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Plastic Pallets vs Wooden Pallets: Which is Better?
Wooden pallets are the most commonly used pallet type in the US. However, some industries are taking advantage of the many benefits of plastic pallets. If you’ve never used plastic pallets, you may want to consider some of their advantages. In an effort to cut costs and increase safety, businesses have been making the switch from wood to plastic. Some advantages of plastic pallets include sustainability, safety, cleanliness, and cost effectiveness. Pallets made of plastic withstand rigorous heavy duty use and last much longer than wooden pallets. Their four-sided entry makes forklift access a breeze.
Benefits of Wooden Pallets
Wooden pallets are much cheaper than plastic. Also, wooden pallets are easily recyclable and easy to repair when minor damages occur.
Wooden pallets can hold more weight than plastic. While plastic pallets can accommodate loads up to 1,500 lbs, wooden pallets can handle heavier items up to 3,000 lbs.
Best for Shipping Overseas
If you’re familiar with exporting rules and regulations, you should already know that when you ship overseas you don’t get the pallets back. It’s smarter to send shipments on used wooden pallets, instead of the more expensive plastic alternatives which your business could still rely on for years to come.
Benefits of Plastic Pallets
A great advantage of using plastic pallets is that they do not rot or mold, and can be pressure washed to clean off any dirt or debris when needed. Most stored chemicals won’t cause any harm or damage to the plastic material. Plastic pallets are a much cleaner choice in comparison to wooden pallets, which can easily get damaged by water and chemicals, and are much more difficult to keep clean.
Plastic Pallets are Safer
The average wooden pallet has over 100 nails in it, creating potential hazards for employees and materials. These risks only increase as the wooden pallets age and incur more wear and tear. You can reduce pallet-related work injuries by eliminating the danger of broken nails, splinters, and broken boards.
Plastic pallets may have a higher initial cost over wood pallets, however their lifespan and dependability is worth the investment and will save you much more in the long run. Wooden pallets struggle to withstand humid environments and harsh weather conditions. They crack, splinter, and absorb water – causing them to deteriorate much faster. The typical lifespan of a wooden pallet ranges from 3-5 years, but plastic pallets have a durable design that can last for up to 10 years. Some industries that have profited from switching from wooden to plastic include food, dairy, wine and spirits, chemical, mattress, flooring, appliance, material handling, and packaging industries.
Ease of Transportation
If you use a close-looped system, plastic pallets are a great cost effective choice because they can be used repeatedly without suffering from as much wear and tear as a wooden pallet. They are less damaging to your equipment, and lightweight which makes them easier to transport. Also, they feature four-way entry to allow for easy forklift access from any angle. Switching to plastic pallets can greatly increase your efficiency and productivity.