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The Risks of Using the Wrong Type of Pallet

February 10, 2023

Pallets are a crucial instrument in the world’s economy. They are the backbone of a variety of industries, including medicine, wine, and construction – needless to mention their obvious benefits to the transportation industry. Pallets are the easiest and most cost-efficient way to transport up to 1 metre cubed or 1,000kg of packaged product. Read on to find out the risks that accompany wood vs plastic pallet use in different industries.


Medicine and pharmaceuticals

The way high-risk industries use pallets is dynamic and constantly changing. Obviously, the pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest growing fields in the world – and Australia relies hugely on effective transportation, as we import 90% of our medicines from other continents. 


However, despite this massive demand for pallets, there are increasingly strict regulations about the kind of material that can be used for transporting such sensitive goods. (Sensitive in terms of temperature, chemical composition, and risk of contamination). Therefore, good manufacturing practice regulations suggest that plastic and hygienic pallets be used to transport goods – as these come without risk of chipping, splintering, or seepage from the chemicals used to treat wood. As 1/3rd of Australians are reliant on daily prescriptions, the pressure of efficient shipping and supply within the pharmaceutical industry continues to grow. 



The construction industry doesn’t just rely on pallets for shipping and transportation. The structural integrity of wooden pallets means that they can be utilised for a variety of scaffolding and temporary structure builds. Temporary floorboards and stairs are easily created using pallets; their high level of sturdiness makes it easy to move bulky objects and materials around. Pallets can be assembled, reassembled, and repaired to meet the demands of the job site. 


In a high-stress environment with exposure to moisture, heights, and above-average wear-and-tear, pallets used in construction can become damaged easily. Fortunately, wooden pallets have a hardiness that can’t be replicated in plastic alternatives; this makes them so useful for the jobs mentioned above. At Cooperage Pallets, we can repair your pallets in most instances of damage. Get a *hyperlinked* free quote to learn what we can do for your business.


Transportation – E-goods

Electronics have firmly cemented their status as something most of us can’t live without. Pallets are used to ship parts and components for these devices all across the world – from manufacturers in Asia to consumers in Europe and America. These sensitive devices – computer parts, precision machines, and circuit boards – all have a low tolerance for disturbances in shipping. This relates to electrostatic discharge – or ESD – which can interfere with the delicate electronics. This is essentially the same static electricity you can feel by pulling a jumper over your head or rubbing a balloon on your hair. However, minor electrical components are sensitive enough to this charge to warrant the use of exclusively wooden pallets or a coating of anti-static pallet wrap. Specifications for pallets vary across industries immensely and often contrast in some interesting ways. 


Speak to a representative from Cooperage Pallets to figure out how our product can best serve your industry. We can talk you through the pros and cons of each option and ensure that you’re satisfied.