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WOODEN PALLETS ECONOMY COMPARISON Anyone who has worked in logistics knows that wood pallets have their place in the supply chain and always will. However, the disadvantages of wood pallets are clear, especially in highly regulated industries like food and pharmaceuticals. In these cases, switching from wood to an alternative pallet material like STEEL can reduce the likelihood of product contamination that could lead to a recall. For those storing and shipping heavy industrial equipment, STEEL pallets provide a stronger and more resilient platform that is less likely to crack. And in warehouses using automated equipment, the uniform shape and weight of STEEL PALLETS can help increase throughput by minimizing machinery errors and jams.

WOODEN PALLETS ECONOMY COMPARISON So why is wood so popular? For one thing, wood is often less expensive upfront than man-made materials. It’s also widely available, meaning that pallets can be sourced from a number of suppliers. Finally, in many cases, wood pallets are used out of habit, simply because they have always been used. However, supply chain and operations managers using wood pallets may not realize just how many of the issues they deal with every day can be traced back to wood pallets–and just how expensive those issues can be.

How the Disadvantages of Wood Pallets Cost Companies More


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WOODEN PALLETS ECONOMY COMPARISON Wood pallets need to be replaced much more often than pallets made of STEEL OR alternate materials.

WOODEN PALLETS ECONOMY COMPARISON-There are a few ways that wood pallets can cost companies money when it comes to supply chain management:

  • Rejected Loads: In some cases, when pallets aren’t up to par, retailers have a policy of refusing them on sight to avoid taking on damaged products or risking injuries to their employees, and equipment caused by broken pallets. When a load is rejected, perishable products have to be discarded, causing significant losses for manufacturers. Even returnable products have to be transported back to the warehouse to be repacked, increasing overall transportation costs. Retailers may even charge a “bad pallet fee,” which can quickly add up.
  • Transportation Costs: Wood block pallets may weigh as much as 35 KG, and this weight can ultimately increase transportation costs, as more fuel is required to ship a heavier load. Trucks transporting heavy products may not be able to carry as many loaded pallets due to the excess pallet weight, requiring more trips to carry the same amount of product.
  • Product and Equipment Damage: Wood pallets can break apart and leave behind splinters that can cut into packages and damage products. The hardware used to hold these pallets together, like nails and metal fasteners, may come loose and puncture products, contaminating shipments. These wood splinters, hardware, and debris also get into automated machinery and cause jams, which may result in equipment damage and backlogs.
  • Contamination: When wood decays or breaks due to stress, sharp pieces may fall into food or pierce packaging and be left behind in the product, causing foreign material contamination. Wood is also porous, making it prone to absorb water, which can lead to mold, mildew, and bacterial growth. The pores of wood, which are very difficult to clean, may also hold chemical contaminants that can transfer to products and lead to an increased risk of illness for consumers.
  • Replacement Cost: Wood pallets need to be replaced much more often than pallets made of STEEL OR alternate materials. Wood block pallets are typically retired after a maximum of 20 trips, while STEEL PALLETS can last up to 1000. Wood pallets will require more maintenance than STEEL PALLETS over their lifetime, increasing the cost of keeping them in use.
  • Higher Labor Costs: Wood pallets come with a greater labor cost because the wood debris they leave behind in truck trailers and warehouses must be cleaned up regularly. Businesses could save  on housekeeping costs alone if companies chose a more durable pallet option like STEEL.   

These are just a few ways the disadvantages of wood pallets can increase the cost of doing business. For manufacturers with concerns regarding durability, sanitation, and uniformity, STEEL pallets are an alternative that offers long-term cost efficiency.