The Role of Plastic Pallets in Creating Supply Chain Efficiencies
22 May 2017
Plastic pallets offer a major step forward in materials handling, providing a safe, efficient and effective way of transporting large loads to retail stores and distribution centres.
They also allow companies which focus on materials handling to reduce hidden costs by maximising efficiencies within the plastic pallets supply chain, along with reducing transportation costs and saving warehouse space.
All-Round Plastic Pallets Efficiencies
One of the major efficiencies of pallets made of plastic is their stacking ability. This can be incredibly useful in warehouses where space is at a premium.
By their nature, warehouses have to accommodate equipment, products and people. Plenty of space needs to be left for staff to manoeuvre safely, but this can be made difficult by stacking problems when using wooden pallets.
Inconsistencies and damage can make them incredibly hard to stack safely, unlike pallets made from plastic. The latter are easy to stack thanks to their uniform innovative design and ability to resist warping and retain their shape.
Another space-saving advantage of pallets made from plastic is their low-profile design. This lowers the amount of storage space needed in warehouses and makes the pallets easily retrievable when the warehouse team needs to source the next load.
These pallets can also be stacked safely and neatly in trucks, offering security during journeys. This contrasts to many wooden pallets, which prove to be unstable and can lead to product damage.
Heavy-Duty but Lightweight
The composition of pallets made from plastic can make transportation budgets stretch further. This is largely because of their lighter construction. A typical one-way pallet can weigh 35 per cent less than its wooden counterparts, leading to a reduction in how much loads weigh and the amount of truck fuel needed to transport goods.
This reduction in weight does not mean that pallets made from plastics are not strong, either. Well-designed versions are made to carry considerable weights, which can exceed those offered by wooden pallets. This means that this type of plastic can offer an efficient and cost-effective service to both distributors and their customers.
A higher resistance to being damaged is a major advantage of pallets made from plastic. If a wooden pallet suffers damage, it will often require a time-consuming load transfer or it will need to be double-stacked in order to still be used. Damaged pallets pose a serious threat to products, however, as loads can often move sideways, ending up ruined on the floor.
Plastic versions are not at the same risk of damage, however, as their one-piece construction means that there are no boards or nails which can come loose, and they are often reinforced with plastic and foam. This improves their rigidity and makes them more capable of deflecting accidental hits.
These sturdier pallets offer greater protection for products. For businesses that rely on them to look after inventory, this is worth a lot of money. Overall, pallets made from plastic offer the materials handling sector a strong, safe and effective alternative to timber pallets.