When people want to package their items, especially when it comes to exporting of items needed for freight shipping, they make use of pallets. These stabilize the goods which are lifted by front loaders, forklifts or pallet jacks or even cranes. The goods normally are either strapped, stretched wrapped or shrink wrapped on a pallet before they are shipped for export. In simple terms, export pallets are horizontal platforms that are used as base materials during assemblage, storage, handling and transportation of materials from one place to another. Large-scale shipments and even chemical industries make use of pallets to transport their goods from one port to another.
Types of pallets
There are two types of pallets. The first kind is called stringer pallets. These have pieces of timber which are called stringers which are placed parallel to each other. The top boards are then fixed to these stringers. High quality export pallets can be made of wood, plastic, paper and wood composite material but the main aim is to keep the goods safe during transportation. In case the pallets are weak and breakable, they can lead to much loss or chemical spillage.
The second type of export pallets are called block pallets and the difference between these and the stringer pallets is that, the block pallets are made of blocks of stringers which are placed both perpendicular as well as parallel to each other. Due to this these, are stronger and can take more weight than the stringer pallets.
- Two way pallets: These have openings for the forklift only on two ends. Another name for these kind of pallets is the notched pallets as they do not have notches.
- The partial four-way entry pallets: These kind of pallets have openings for the forklift on two ends and on the other two ends there are smaller openings on the side.
- The four-way entry pallets: These are the most convenient to use with the forklift as they can be lifted from any side. These are much preferred as compared to the other 2 types mentioned above.
Materials used to create pallets
Pallets are made of a variety of materials. The details of each type are mentioned below:
- Metal Pallets: These are made of metals like steel or aluminum and are used when heavy goods need to be transported. These pallets are also used for air freights as well as for storage outdoors or even for storage at sea. The advantage of these metal pallets is that they are extremely strong and are safe. They are the preferred material when used for catering businesses as they do not provide a breeding place for cockroaches or any insects as compared with wood pallets.
- Softwood pallets are the cheapest kind of pallets and they normally are discarded after the trip. However, these pallets especially are prone to rotting after sea journeys. They also attract and are a breeding ground for insects, fungus and mold.
- Plastic pallets are very durable, although expensive. Weather does not have an effect on them not does water or rotting. They neither corrode nor are affected by chemicals in any way. These can be used for a number of trips but if it is used for very heavy materials, there are chances of it collapsing.
- Steel pallets carry heavy loads as well as loads which need to be stacked high or for long periods of time. They normally are used for military equipment including ammunition which need to be transported.
Metal pallets are generally preferred as they are very durable, they are stiff and do not splinter. They also can be recycled and they are bug free. There are many pallet suppliers who arrange for customized varieties of export pallets as per the needs and budget of the customer.