What to Know When Buying a Wood Pallet

Wood pallets are an inexpensive, sustainable, and easy-to-source solution for storage, shipping, and many other needs. If you’re thinking of reaching out to a pallet supplier, there are a few things you first need to know. This is because as versatile as wood pallets are, they may work great for one need but not for others.

Considerations to Make Before Ordering Wood Pallets

  • The first consideration you need to make is for the destination. If the pallets will be shipped internationally, it is important to heat treat them in accordance with the international ISPM-15 standard. The pallets should all be individually marked as such to indicate compliance with a heat treat stamp identifying the country of origin and heat treatment facility.  This will endure your product is not held up at the port of entry.

  • Second, think about the weight they will be carrying. If unsure what pallet will meet your needs then it’s best to let a pallet professional help design a pallet using the Pallet Design Software or recommend a pallet type based on unit load requirements.  Used 48 x 40 pallets are sorted into grades, with grade one or A grade being the closest to new and offering great value compared to a new pallet.

  • Next, consider the life expectancy. Do you need pallets for single-use or do you need pallets capable of supporting your product through many trips or life cycles? If you are looking for longevity, new hardwood pallets can be a good choice rather than softwood pallets.  Kiln-dried softwood pallets do have lower moisture content than new green hardwood pallets though which may be of value depending on the unit load.

  • The size of the pallets you source from your pallet supplier will go a long way in improving the ability to handle them with forklifts as well as calculate how many of them can fit in a specific container. The industry you are in will also dictate the best size of pallets since those used in the grocery industry are different from those used in the automotive and chemical industries.

An estimated two-thirds of the U.S. GDP comes from the retail industry and pallets are an integral part of the supply chain for retail. Sourcing them from a reputable pallet supplier ensures you are getting a quality product that will meet your needs.