You may have encountered many websites advertising pallets for sale and wonder what they are and what they are used for. Here is some information about pallets that may help you decide whether you will need them or not.
What Are Pallets?
Pallets are used as the base of large cargo units transported and distributed to different locations, either locally, nationally, or internationally. Pallets are commonly made up of wood, but steel, aluminium, and plastic may also be used. The dimensions of pallets are kept constant and standardized, but some countries or regions have their own sets of dimension standards. In North America, the standard dimensions of pallets are 48 inches by 40 inches, as established by the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
On the other hand, the more common pallet dimension used in Australia is 1165 mm by 1165 mm or 45.86 inches by 45.86 inches. This Australian pallet dimension was set in 1974 to enable two pallets to fit inside rail containers of the Australian railways. This dimension was kept, and the Australian Standard AS: 4068-1993 made it a standard size for all stores and warehouses in Australia until 2019 when it was withdrawn and amended to give way to a more international standard.
What Are the Uses of Pallets?
Pallets can be used in many ways, but the main purpose of pallets is for logistics, cargo, and shipping industries.
You can put large amounts of products and goods on top of a single pallet and bind them together using a pallet collar or stretch wrap. Once the load and the pallet are secured, the system is referred to as a cargo unit. A single pallet can have the capacity to hold about 4600 pounds or about 2000 kilograms of load. This pallet can be stacked alongside other pallets with the same amount of load. Because of the pallet’s uniform dimensions, logistics companies will find it easier to allocate the amount of space needed for storing large amounts of cargo loads.
Pallets are designed to have a gap between the floor and the base of the pallet. This gap allows transport equipment such as forklifts to move the pallets around easily. The gaps also allow cargo straps or chains to be fastened under the pallets to lift the cargo units onto ships or higher locations.
Pallets must be loaded with a focus on uniform weight distribution across the entire pallet. If the weight is not evenly distributed, the pallet may topple over during lifting or transporting. Pallets that are not in use may be stacked on top of each other to make them compact and save up space.
Uses for Discarded Wooden Pallets
While some wooden pallets are designed for single use only, most wooden pallets can be reused and repaired multiple times. However, some pallets may incur irreparable physical damages that they need to be discarded. In Australia, there are approximately 140,000 tons of discarded wooden pallets being sent to landfills yearly. Because of this, there is a movement to reuse and recycle wooden pallets rather than dump them into landfills to rot.
Reusing wooden pallets will greatly benefit the environment, saving up the need to cut down more trees. Reusing wooden pallets will at least twice significantly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Because wooden pallets have standardized dimensions, useful components from different broken pallets may be gathered to build new pallets.
One way to use discarded wooden pallets is to dismantle and recycle them into processed wood products such as particleboard, wood mulch, and biomass.
DIY Home Furniture
For avid DIYers, used pallets for sale are a great source for materials to be used for building home furniture and wood crafting hobbies.
Wooden pallets are important components of the shipping and transport industry and are great tools for efficient storage solutions. Reusing, repairing, and recycling wooden pallets are important to lessen waste.