Nestable Pallets: Not Exclusive to Plastic

by: Gary Sharon, Litco International, Inc.

One popular misconception in the logistics world is that plastic pallets are inherently superior to wooden alternatives thanks to their (optional) nestable design and resistance to edge impact and infestation.

Their manufacture does not result in deforestation, and at the end of their useful life, plastic pallets can be converted to re-grind and used to manufacture new items. For these reasons, some logistics managers view their plastic pallet use as the ultimate nod to environmental sustainability.

Many of these claims seem valid when comparing plastic pallets to conventional, slatted wooden pallets. But, the picture becomes murkier when presswood pallets enter the equation.

A number of design attributes make presswood pallets a viable alternative to their plastic counterparts. When making comparisons between plastic and presswood pallets, consider the following:

• Presswood pallets are nestable, offering a space saving ratio of 4-1 over conventional wooden pallets. And, they can be easily separated from a stack with a fork lift truck.

• Presswood pallets are less expensive than plastic pallets to purchase.

• Presswood pallets tend to be stiffer than other nestable plastic pallets. Pallet stiffness has a direct correlation to decreasing packaging and product damage during shipping and handling.

• Presswood pallets are not regulated by IPPC- ISPM 15 and are “Export Ready”.
They are welcome at destinations all over the world.

• An innovative presswood manufacturing process molds recycled wood and damaged lumber using high heat and pressure to create insect free pallets. Presswood pallets divert millions of pounds of wood from landfills to productive use each year.

• A Cradle to Cradle® Silver Certified designation authenticates sustainability through the use of healthy materials and eco-intelligent design.

• Presswood pallets are 100% recyclable.

• Presswood pallets can be used multiple times. They yield a lower cost per trip for return and reuse programs when pallet loss is inevitable.

Though presswood pallets are not as impact resistant as most plastic pallets, many companies cannot achieve the ROI on plastic pallets due to pallet loss and theft.

Litco International, Inc.Image Courtesy of Litco International, Inc.