Plastic vs Wooden Pallets

Plastic and wooden pallets are both essential parts of the modern supply chain and are vital aspects of the logistics and manufacturing industries.

Mainly used for storage and transportation, plastic and wooden pallets offer unique benefits. Both have their advantages and are better suited to specific needs and industries. In this article we take a look at the differences between plastic and wooden pallets and their capabilities, to ensure you make an informed decision when purchasing the right pallets for your business and its requirements.

Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are typically used as part of the transportation and export of products which have strict hygiene requirements, such as pharmaceutical products and fresh and frozen foods. These types of pallets are porous, meaning they are easy to clean, wash and sterilise.

At PR Pallets we supply plastic pallets in a range of sizes; from 600 x 800 to 1200 x 1000. Click here to find out more.

Plastic pallets may be lighter and sleeker, but one thing to bear in mind is that they are often three times more expensive than wooden pallets. It’s also important to know they are slippery once they’ve come into contact with water and other liquids. Something to consider if you plan on storing these pallets outdoors or not undercover. These pallets are also not suited for loads exceeding 1,500 lbs.

Plastic pallets have a significantly longer lifespan, and are ideal for storage and reuse in warehouses. Light, and splinter-free, they are also friendly for manual handling. Their durability also lends the benefit of being ideal for use on pallet wrapping machines.

We’d recommend plastic pallets if you plan on importing and exporting fresh or frozen food, or are part of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. We recently received a delivery of plastic pallets (below) from a customer in Spain, who use these pallets to transport fresh watermelons from overseas to UK supermarkets. As you can see, they are really easy to clean and we can turn around plastic pallets very quickly at PR Pallets.

Wooden Pallets

Used in a wide range of industries across the world, wooden pallets are considerably cheaper than plastic pallets and are at least 10 times more widely used. They are able to hold much more in weight than plastic and are easily repaired and reused.

At PR Pallets, we can produce pallets of any size to suit your specific requirements. All pallets are produced at our purpose-built facility in Essex, with most pallet sizes available for dispatch within 24 hours.

One of the more obvious benefits of wooden pallets is that they can be easily repaired. Even if they are beyond salvageable and have been damaged during transportation or storage, the decent components can be broken down and used to make reconditioned pallets. This means much less timber is needed to produce new pallets, which in itself has great environmental benefits while ensuring much less goes to waste.

All parts of used pallets are repurposed in one way or another at PR Pallets. Whether we take parts from existing pallets to create reconditioned pallets, or break down unusable parts and convert this into woodchip or biomass, we ensure nothing goes to waste.

Wooden pallets also offer the benefit of protecting goods by ensuring they are secured in one place. The use of pallet protection, including pallet collars, keeps goods tightly packed, preventing them from moving around or coming loose which ultimately helps to avoid damage during transit. Alongside this, wooden pallets are equipped with a high level of friction on all surfaces. Such friction helps pallets to stay in place without slipping, further securing the goods during transit.

Both plastic and wooden pallets have their advantages, and your choice depends on a combination of factors, such as the product, industry, standards and regulations and budget.

If you’d like to discuss the types of pallets we offer here at PR Pallets, feel free to fill out a contact form and one of the team will be in touch. Alternatively, call the office today on 01992 761 116.