallets. A standard wood pallet can hold around hold 4,000 pounds while only weighing in at between 30 and 50 pounds. This makes wood pallets very strong for their size.

Heat-Treated Pallets One of the most common types of wood pallets used in international shipping is heat-treated pallets. This process kills pests that could be living in the wood. This is important for international commerce. It helps prevent the spread of unwanted infestations and invasive species.

There are regulations in place that determine what constitutes a properly heat-treated pallet.

Getting a certified source for your pallets is necessary if you plan on doing any international business. If you don’t plan to ship outside the United States, you may never use heat treated pallets, though some customers may request them.
Heavy Duty PalletsHeavy-duty pallets are stronger than regular pallets.

They have more robust wood and can handle larger loads. Industries use these pallets to ship dense, heavy objects. They do cost a bit more because the wood used is thicker and of higher quality.

Heavy-duty pallets are not necessary for most industries, but if you work in a field where objects are regularly thousands of pounds in weight, you might consider them. Like all wooden pallets, these can be custom-built for your business or bought already constructed in bulk.

Custom PalletsWhile there are a lot of configurations for standard pallets, custom pallets are a great option if you have irregular loads. These pallets can also be built with unique features like specific reinforcements. Custom pallets can also be sized in order to fit better in the transportation you have available.

Plastic PalletsPlastic pallets are constructed from plastic and resemble a normal pallet, except that they are lighter and do not hold as much weight. Plastic pallets are also more expensive, in some cases, three times as expensive as wooden pallets.

Plastic pallets are used in some industries because they are assumed to be cleaner, and in certain applications, this can be true. Healthcare products are often stored on plastic pallets, though in reality, for most uses’ plastic pallets don’t offer any advantages.

If you are not transporting much freight, or don’t have to move anything heavy, a plastic pallet might be a good idea. For most businesses that intend to ship freight on a regular basis, they will cost you more without having any real benefit.
Wood Pallets vs Plastic PalletsThere are millions of semis on the road in the United States.

You can rest assured that most of them are full of pallets. It is also true to say that wooden pallets are what you can expect to find. The reasons for this come down to a few simple things.

  1. Wood Pallets Can Be Repaired
    Wood pallets last a long time. Like all things made of wood, they can break. If a board is busted on your pallet, it is a swift and easy repair. This can prolong the life of a wood pallet for quite some time. Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are destroyed if they break. A repaired wood pallet will not lose structural integrity. A broken plastic pallet can’t hold the weight it was designed to and should be replaced to prevent possible injury. This difference alone is worth it to most businesses.
  2.  Wood Pallets Are Cheaper
    You can purchase wood pallets for quite a bit less than plastic pallets. The fact that they are cheaper and that they are repairable means that the overall cost is much lower. When you are moving a lot of freight, this can add up to considerable savings over the life of a pallet.

Plastic pallets are only really necessary in a small handful of industries, usually revolving around healthcare products and food and beverages. If you aren’t shipping or manufacturing these items, a plastic pallet will cost you more without any benefit.

Freight Makes the Modern World Possible Logistics is the art of moving material and products around to facilitate business. This is done by manufacturers who need to bring in raw materials, and by retailers who wish to sell them. For almost all of these businesses, wood pallets are the best choice to go with.

If you need wood pallets, check out The Pallet Guys. We can help make your logistics needs a reality. Don’t spend more money than you need to on your pallets. Wood pallets are rugged, dependable, and will serve you well for their entire life.
Saving money in your logistic chain is a vital component of running a successful business. If you elect to use plastic instead of wood, remember that you are going to be spending a lot more money. Save money and ship responsibly, check out our wood pallets today.

Contact us today to get a pallet delivery quote.

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