The Complete Buyer's Guide to Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets have end up being the cornerstone of sustainable, green supply chain management (GSCM). Their efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness has earned them the support of environmentalists, distributors, and economists alike. Today, plastic pallets are made by hundreds of companies worldwide. Unlike wood pallets, plastic pallets provide a wide selection of styles, sizes, and features. To help you purchase the best plastic pallets for your business, here's the definitive buyer's guide to plastic pallets.

Structural Styles

Pallets with length-wise, structurally supportive runners tend to be referred to as “rackable” or “rack-compatible” pallets. Having skid runners rather than feet enables rackable pallets to span the width of industrial storage racks and shelving. Naturally, rackable pallets may also be stacked or rest on the floor. Rackable pallets are generally one of the strongest options on the market, but that strength generally comes with additional weight and material costs. They're required for rack storage and suitable for warehouses, retail stores, and general product storage.

Nestable Pallets

The nestability of many plastic pallets is a huge advantage over traditional wood pallets. Designed with concave, cupped feet, these pallets nest inside one another when empty. This nesting provides incredible space efficiency, that may save a bundle on return shipping and storage. While a normal wood pallet may require significantly more than six inches of vertical space, a nestable pallet can often require less than an inch when nested inside another pallet. This means that while a dozen wood pallets may waste around six feet of vertical space, that same space can be filled with more than 60 nestable pallets.

Stackable Pallets

Stack of plastic palletsMany plastic pallet descriptions include the term “stackable.” What this implies is that those pallets are designed with features that enable safe and secure stacking. The design of the features can range. Nestable pallets are inherently stackable, because of the cupped feet. Other stackable designs may incorporate a small lip or edge along the the top of pallet that matches a corresponding groove or slot across the bottom. More advanced plastic pallet designs may feature entire deck tops that interlock with underneath runners of other pallets. Whatever design technology is employed, the end answers are pallets that securely stack together — helping to eliminate the clutter and risks associated with precarious stacks of wooden pallets.

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