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Plastic Pallets vs. Wood Pallets: Cutting Costs?

January 24, 2020

A common question in any supply chain is whether to go for wood or plastic pallets. Like anything in this world, it has advantages and disadvantages, which pallets suppliers can advise on which one to go for based on the purpose and application.  

As one of Sydney’s leading pallets manufacturers, we will go through some tips on how to reduce costs in supply chain and choosing the right type of pallet to maximise your business’ return-on-investment.

  1. Re-use

If you work in an industry that has a closed-loop warehouse facility, plastic pallets can be used as they will be returned, and no further investment needs to be done.

Plastic pallets are durable and can withstand heavy duty applications, so although being more expensive than wood pallets, they are better in the longer term.

Wooden pallets are better though if the cost of these will be passed to the end-user, as it allows businesses to be more price competitive.

  • Weight

Before placing an order for your pallet, determine the load you are planning for these pallets to carry, as each pallet type has a different load capacity. Not only this will determine to go for plastic or wood pallets, but it might also dictate the usage of HDPE plastic pallets or recycled plastic, with the latter withstanding less load capacity than the former.

Your local pallet supplier will determine this in detail by calculating the dynamic load capacity, static load capacity and racking load capacity.

Generally, wood pallets are more suitable for heavier loads, but it’s never that simple to make the decision as there are many other factors to consider when buying pallets, for example wooden pallets need to comply with the ISPM-15 regulations for international shipping.

  • The Shipment

What is the product to be shipped? The ultimate goal of buying pallets is to ensure the product will be received to its destination without any damage or contamination.

It makes sense then to use plastic pallets for fragile shipments, as those pallets are free of screws and nails that could potentially damage the shipped item. Plastic pallets are also recommended where hygiene is an important consideration, as these can be maintained by chemical sterilisation or steaming.

In case you are looking for dual-purpose pallets, plastic pallets are most cost effective.

  • Repairs

In business, it’s always wise to include the cost to repair any damage within the total costs, as these will always happen. Even those you can buy pallets from a reliable supplier, and plastic pallets can be used for over a decade, damage could occur at some point and you will need to repair or recycle your pallets. This is also better for the environment, since the plastic can then be recycled, it will not go to waste.

Wooden pallets are considered to be less eco-friendly. While they are easy to fix, they cannot be recycled when they come to their end of life.

If you are still looking for advice to choose either a plastic pallet or wood pallet, talk to your local pallet supplier today. We have been in business for decades and we ensure we do a careful analysis of every situation at hand.