With considerable effort, your manufacturing operation produces goods the world needs. But the work isn’t over when products come off of the factory line. You still face the challenge of palletizing these products and transporting them to customers – on-time and undamaged.
Supply chain management has become more complex with the advancement in warehouse automation and the development of new technologies. With that advancement come some specific needs as it pertains to pallets.
Because manufacturers produce goods at scale, they need to arrange shipments of large quantities of products so that they can be delivered to a customer’s warehouse in the most efficient manner possible. That means using pallets. For many manufacturers, recycled pallets are the pallets of choice. But what factors should you consider when sourcing recycled pallets? Here’s a checklist of four things to consider that will help make your company’s recycled pallet purchasing process easier and error-free.
1. Product Size and Product Weight
Shipments come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. As such, there is not just one single specification for recycled pallets that will support all goods. Another way to think about it – the weight of a washing machine will put more stress on the weight-bearing capacities of pallets than a shipment of toilet paper.
You need to be sure that the pallet can accommodate your product's size and weight. For example, a 48” x 48” pallet is used mainly for barrels of oil and a 48” x 40” pallet is favored by retail stores. Different recycled pallet types are built to hold varying amounts of weight; pallets that fail under the loads they carry can cause injuries to your employees and damage to the product. Warehouses also set their own rules on how much weight can be held on certain pallets.
Choosing a full-service pallet provider with experience in pallet design and engineering can help you create a customized recycled pallet solution for your specific needs.
In addition to weight capacity, another factor in the successful management of your pallet needs is effective pallet design and order forecasting. Calculating the size and number of recycled pallets you need is crucial.
If you choose a pallet size that’s too small for your product, this may translate into load shifting, risking damage to your goods during transit. Buying too large a pallet could have adverse effects as well, such as costing your operation more money in materials and unnecessary storage. You also need a pallet provider who is responsive, service-oriented, and can ensure that the pallets they provide meet your specifications. Make sure the pallet suppliers you’re vetting have the experience and expertise to ensure you're using the proper pallet for your application.
3. Warehouse Systems
When it comes to storing goods in a warehouse, different rack configurations have different weight capacities and dimension requirements, so it's important that the chosen pallet be able to hold the maximum load capacity to avoid pallet failure. Additionally, if aisle widths are too narrow, some types of pallets such as block-style pallets may not fit. It's essential to take into account all these factors when selecting a pallet that will comply with racking systems. Ensure that your recycled pallet solutions provider can provide accurate advice on the various physical considerations and the interactions between rack systems and pallets.
4. Understand Your Pallet Provider
Who you buy your pallets from is just as important as all of the technical components that make up your recycled pallets. Take the time to evaluate multiple providers, ask thoughtful questions, and build a long-term, trusted relationship. When looking at white wood recycled pallet providers, consider several points:
- Consistent pallet specifications across sites: With consistent spec requirements across all of your providers’ sites, you need to be sure that the materials used for your pallets meet required quality and other standards, no matter where they are produced.
- Business practices: The right pallet supplier will offer consistency of purpose and consistency of results. They will follow through on their commitments. This can make a significant difference to your operations and your bottom line.
- Last-minute requests: Expect the unexpected by finding a pallet supplier who is able to respond quickly to last-minute requests. Being able to handle fluctuations in demand is a competitive differentiator.
- On-time delivery: Knowing how a pallet supplier handles on-time delivery is key for setting expectations and maintaining quality control. An efficient and organized delivery process can help eliminate delays.
Need Help Buying Pallets?
As the largest pallet company in North America, 48forty provides customers with reliable pallet supply and retrieval from coast to coast. With a national network of more than 258 facilities, 850 partners, and a private fleet of 8,300 trailers and tractors, you can be sure you’ll have the right pallet, in the right place, at the right time. Every time.
If you're looking for recycled, new, or custom pallets, contact us online or by calling 1-877-779-8577. Whether you're a local, regional, or national operation, we look forward to assisting you with your pallet needs.