The difference between wooden and plastic pallets

Views:0     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-12-07      Origin:Site

The difference between wooden and plastic pallets

Some organisations still prefer wooden pallets, because they’re usually cheaper to buy in the first place, and their supply chain is set up for them. While price is an important consideration, there are several more variables to weigh up.


Wooden pallets tend to break much more easily than plastic pallets. Not only does this mean you have to keep paying to replace them, you’re also risking damaging your goods and creating occupational health and safety hazards. If you do opt for wood, take some time to find a reputable supplier who uses high-quality materials. Plastic pallets are much less fragile and it takes a lot of pressure for one to actually break. Depending on the design, a plastic pallet can hold loads of up to 5,000 kg.

Customs reliability

Improving the reliability of your supply chain is especially important if you ship internationally and have customs regulations to comply with. all wooden packaging must be certified pest free. In practice, this means having your pallets fumigated before shipping. If your customs official isn’t happy with your paperwork, you could face delays to the onward journey or even see your goods returned. This isn’t a problem with plastic pallets, as they’re naturally pest free and hygienic.

Consistent sizing

Plastic pallets are made to an exact mould so you can rely on them being the same size every time.

Wooden pallets are made to a specific size, but the variation of material means you can’t always guarantee that each one you buy is exactly the same. With loose nails or damaged slats, and even the shape can change. This makes it difficult to plan your logistics and operations around your pallets, and doesn’t support the move to more automated systems.

However, plastic pallets are made to an exact mould which means you can rely on them being the same size and weight every single time. You can use them in automated environments and better operate in a closed loop supply chain where the pallet is continuously returned to you. 


With wooden pallets, buyers must consider where the materials are coming from. Not all pallet makers are sourcing sustainably. Plastic pallets are often recycled when one company finishes with them and they are no longer in their best condition. They can be melted down and re-moulded indefinitely, making them an environmentally friendly option in the long run. Any part of a wooden pallet that can’t be used to build new ones tend to be broken down into mulch or recycled until into other materials until it reaches the end of its lifespan. 


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