Could Using Plastic Pallets Reduce Your Shipping Costs?
22 Jun 2016
While wooden pallets have long been a stalwart of the shipping industry, thanks to their readily available status and capacity for recycling, they’re not perhaps the most renowned for their longevity and resistance to damage.
Adverse wet weather conditions in particular can impact the quality of wooden pallets significantly. As a result, more research has been done into alternatives and plastic pallets have come up time and time again.
Let’s weigh up some of the pros.
More resistant to damage
When wooden pallets are exposed repeatedly to wet conditions, there is an increased likelihood that they could become home to a variety of wood-eating pests, that will result in the destruction of the wood, thus rendering the pallets unusable. The cumulative cost of replacing damaged pallets soon racks up, but this isn’t an issue with both new and used plastic pallets. The very nature of plastic as a material means that water won’t erode the structure, so pests won’t find anything to feast on.
Regulatory red tape not an issue
Some countries have fairly strict timber regulations, so if your pallets don’t meet the mark, your shipper may end up having to unload and reload. That results in costly delays that can impact both customers and your business. It also increases the chance of goods becoming damaged in transit.
A plus in the safety column
Using plastic boxes and pallets can also be a positive thing in terms of safety. Grooved panels means that they are slip-resistant in wet conditions, and toxic spillages won’t seep into the structure, causing permanent damage. They can be easily decontaminated and wiped clean. You’ll also avoid the potential hazard of splinters with plastic pallets, and since they don’t use nails in the construction, there is no possibility of you catching yourself and sustaining a nasty cut. They’re also very shock absorbent.
While you could argue that the recyclable nature of wood is unbeatable, that isn’t necessarily the case. Plastic can also be recycled and re-purposed for other projects. They can also last a long time. Properly stored and used, they can last upwards of 10 years.
While wooden pallets are cheaper to produce than plastic, the longevity of the latter, along with safety and regulatory benefits, means that plastic is largely becoming a truly viable alternative for those with a stake in the shipping industry, wanting to be cost effective in their processes.