When investing in pallets for your company, you may not realize that you can choose between wood, plastic, and corrugated or cardboard materials. While pallets may not be very expensive per piece, their cost can add up over time, and you need the right pallet for ensuring your materials arrive safely at their destination. This is why you want to carefully consider the material choices for your supply of pallets. Note a few pros and cons of each so you can determine the best choice for your company.
The advantage of wood pallets is that they're lightweight so they don't add much to any shipping costs. You can find wood pallets made from recycled wood and also have them easily recycled once their lifespan is over, so they're an eco-friendly choice. They're also very affordable, something to consider for one-way deliveries where you are not going to get the pallet back. However, they can get damaged easily, especially if you opt for a very lightweight wood such as balsa, or if they've already absorbed moisture from repeated use, which can make the wood soft and prone to breaking.
The advantage of plastic pallets is that they are almost indestructible, so you can use them repeatedly for years without having to replace them. They are also often made with a cup design on the feet of the pallet so they nest in one another; plastic pallets then take up less room for storage. It may also be easier to get plastic pallets in a variety of colors, in case you use any type of color coding system for your items. They are, however, heavier than other pallets so they may add to the cost of shipping and they are probably the most expensive choice.
Corrugated pallets are made from a type of thick, reinforced cardboard, typically with a honeycomb design in between two layers as you would see in a heavy-duty cardboard box. They can be made from recycled materials and they're very inexpensive, so they're a good choice for one-way deliveries. The downside is that they cannot be exposed to excess moisture as the cardboard material will then bend and soften. They need to be protected from the elements especially when going overseas and where the potential for exposure to water is higher. It can also be a challenge to store them and keep them protected, as a warehouse or other facility may not offer a controlled environment with a dehumidifier.