Pallets, or skids, are structural foundations made of wood, plastic or paper and designed to make handling and storing large shipping containers more efficient. Loads are placed on pallets, and are often stabilized using stretch wrap or shrink wrap.
Types of Pallets
- Wood pallets are the most common types of pallets. Softwood pallets are the least expensive and can be thrown out after each use, while hardwood pallets come at a higher cost and usually require a deposit. Hardwood pallets are often returned to the sender. While wood pallets are strong and durable, they are also known to harbor insects and bacteria that can be hazardous to workers and products (especially food products).
- Plastic pallets are a cleaner, lighter alternative to wood pallets, and are made of either HDPE or recycled PET. They are more resistant to weathering, rot and chemicals, and can be easily sanitized for international shipping. However, they are also more expensive than wood pallets, and the plastic materials used raise concern over their environmental impact.
- Paper pallets are made out of corrugated cardboard, and are lighter, safer and more sanitary than traditional wood pallets. They are also cheaper than plastic pallets, and because they are often sourced from recycled post-consumer corrugated materials, they provide a more eco-friendly option.
- Metal pallets include steel and aluminum pallets, and are ideal for loads that require extreme protection, such as hazardous waste or pharmaceuticals.
Automated Pallet Packaging Equipment
Pallets often require stretch wrap or shrink wrap in order to stabilize the loads for more efficient handling. Automated pallet wrappers improve accuracy, increase production, reduce waste and cut costs. At Pioneer, our wide range of automated packaging equipment includes Arpac stretch wrappers and Arpac pallet stretch hooding systems.
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