4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Pallets

December 17, 2014
4 Questions to Ask Before Buying Pallets

Pallets are a crucial part of any manufacturing company’s sales efforts and supply chain. If you’ve got products to sell, you probably need some pallets. To avoid ongoing rental costs and pallet sharing hassles, many businesses will choose to buy their own pallet fleet. This is a big purchase that should be given careful thought and consideration, as all pallets are not created equal! It’s important to ask the right questions of your pallet vendor before you commit to buying.

Of course, price is an important factor. You have your bottom line to think about, and you want to get a good deal on your pallets, especially if you are buying a large quantity. Then again, if you’re investing in a pallet fleet and hoping to get a lot of use out of them, it may be prudent to spend a bit more for a quality fleet that will last longer. Besides price, though, there are other things to find out before buying pallets. Here are four important questions to ask your vendor.

1. What material are the pallets made of?

Pallets can be made from several different materials, but for many manufacturers, heat treated wooden pallets are the best choice. Not only are these the most popular pallets, but they are often the most durable and sturdy. In addition to wooden pallets, other options include those made from plastic, metal, and composite materials.

2. How durable are the pallets?

This is an especially important question if you’re buying a fleet to be used over and over for a long time; you want your pallets to stand up to shipment after shipment. Factors like the number of fasteners in a pallet and butted lead boards contribute to a pallet’s durability, but as mentioned above, material also plays a role. Air-dried, heat treated hardwood pallets are typically the most durable.

3. How stiff are the pallets?

In other words, will the pallets hold their shape well and protect the products they’re carrying? Keep in mind that a pallet’s stiffness is different from its load rating; stiffness is related to the quality of the boards used in its construction. A less stiff pallet, while cheaper to buy, may cause damaged goods and end up costing you money in the long run.

4. Do the pallets meet legal standards?

This is a must-ask question if you’re purchasing pallets to ship internationally, as each country will have it own individual phytosanitary regulations, or rules to help prevent the spread of plant diseases (which wooden pallets can harbor). Many countries, including Canada and the US, participate in ISPM (or International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) 15, an internationally accepted certification. You will want to ensure that your pallets are ISPM 15 certified, as the wrong pallets could severely impact your ability to sell worldwide.

Buy From The Best

For over 65 years, HWP Herwood has been manufacturing and selling durable, reliable, and affordable wooden pallets. We can fulfill orders for standard and custom pallets in any quantity, and all of our wood is ISPM 15 compliant. If you’re in the market for a fleet of pallets, let’s talk about how we can help your business: 1-800-884-4907.

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National Wooden Pallet & Container Association
Herwood Inc. Palettes - Pallets 198, rue Principale nord, Windsor (Quebec) J1S 2E3
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