Wooden Pallets vs. Plastic Pallets
As a part of a supply chain business, you have the choice of picking between plastic and wooden pallets. Both types have their upsides and downsides. Your choice of pallet materials would depend on your actual intention of using them.
The Fundamental Differences
Wooden pallets are nearly three times cheaper than their plastic counterparts. But that is not the only reason for their wide usage. Wooden pallets can accommodate about 100kg+ of weight. This makes them capable of accommodating heavy articles. Moreover, you can easily re-use and repair your wooden pallets.
On the other hand, plastic pallets are a staple choice for building warehouses. They are more common among vendors shipping perishable commodities like frozen and fresh food items, and pharmaceutical products. Since they are impermeable and easy to sanitize and clean, you can use them to ship almost everything that requires strict hygiene norms.
The Advantages to Enjoy
Apart from being more economical and sturdier than plastic pallets, you can custom design them to put up with anything that you need to ship. To make your pallets even stronger, you can also choose an assortment of woods to build your pallets. Also, when your wooden pallets wore out too much, and you cannot repair them anymore, then you can re-use it. You have the option of using them to create artistic furniture or simply grind up into pet bedding or mulch. Finally, the pallets would break down, thus returning to Mother Nature.
Again, you can use plastic pallets for many years without any trace of breakage. They do not have splinters, sleek in design and lightweight. They are ideal for manual handling, as well. Since these pallets are returnable, they are a good option to manage costs. Additionally, a study by the Dresden Wood Technology Institute, Germany says, “Bacteria survive worse on wood than on plastic. It can therefore be assumed that wooden pallets can be used in the sensitive food sector.”
The Not-So-Good Things
Both wooden pallets and plastic pallets have their share of disadvantages.
For example, while choosing wooden pallets, you have to keep in mind that they are not the right choice for carrying delicate items. Wooden pallets, if are not of good quality the fasteners may loosen off and damage the commodities.. Again, plastics tend to burn at a relatively high temperature than wood.
Plastic pallets are more expensive than that of the wooden ones. Being lightweight and sleek, they often end up being slippery. Hence, they are not the perfect choice for stacking. Also, you would rather not put loads weighing more than1, 500 Lbs. Moreover, wooden pallets are far more environment friendly than their plastic counterparts.
The criteria for selecting your pallet material boil down to your purpose of using them. If you are shipping your products across the border with a feeble chance of a return, then choosing the lightest and most cost-effective variety is optimal. Also, keeping in view the environmental hazards, it is best to use wooden pallets for all your industrial requirements.