Plastic pallets are one of the most important elements in the global supply chain. They allow companies to move goods between production facilities and warehouses and ship them to local clients or overseas distributors. In this article, we will discuss the most important uses of plastic pallets in the most relevant industries.
We are aware that there are still companies relying on wooden pallets or other so-called traditional packaging solutions (cardboard crates and wooden boxes). By sharing our clients’ experiences with plastic pallets and the many ways in which they use these modern returnable packages, we hope to create a change in the mindset of other logistic managers.
Why Are Plastic Pallets So Important in the Supply Chain?
We do not exaggerate in claiming that the modern global supply chain, powered by ecommerce, is built on the backbone of plastic pallets. The uses of plastic pallets have diversified over the years, and so did the range of plastic pallet models.
Using plastic pallets allows businesses to:
- Have a standard unit of measure for shipping goods
- Estimate their material flow and create reliable supplying plans
- Improve safety in loading and unloading goods at various shipping points
- Reduce their operational costs by choosing a packaging material with a long lifespan.
Another way of looking at the importance of plastic pallets in the supply chain is the fact that it has reached standardization in footprint. All industries rely on EURO and ISO sized pallets. When the same pallet size is used along the entire logistic loop, companies can cooperate better and form long term partnerships.
Five Uses of Plastic Pallets across the Supply Chain
Here are just five of the modalities in which plastic pallets keep the supply chain going across various industries.
1. Export Activities
How you ship goods safely from one country to another? These goods have to be loaded and unloaded several times as means of transportation change or for inspection purposes in customs.
The answer is: on plastic pallets. Plastic pallets form stable packaging units, especially after adding a pallet cover on top of the stack of products. The design of these pallets facilitates handling by the most frequently used logistic machinery: forklifts, pallet trucks, etc.
At the same time, goods loaded on a plastic pallet are visible for inspection purposes and for making an inventory of the contents with barcode or RFID readers.
2. In-Store Display Solutions in Retail
This is one of the uses of plastic pallets that demonstrate their versatility. Retail display plastic pallets can be used to bring merchandize from a distribution hub to stores and then bring these goods on the aisles, without moving them to another pallet or packaging material.
These pallets are designed to speed up product handling and have an appealing, professional look to promote sales. You will see retail display pallets in supermarkets loaded with canned food or bottled drinks.
3. Special Plastic Pallets for Sensitive Products
Plastic pallet ranges include models with special features or made of special materials to meet the highest safety standards. Cleanroom/hygienic pallets (used in the food and pharmaceuticals industries) and ESD pallets (used in the electronics and automotive industries) are such example.
In this case, the industries’ reliance on the benefits and uses of plastic pallets has imposed the development of packaging solutions that fit their products and their specific requirements.
4. Get Your Returnable Packaging Back Safely on Plastic Pallets
Returnable packages, such as foldable small containers and stack-nest shipping boxes represent an important investment for your business. Thus, you should make sure that you get them back after each shipment in good condition.
To achieve this, rely on yet another of the important uses of plastic pallets: they can be loaded with shipping totes with products, and then bring them back to you, protected from dirt, physical damage and various contaminants.
5. Improved Material Handling in Warehousing
Warehouses need to be organized very efficiently. There is a constant moving of goods in and out of them. Warehouse workers need to unload goods from a production facility, arrange them on racking systems and prepare orders for shipping. This cycle of work never stops, and there are constant demands to improve productivity and efficiency.
This is where plastic pallets are helpful: they allow warehouse employee to move heavy loads safely and quickly with forklifts and follow the instructions of the warehouse management system.
The Logistic Packaging team is ready to explain to you other relevant uses of plastic pallets for your industry and business needs. Get in touch with us by email or schedule a Skype video call to discuss your application with a packaging expert!