3 Benefits of the Pallet Design System

When it comes to supply chain management, the correct pallet design makes a big difference. See how 48forty uses the Pallet Design System (PDS) to work with customers to increase operational efficiency and reduce their costs with pallet solutions that fit their unique supply chain.

The Pallet Design System (PDS)

The Pallet Design System (PDS) is a software provided through the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA). PDS enables 48forty to design pallets that are customizable based on a customer's specific supply chain operations, especially when it comes to requirements around load capacity, efficiency, and safety.

The system covers a wide range of factors related to pallet design, including the selection of different lumber components, the type of nails used, and the intended use of the pallet. It also takes into account the specific needs of different supply chains, such as designing pallets for handling by equipment (like forklifts), or for storage on traditional or drive-in style pallet racks. 

Optimize Pallet Designs

Marcus Blood, Regional Director of Supply Chain for the West, shares how 48forty uses PDS to help customers understand the components of and expectations for their recycled wooden pallets.

Weight Load Capacity

Understanding how much weight a pallet can safely carry is essential. PDS takes this into account by giving businesses the ability to input data about their expected load. For example, if a company plans to transport goods with a total weight of 2,500 pounds on a pallet, they can input this number into PDS. 48forty works with our customers to analyze this information and design pallets that can efficiently handle specified weights, leading to a reduction in pallet failure.

Lumber Components

One challenge with recycled pallets can be understanding the variability of lumber sources across different regions. Many states have environmental regulations that impact the use of certain types of lumber, and businesses need to stay aware of these rules when it comes to running their supply chain. With customers spanning across regions such as California, the Midwest, Texas, and the Southeast, 48forty understands this reality and utilizes PDS to create spec sheets for customers. These offer a visual representation of the expected mixed wood species in their recycled pallets and help businesses understand what their pallets are made of and how they fit into their supply chain depending on their location.

Operate Efficiently

Listen in as Marcus Blood discusses how 48forty leveraged PDS to help customers solve pallet flow issues in their automation, while maintaining both pallet load capacity and integrity.

When it comes to a business’s supply chain, operational challenges can often be the result of an automation issue. PDS is a valuable tool for businesses looking to streamline their automation processes, as it allows them to create custom pallet designs that work with their systems, ultimately reducing errors, downtime, and improving efficiency.

One company in the upper Midwest faced recurring challenges with their conveyor systems. 48forty combined the use of PDS with hands-on experience to closely observe the automation process that was in place and make adjustments as needed. With the help of PDS, 48forty’s experts worked with the customer to reconfigure their pallets by moving a topboard to the bottom. This adjustment maintained the pallets' structural strength and weight capacity while significantly improving the flow of the pallets through the automation system.

Achieve Cost Savings

Hear how 48forty takes advantage of the most cost-effective lumber and uses PDS to design pallets appropriately, realizing the same pallet performance while saving customers money.

Customized Solutions

When considering the specific requirements of each pallet, including load capacity, handling methods, and storage conditions, PDS ensures that only necessary materials are used. Whether it's the type of lumber or the quantity of nails required, 48forty uses this information to reduce the material cost and increase a customer’s bottom line.


Markets are dynamic, and supply chain needs can change rapidly. 48forty uses PDS to help customers adapt their pallet designs in real time based on changes in lumber prices, market demands, and environmental factors. Quick responses to market fluctuations help our customers continue to save money and remain cost-efficient.

Material Efficiency

PDS gives supply chains the opportunity to create solutions that align with their specific requirements. By evaluating a customer's needs with PDS, 48forty can recommend the use of lower-grade recycled pallets for certain applications, leading to a reduction of costs. This approach also applies when there is a mix of pallet grades that are required based on specific product weight and usage. Identifying these solutions ensures that customers get the most value out of their pallet investments.

Why 48forty Solutions?

At 48forty Solutions, we collaborate with customers and use PDS to create custom pallet designs that can fit into any supply chain need. These specific designs adapt to shifting markets and prioritize cost-effective materials, resulting in operational efficiency and cost savings. PDS serves as a tool that aligns 48forty and our customers, enabling us to create adaptable solutions for the ever-changing supply chain industry.

48forty Solutions is the largest pallet company in North America, with a network that spans more than 275 facilities, 850 partners, and a private fleet of 8,018 trailers and tractors. 


Whether you're a local, regional, or national operation, we look forward to assisting you with your pallet needs.