Pallets are important components of the supply chain. The modern concept of usage of pallets is that of pooling pallets. This arrangement has many benefits which make them popular with logistics professionals.
Definition of Pallets
A pallet refers to a typical kind of packaging of tertiary use that comprises a flat object utilized as a foundation to unitize goods as part of supply chains. As per the MH-1-2016 standard, the pallet is defined as a ‘portable, horizontal, composite, and rigid platform, utilized as a foundation for assembly, storage, handling, transporting and stacking goods in the form of unit load, mostly equipped using a superstructure. This superstructure is an assembly that is joined to the pallet’s supporting base.
Pallets are utilized for stacking, storing, protecting, and transporting materials during the procedure of handling by equipment typically used for material handlings like pallet jacks, conveyors, or forklifts. Such materials are stored in bulk or in racking storage or positioned in vehicles for transport.
The pallet serves as ahighly popular base for a unit load that includes goods and pallets on which they are stacked. It is usually secured by shrink wrap, stretch wrap, pallet collar, adhesive, or other modes of stabilization such as reusable nets, straps, and wraps.
Among the important logistical tools to develop in the last century are pallets and palletized handling. Pallets emerged and kept evolving all through the last century, aiding to enable the creation of a modern process of logistics.
The criticality of pallets for applications of supply chains of modern times has been substantial, permitting dramatic improvements of efficiencies in transport and handling of unitary loads in place of goods being stacked loosely.
Extra renovations were contributed to pallet management and design during the Second World War. For instance, the reuse of pallets in the supply chain got practiced at a faster pace. Pallet collars began to be manufactured to enable the fragile materials’ stacking. During this time, the concept of pallet pooling began being discussed.
Considerations of Pallet Selection
● Reusable or Expendable
One major difference is between reusable or durable pallets and single-use or expendable pallets. In the case of pallets that may be reused, they offer a lesser expense per trip as well as reduced environmental impact compared to pallets that can be utilized only once.
In applications of reusable pallets, investing in pallets of superior quality typically last for longer, offering a lesser expense per use compared to cheaper options.
● Pallet Material
A wide range of materials is used to manufacture pallets. The market is dominated by wood pallets, offering excellent value as regards performance and price. Wood is a material that is stiff, cheaper, and easily designed as per different sizes required.
Plastic is another popular material. Plastic materials are popular for many reasons, such as easy cleaning and durability. Paper pallets may be prized for their low weight, ease of recycling, and cleanliness. Pallets made of wood composite offer competitively priced, stiff products that are recyclable.
● Stringer or Block
One way to classify pallets is as stringer or block pallets. As for block pallets, they offer more choices of pallet entry through equipment for material handling. Solid stringer pallets usually permit 2-way entry, while notched stringers permit partial 4-way entry.
Blocked pallets usually permit four-way entry. They may be accessed mostly at two ends. As for partial stringer pallets featuring notches, they allow forklifts entry from sides. But they do not permit pallet jacks.
Styles of Pallets
This refers to features like double or single face and if the pallet is non-reversible or reversible. Various configurations of bottom decks are also considered in the style of pallets. Skid is the name of a single-faced pallet.
This arrangement is usually in the mode of pallet hire or pallet rental. Pallet exchange
has become much loved since its emergence in the period after the Second World War. With regard to the rental, users of pallets can enjoy the use of pallets of high quality at costs linked only to utility instead of outright buying pallets. As such, pooling can replace the requirement of expendable pallets, offering a lesser cost per trip, getting rid of solid waste as well as providing operational efficiencies all through supply chains.
Benefits of Pallet Pooling
● No capital investment
Arrangement of pallet pooling frees a business from CAPEX pressures of arranging pallet storage and transport solutions. The business can save money by avoiding the use of single-use pallets of high quality demanded by end-users (retailers) which involves much capital expenditure.
● Arrangement for repairs
The pallet pooling company takes up the responsibility of collecting pallets at the end of the supply chain and will arrange any needed repairs. Thus, reusable pallets can be returned to the logistics chain in perfect condition.
● Assurance of quality
Pallet pooling companies take care of maintaining pallets in good condition and in excellent quality.
● Response to fluctuating demand
Companies of pallet pooling are able to scale up or down the availability of pallets as per the volatile business demands of companies.
● Environmentally sustainable
By making the process of pooling pallets optimal and efficient, the pallet pooling company reduces the carbon footprint of logistics operations.