Plastic shipping pallets are durable, lightweight, economical, and available for a wide variety of applications. Multi-use applications are ideal due to the strength and life-span of plastic pallets. Here are some notable features:
Nesting saves storage & shipping costs
(when snap-on base removed)
Allows for safe double stacking
Easy-to-clean hygienic design
Suitable for packaged food items
(not approved for direct food contact)
Impervious to acids, fats, solvents and odors
Resists water absorption & bacteria growth
Inert to infestation, mold, and mildew
Consistently dimensionally accurate
Exempt from ISPM 15 shipping regulations
Our 48x40 plastic pallet can hold up to 4500 static lbs, and 3000 dynamic pounds. The pallet weighs approximately 17 pounds. Optional snap off runners allow the pallets to nest within each other. This option offers the most optimized solution for space restricted areas.
Below we look at some of the common characteristics in plastic pallets, what you should expect from one, along with the advantages and disadvantages that come with using plastic instead of wood.
Plastic pallet can be manufactured from either a recycled resin or a virgin resin – recycled resin is more cost-effective but more brittle, while virgin resin is more durable and also more expensive. Some pallet companies recycle whole plastic pallets which have many of the same benefits as a brand new plastic pallet, but they have been used before and can have inconsistencies in quality and specification.
Clean: Plastic pallets do not have organic fibers that can be scraped off like a wood pallet. Unless the pallet is broken due to carelessness load that is too heavy, the plastic mold should remain intact. Even if a piece falls off, it will not leave fiber strands that can be hard to track down. This characteristic makes plastic pallets ideal for a clean room environment that needs isolation from contaminants.
Washable: Plastic is waterproof, wood is not. If a drum or container breaks or splits open, the plastic pallet can be washed or rinsed off and put back into use without the concern of water or a liquid product soaking into the pallet, as would be the concern with a wood pallet.
Export-ready: Plastic pallets are exempt from ISPM-15 export regulations. They do not need to be heat treated, stamped, or inspected upon arriving at customs like a normal wood pallet would need to be. The reason for this is that heat treating or fumigating a pallet is meant to kill pests and insects, but there is no way for a beetle to burrow into a plastic pallet.
Durable: Not all plastic pallets have the same strength rating, but there are a few companies that make plastic pallets that are actually reinforced with steel supports which make for an ideal warehouse pallet that can hold weight in excess of 5000lbs and be used over and over again.
Lead times: Most plastic pallets that are made brand new are built to order, so lead times can range anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on the manufacturer. Occasionally a company will carry an inventory of a common size, but these may not always be available.
Pricing: There are far more local wood pallet manufacturers than plastic pallet manufacturers, and plastic pallets can sometimes need to be shipped hundreds and possibly thousands of miles to reach the destination. Plastic pallets can range anywhere from $5 to a few hundred per pallet, depending on the quantity ordered, material, distance, size, and specification.
Plastic pallets have significant advantages for specialty applications – they are cleaner, more reusable, and can be much stronger than a wood pallet, but lead times and pricing are often the biggest holdups with getting a load of pallets ordered and ready to go. Although a local wood pallet supplier might not manufacture the plastic pallets in house, they may have access to recycled plastic pallets or relationships with plastic pallet manufacturers and can distribute for a discounted wholesale price.