Call us on 1300 662 185 – Lead time: 2 to 3 days – No minimum order value

Pallet Pointers: All Your Pallet Supply Questions Answered

May 16, 2024

From buying and selecting used pallets to upcycling them or even using them for firewood — there’s a lot more to the practical pallet than meets the eye. In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of all the most common pallet-related questions so you can learn everything you need to know about this versatile product. Let’s get started! 


Which pallets are best?


It may sound like we’re already avoiding answering here, but finding the best pallet truly relies on your unique needs. While standard timber pallets are a reliable and affordable option for many industries, plastic pallets are the preferred choice for food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Export pallets including Euro pallets are vital for transporting goods internationally, while you may find that used pallets fit within your budget and effectively meet your needs. Looking for help deciding what’s right for you? Contact the team at Cooperage Pallets and Boxes for expert advice and a free quote. 


Are pallets treated?


In Australia, pallets are often treated to meet ISPM15 standards for international shipping. This treatment involves heat-treating pallets to reduce the risk of spreading pests or diseases across borders. Heat treatment (marked with the HT stamp) is the most common method and involves heating the wood to a core temperature of 56°C for at least 30 minutes. Fumigation with methyl bromide (marked with the MB stamp) is another method, although this is being phased out due to environmental concerns. Always check for these stamps when sourcing pallets for international shipping to ensure compliance with regulations.


What are pallets made from? 


The majority of pallets worldwide are made from wood such as pine, oak or hardwood. To encourage sustainable practice, there is ongoing pressure in the industry to source wood from renewable forests, like the ones we source our timber from at Cooperage Pallets. While they may not seem like the ecological choice, plastic pallets — commonly made from HDPE or PP food-grade plastic — have notable environmental benefits. These pallets are easy to clean, reusable and recyclable, all features that can help reduce waste in landfills. They can even outlast timber pallets by around five to seven years. Other materials, such as metal, are less commonly used to create pallets but are gaining popularity in industries like automotive manufacturing, where strength and durability are required. 


How many pallets can you fit in a truck?


While the answer to this question varies based on which pallets you select as well as the size and type of truck being used, it’s relatively straightforward to calculate once you have all your measurements. For example, the most common pallet size used is the Euro pallet, which measures approximately 1200mm x 800mm. Additionally, how these pallets are loaded and stacked into the truck also needs to be considered. Therefore, a standard semi-trailer truck in Australia should be able to accommodate around 20 to 30 Euro pallets single-stacked, and up to 50 or more if they are double-stacked. Again, this is a case-by-case situation and depends on individual measurements, but this scenario can be used as a rough guide. 


When would you use boxes instead of pallets?


Wooden boxes are a specialised packaging solution preferred over pallets in a range of situations. They are ideal to use when goods must be contained from the elements, for irregular items that cannot be stacked easily, and for fragile or valuable items that require extra care or protection. Plywood boxes are used mostly for light-weight items, whereas timber boxes are designed to transport heavier and bulkier items.


Is it possible to upcycle pallets?


When pallets have served their primary purpose, they often find new life through upcycling projects. Outdoor furniture such as seating and tables, garden planters, and even shelving or other home decor, are all trendy ways to transform aged, splintered wood into something exciting and new. The process of upcycling pallets requires a bit of effort and creativity, but the results can be impressive. If upcycling is not an option, used pallets can instead be recycled into reclaimed wood — a material that can be used across multiple industries. It can also be used to create mulch, biomass energy or even products like particleboard and composite decking.  


Can pallets be used for firewood?


While burning pallet wood can be a convenient way to dispose of old or damaged pallets, it’s important to exercise caution. Some pallets are treated with chemicals that can release toxic fumes when burned, posing health risks. Avoid burning pallets that are marked with treatment codes like MB (methyl bromide) or that show signs of chemical spills or contamination. Instead, consider repurposing pallet wood for non-combustible projects like furniture or recycling it into one of the other products mentioned above. 


Who sells pallets near me?


While what we’ve explored above answers a lot of the main questions you may have about pallets, this question is surely the most important one on your mind. If you’re based in Sydney, and searching for pallet suppliers near you, be sure to get in touch with our team to learn about what buying options are available. With decades of experience delivering quality service, we can help you with everything from choosing your pallet and customising it to your needs to offering tailored advice. Contact Cooperage Pallets today to answer any other questions you may have!