Handling pallets are at the heart of your supply chain and it is important to understand exactly which pallet meets your needs.
In this article we will explore 6 aspects you should consider when choosing the right handling pallet for you.
It can be difficult to determine the most suitable pallet ahead of time, but you need to be sure that the one you choose will guarantee your goods remain in top condition throughout handling and transport.
That is why it is important to consider the 6 criteria outlined below carefully before ordering your pallets.
I. Choosing the right format for your handling pallets
When it comes to choosing the right handling pallet for your supply chain, it is essential to check that it is suitable for your logistic operations.
As the supply chain becomes ever more standardised, you need to choose a pallet that is suited to the automated systems they may encounter along their journey. With that in mind, you should make pallet format your primary focus.
The first thing to look at is the number of entrances to your handling pallets: by this we mean the number of sides by which it can be handled by a pallet truck.
There are commonly two types of pallets:
Double entry pallets: a type of pallet that can only be mounted from the front or the rear. Choosing this option means it will be necessary to consider how they will be arranged in your warehouse.
4-way pallets: more practical, these pallets can be accessed on all sides. It is easier to transport and store them, because there is no need to consider to how they will be placed.
Finally, it is also necessary to pay close attention to the international pallet format you need. If you are in the European Union or the United Kingdom, standardised pallets do not share the same format. Here are the pallet sizes and their specifications:
Euro pallets (800 x 1200 mm): This is the standard pallet format for the European Union. Slightly smaller than those used in the UK, they fit into all European automated systems.
1000 x 1200 mm pallets: the UK100 handling pallets from LPR - La Palette Rouge are the pallets that correspond to the format most commonly used in the United Kingdom, the USA and Japan. This is the format you should choose if your supply chain is in one of these countries.
Finally, two other, less common pallet formats are also available:
Half-pallets (600 x 800mm): As their name suggests, half-handling pallets are half the size of a Euro pallet. There are several formats of half-pallets. At LPR - La Palette Rouge, we offer Dusseldorfer half-pallets: reinforced with metal and plastic studs, they are renowned for their unfailing robustness.
Quarter pallets (400 x 600 mm): This is the smallest possible pallet format. This type of pallet is often used at points of sale for promotional purposes. Nestable, it’s easy to transport when empty.
Custom pallets can be purchased where necessary, however, they tend to be more expensive, and have higher raw material usage.
As you can see, the choice of pallet format is particularly important, as you need to ensure that your pallets are the right size for the automated systems across your entire supply chain. A poor choice of pallet size can have a significant impact on your carriers, whose trucks may not be suitable for transporting that particular size pallet.
II. Choose an eco-friendly pallet
The preservation of the planet is an unavoidable issue and is something that we must all face. It is essential for today’s companies to consider the environmental impact of each of its choices.
After ensuring the durability of a pallet, you need to understand how it is produced.
The choice of the circular economy: PEFC certification and rental pallets
PEFC certification, developed to ensure the preservation of forests ; allows you to distinguish handling pallets from certified forests from those that do not.
Another way to select the circular economy is to use rental pallets, managed by a pallet rental-management company (pallet pooling).
The rental principle allows you to have as many pallets as you need, inspected and repaired after each use, so that they can be reused.
LPR - La Palette Rouge offers a handling pallet rental-management service. To learn more about pallet pooling, read our article here.
III. Consider the weight of goods to be transported
The weight of your merchandise is undeniably one of the key criteria to consider when choosing the right pallet. Some materials are more suitable than others because of their natural propensity to support heavier loads.
To protect your goods during transport, you should choose a suitably robust pallet. There are several choices:
the light pallet is for loads ranging from 0 to 400kg and generally supports a few round trips.
the semi-heavy pallet is for loads ranging from 400 to 800kg. These can support a few more trips than the light pallet.
the heavy pallet is for loads ranging from 800 to 1500kg. More robust than the previous two pallet options, this pallet can support very heavy loads and can be used numerous times.
For example, a company that wants to send cartons of milk to one of its distributors will tend to favour heavy pallets.
IV. Storage and non-storage conditions
The choice of pallet will be different depending on the storage constraints necessary to preserve your goods.
There are two ways to store pallets within a logistics warehouse:
storage on the floor: the pallets loaded with goods on the ground. They are deposited directly in the appropriate location, and can be handled with a pallet truck.
storage on racking: pallets loaded with goods are stored at height, in racks (also called shelving)
In addition, you must also consider whether your goods can be handled easily without risk of damage.
It is also advisable to choose a pallet suitable for your storage conditions. For example, where an area is particularly humid, then a plastic pallet may be a good solution.
Some handling pallets, such as rental pallets, are only intended to be stored temporarily (pending delivery to distributors or before being collected).
In this instance, once the goods have been sent to the distributors, these pallets must be collected, ready to be repaired and put back into circulation.
The collection of these pallets is particularly important. It ensures pallet sustainability and availability across the supply chain.
When these pallets are stored, it can lead to a shortage which has consequences for the entire supply chain. It is essential that these pallets are collected and returned to be reused, and ensure the very principle of the circular economy.
V. Pallet transport conditions
In the same way that you consider the fragility and sensitivity of your goods when choosing your packaging, you should apply the same criteria when choosing the right transport pallet.
For example, if there is a risk of bad weather during delivery (heavy rain, heat wave, etc.), it is sensible to choose a more robust pallet that is able to withstand inclement weather without negative impact.
Should your goods be exported, you should consider the ISPM 15 standard.
ISPM 15 is a standard guaranteeing the heat treatment of wood, preventing infestation by pests.
The ISPM 15 standard has been a phytosanitary standard that has been active since 2002. To comply with it, each LPR - La Palette Rouge pallet is heat-treated (in a high-temperature kiln) to neutralise wood-boring insects and their larvae.
VI. A handling pallet that is up to the challenges of your supply chain
Your pallet choice should work with all of the links in your supply chain.
Having your own stock of pallets (either via an exchange system or by using single-use pallets) risks generating hidden costs and slowing down other areas of your business.
Conversely, rental pallets, available in sufficient quantity, can allow you to meet the different needs of your supply chain. This is why we recommend pallet pooling.
What are the advantages of pallet pooling?
Pallet pooling is a 100% outsourced pallet rental/management system that favours the rental of pallets, rather than purchase.
Companies that choose pallet pooling can benefit from lower cap-ex costs, taking advantage of pallet availability, where, and when, they are needed.
Once the pallets have been used, they are then recovered, before being repaired, if necessary, before reuse.
Pallet pooling can meet the challenges of your company's supply chain:
traceability: from a connected application, you can review the movements of your pallets, at any time of the day, 24/7.
cost reduction: no storage, maintenance or destruction costs. Pallet pooling saves expense, guaranteeing no hidden costs.
decluttering of warehouses: no need to store pallets, you receive only those pallets ordered to meet your requirements. In addition, the pallets are collected directly from the distributors' sites. This allows you to avoid accumulating unused pallets and to optimise your warehouse.
lightening the workload on your team: managing your own pallets is a complex task that requires constant attention. Outsourcing this task streamlines your entire supply chain and allows your employees to focus on your core business.
Why should you choose pallet pooling for your business?
Our pallet pooling solution, entirely outsourced, ensures you benefit from handling pallets of the best quality.
In addition, our teams support you in this process, at each stage of your supply chain.
From ordering to collection, we take care of everything.
You order that pallets you require on the MyLPR portal (type and quantity of pallets, delivery location, date, etc.), then LPR ensures delivery to your sites.
Once the pallets are loaded and transported to the logistics hubs of your distributors, our teams will arrange collection of the empty pallets so that they can be inspected, and repaired if necessary, before being reused.
Choosing a good handling pallet is a decision which should not be taken lightly. It is vital that your choice not only meets your pallet needs, but those of your entire supply chain.
It is essential that you consider the technical and logistics constraints, but also the ethical values maintained by your company.
By considering the six criteria covered in this article you should be better placed to choose the right handling pallet for your needs.
If you would like to discuss your logistics issues with our business experts, you can contact them here. You can also access our other blog articles to learn more about the supply chain and pallet pooling.