Many people might miss it, but one of 20th-century’s biggest technological breakthroughs in transporting goods and materials comes in the form of a bunch of wooden planks hammered together to form a wide, low platform. This is called a pallet. Pallets actually have existed since time immemorial but events in the 1900’s, especially WWII and with the invention of the forklift, have secured their throne as one of the most important forms of crating today. Pallet business is big business and pallet companies like PPS, offer pallet hires these days.
Importance of Pallets
A pallet’s versatility and usefulness have replaced some of the older forms of crating because it works well with other modern forms of packaging. Pallets are lighter, easier to load, cheaper and easier to create, and if the contents are secured onto the pallet well enough, they have the same stability as any other form of crating. You can stack anything on a pallet and because of its openness, you can fit any stack of boxes, barrels, or crates on it – Secure the contents of a plastic wrap or some chains and it’s good to go.
If you’re a business owner you might ask “do I need pallets?” If you have a big business that manufactures or supplies goods by the thousands, you most likely do. Pallets are so important, that there exist global standards and regulations specifically for pallets: the size of the materials used to create pallets and the dimensions of the pallets themselves, just to name a few, are regulated by special laws and organizations like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the International Organization for Standardization. These rules must be followed no matter what type of material a pallet is made of. Pallets today come in materials other than the traditional wooden pallets, like plastic, steel, and aluminum. Some pallets are made to be disposed of after use, others are reusable, making renting pallets a profitable business.
If you’re considering entering into the pallet business, there are several ways to do so. There are many types of pallets but they ultimately are divided into disposable and reusable. Depending on the customers’ needs you may either sell or rent these different types of pallets. For example, you can sell them disposable ones or have them rent reusable ones instead. If they rented or bought reusable ones made of wood make sure they follow the standards such as ISPM 15, especially if the pallets are to be used to transport items between countries.
There are however downsides with pallets, especially wooden ones that are easily affected by changes in timber supply. We might possibly see a shift in pallet material if the cost of timber rises. For example, businesses might consider using plastic or steel pallets more since they’re more reusable than wood, are much cleaner, and easier to use. They are, however, not cheap but one can easily get their money’s worth if the non-biodegradable pallets can last long enough.