Plastic pallets have become a universal packaging solution for all industries. However, there are logistics and supply chain managers who are reluctant to change the entire packaging and shipping process by replacing their current packaging solutions with new ones.
They are still dependent on wooden pallets, whose only benefit is the low cost. But in the larger scheme of pricing and budgeting, the purchase price of a packaging solution should not be the only aspect taken into consideration. This is why managers should think harder about the benefits of plastic pallets in the food industry.
The Dangers of Using Unreliable Packaging in the Food Industry
Food and pharmaceutical products are the two most regulated products in the world. They are both products for human consumption in one way or another. Thus, these products need to be safe, free from contamination and maintained in a climate controlled environment from the moment they leave the manufacturing plant and until the end customer purchases them.
In this context, packaging materials play a crucial role in the food supply chain. They must meet several conditions at the same time:
- They must be made of a material approved for direct contact with food
- They must offer protection against mechanical shocks, dirt, spillage and other contaminants
- They must resist to low temperature in cold storage and refrigerated trucks.
Older packaging materials, such as wooden pallets or cardboard boxes do not meet any of these requirements. Let us focus now on the benefits of using plastic pallets in the food industry.
1. Plastic Pallets Are a Hygienic Packaging Material
The first reason to opt for plastic pallets in the food industry is hygiene. Plastic is a non-porous material that does not absorb liquids. Also, the cleanroom plastic pallets for the food industry have a special design with smooth surfaces that can be fully cleaned, without leaving dirt in difficult areas, such as corners or angles.
Even if processed food is delivered in primary packaging, such as aluminum cans or shrink wrap foil, plastic pallets are still recommended for shipping these products to supermarkets. Using retail display pallets means less handling for the products – they can go from the warehouse, to the store backroom and then to the supermarket aisle arranged on the same pallet.
2. Improve Automation in Merchandize Handling with Plastic Pallets in the Food Industry
Speaking of handling, the global trend across all supply chains is to eliminate manual labor as much as possible. This means that your company needs packaging materials adapted for handling by logistic machines such as pallet trucks, forklifts and tug trains.
Wooden pallets were not designed with automation and machine handling in mind. Their design is not compatible with these devices and they do not withstand this type of handling. By comparison, plastic pallets have specific design features that enable logistic equipment to lift, push and pull without damaging them.
3. Cut Various Costs across the Supply Chain
When professional packaging producers like Logistic Packaging create plastic pallets, they consider the needs of customers – both large and small businesses. And the number one need is to cut cost without compromising on quality or safety.
And plastic pallets help your company achieve this goal in several ways:
- They have a long lifespan
- They have a sturdy build and do not need repairs
- They help you optimize the use of space in warehouses and trailers
- They have a low own weight and a high load capacity
- At the end of the lifespan, they are recyclable, thus they do not generate wastes.
4. You Can Create Custom Models to Meet Your Specific Needs
Another key benefit of using plastic pallets in the food industry is the possibility to create a pallet that fits your products and logistic flow. Plastic pallets are made by injecting virgin PP into a mold. And an experienced packaging producer can design molds according to precise specifications.
Thus, you can create pallets with atypical footprints, with increased load bearing capacity, with legs or skids (or a combination of them) or with rims of various heights around the deck.
5. Plastic Pallets Are Approved for Export
If you want to sell your products abroad or to expand your distribution network, then your packaging needs to meet the requirements of the ISPM15 regulation. This regulation stipulates that wooden packages need to be heat treated, stamped and certified.
This regulation is not applicable to plastic pallets. You can ship your products without encountering any issue at customs or during various checkpoints during the journey.
The team of experts at Logistic Packaging is ready to help you transition from other packages to plastic pallets in the food industry. We will show you all the benefits of this option and help you select the adequate type and model for your application. Send us an email or schedule a live Skype chat with us!