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Pallet Factors Relating to Exportation

01 Oct 2014

Many factors affect the quality of a product, including the choice of materials, the manufacturing process and packaging. But it has to get to its customer in a good condition, and this is where the choice of pallet comes in. The pallet has to be the correct size and material to ship and protect the product.

Anticipate Shipping Conditions

When preparing any product for shipment, it is important to anticipate all of the conditions to which it will be subjected. This means thinking about any extremes of weather that may occur along the way and if heat, cold or rain will penetrate the packaging and the pallet. You must also consider any shocks or vibration that could happen along the way, such as along uneven roads, which could damage the goods.


The product should be stacked and packed correctly during shipment so that it does not fall over. Pallet corners and edges should be aligned with those of the space within the truck, ship or aircraft hold. The best strength and stability during shipment can be achieved by positioning the pallets in an interlocking pattern.

When using wooden pallets, make sure that they have a bottom deck — also called skids. These allow the pallets to be stacked without damage. It is very important to avoid any irregular stacking shapes, such as pyramids or overhanging edges – asymmetrical shapes are the most unstable structures. Keep all stacks level and symmetrical.

ISPM 15 Standards

Unlike most of Europe, the United States and the rest of North America do not require wooden pallets to conform to the ISPM 15 international standard. But this could change as reports of foreign species’ incursions in wood packaging materials increase.

It could be a good idea to stick with the ISPM 15 standard. Nevertheless, make sure that all solid wood pallets that do conform to this standard are clearly stamped, as otherwise they will not be accepted by countries that require the standard.

Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets have many advantages over wooden pallets — most of all that they eliminate the need for ensuring the ISPM 15 standard is followed. There will be no danger of the shipment being detained at its port of entry. However, plastic pallets can be expensive and add to production and shipment costs that eventually are borne by the customer.

Customer Liaison

The best strategy is to liaise with the customer to find out the precise needs at the shipment’s destination. How much does the use of a plastic pallet increase costs for the customer? Maybe the customer wants to use the pallet as a display case. If so, which colour of pallet would be the best? This kind of interaction between manufacturer and customer will ensure that the products will be safely and competently handled during shipment and arrive in a good condition at their destination.

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