The Complete Buyer's Guide to Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets have become the cornerstone of sustainable, green supply chain management (GSCM). Their efficiency, durability, and cost-effectiveness has earned them the support of environmentalists, distributors, and economists alike. Today, plastic pallets are manufactured by hundreds of companies worldwide. Unlike wood pallets, plastic pallets give you a wide variety of styles, sizes, and features. To assist you purchase the very best plastic pallets for your company, here's the definitive buyer's guide to plastic pallets.

Structural Styles

Pallets with length-wise, structurally supportive runners in many cases are called “rackable” or “rack-compatible” pallets. Having skid runners instead of feet enables rackable pallets to span the width of industrial storage racks and shelving. Naturally, rackable pallets can be stacked or rest entirely on the floor. Rackable pallets tend to be on the list of strongest options on the market, but that strength generally comes with additional weight and material costs. They're essential for rack storage and suitable for warehouses, retail stores, and general product storage.

Nestable Pallets

The nestability of many plastic pallets is a huge advantage over traditional wood pallets. Designed with concave, cupped feet, these pallets nest inside one another when empty. This nesting provides incredible space efficiency, that may save a bundle on return shipping and storage. While a traditional wood pallet may require a lot more than six inches of vertical space, a nestable pallet can often require significantly less than an inch when nested inside another pallet. Which means that while twelve wood pallets may waste up to six feet of vertical space, that same space may be filled with more than 60 nestable pallets.

Stackable Pallets

Stack of plastic palletsMany plastic pallet descriptions include the phrase “stackable.” What this means is that those pallets were created with features that enable safe and secure stacking. The style of the features can range. Nestable pallets are inherently stackable, because of their cupped feet. Other stackable designs may incorporate a small lip or edge along the top of the pallet that matches a corresponding groove or slot along the bottom. More advanced plastic pallet designs may feature entire deck tops that interlock with underneath runners of other pallets. Whatever design technology can be used, the end results are pallets that securely stack together — helping to get rid of the clutter and risks related to precarious stacks of wooden pallets.

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