Trinity Lutheran Cda

Historic Lutheran Church in downtown
Coeur d'Alene Idaho

Pallets – The Building Blocks of Modern Logistics

Pallets are the building blocks of our modern logistics system. They provide stability to protect and secure goods during transport, increasing the odds of items reaching their destination in good condition. They allow for efficient stacking and are adaptable to various modes of transportation. They also offer the convenience of nesting, which increases cubic space utilization in storage. Pallets are available in a wide range of sizes and materials. While wood Pallets dominate the marketplace, others are available for specialized applications and for those seeking to reduce environmental impact.

While it is difficult to pin down the exact origin of the pallet, the basic wooden form has a long history dating back to ancient times. Its predecessor was the skid, a simple wooden platform on which goods were stacked. While skids existed in a variety of forms, the pallet as we know it today came into existence around 1915 when the first forklift truck appeared. This new tool demanded a more durable and stable platform than the skid.

The pallet subsequently underwent many evolutions to better suit the needs of the logistics industry and its ever-changing technology. For example, in World War II logistics — the Big ‘L’ — was arguably the most important innovation of all time and the pallet played a crucial role. As cited by Rick Le Blanc in his book Pallet Enterprise, tens of millions of pallets were used to support the enormous logistical efforts of the war.

Wooden pallets are still the choice for many customers due to their stiffness and affordability. They are available in a wide variety of finishes and can be treated with heat, chemicals or both to impart a pest-repellent characteristic. Treated pallets are also more resistant to damage from moisture, thereby prolonging their useful life.

Other pallets are made from plastics, paper or metals. Generally speaking, plastic pallets are lighter and more durable than wood. They are also typically nestable for improved cube utilization in transportation and storage and are highly recyclable. They are, however, susceptible to dents and rust and may require special handling equipment. Lastly, metal pallets are the heaviest and most rugged of all options.

In addition to size and material, another major factor in selecting a pallet is the type of product being shipped. Dry goods, for example, are best suited for pallets that have not been exposed to spillage, food stains or other damage. Pallets with nails sticking out and splinters are also poor candidates, and it is a good idea to check for signs of moisture damage before using any pallet for a shipping or storage purpose.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *