As every pallet application is unique, it is difficult to provide definitive rules as to which style of pallet is most appropriate. However, the following guidelines are intended as a basic guide. This information is not comprehensive, but is intended to highlight the key differences between the main styles of plastic pallets which are available – If you would like us to recommend pallets for your application please complete the questionnaire at recommendations.
Lightweight Plastic Pallets
Nestable pallets usually have nine hollow feet which are moulded as part of the top deck – whether the top deck is closed or open. In this way, when one empty pallet is stacked on another, they “nest” together – the feet from the top pallet go through the lower pallet which means that around 40 pallets will stack in a 1000mm (40 inch) high stack, saving storage space.
They generally offer low loading capacities, at low prices. Ideally suited to air freight, export, one-way consignments, and floor-standing storage. Not suitable for pallet racking.
Lightweight Nestable Plastic Pallets with Clip-On Runners or Skids
As above – but with some limited use on pallet racking.
Clip-on runners/skids are available as an addition to some nestable pallets, and when fitted add to the overall strength of the pallet thus allowing limited use on racking.
Mediumweight Nestable Plastic Pallets
Generally offer, higher loading capacities, at mid-range prices. Ideally suited to air freight, export, one-way consignments, and floor-standing storage. Not suitable for pallet racking.
Mediumweight Plastic Pallets on Runners
The top deck of some plastic pallets is mounted on three runners, which run in the direction of the longest side. These runners are moulded as part of the pallet, and the addition of the runners creates a stronger pallet than the basic nestable design.
With permanent runners, these pallets offer increased loading capacities, at mid-range prices, but with higher net weights. A universal midrange pallet, suitable for many applications, and in “closed loop” environments will provide many years of service. Suitable for racking in one direction, as the runners are always on the long side (within loading capacities).
Heavyweight Plastic Pallets on Runners
As above – but with increasing loading capacities
Heavyweight Full Perimeter Plastic Pallets
A full perimeter pallet has base runners which run on all four sides of the pallet. The runners are often joined by one or two cross runners, sometimes referred to as a cruciform base. A full perimeter pallet is ideal for pallet racking and can be racked in both directions.
Bi-directional racking flexibility, provided by the full-perimeter base, and increased loading capacities make these pallets highly suitable for all-around applications in any distribution environment—excellent life expectancy in “closed loop” scenarios.
Hygienic Plastic Pallets
All plastic pallets are more suitable than wooden pallets for use in hygienic areas. However, top-range specialist hygienic pallets have 100% smooth surfaces, leaving no cracks or gaps for contamination to build up, and are often made from virgin plastics.
Whilst all styles of plastic pallets are suitable for use in hygienic areas, for the food and pharmaceutical industries, the construction of true hygienic pallets produces a 100% smooth structure – which can be easily cleaned and has no spaces or gaps where deposits or bacteria germs can build up. These pallets are at the top of the price range.
Carbon Conductive Pallets
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) compatible pallets or carbon conductive pallets are made from specially formulated plastic materials to give the desired anti-static effect. Only a plastic pallet with conductive properties presents the ideal complement to conductive crates and is able to protect components from being affected by electrostatic charge and electric fields.
Carbon conductive pallets are ideal for use in the automotive or electronics industries. The carbon conductive pallet is designed to meet the special demands of these industries also taking into consideration the requirements of their suppliers with regard to a refined logistic system.