display of 2-way and 4-way plastic pallets

Making the Right Choice: 2-Way Plastic Pallets vs. 4-Way Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are designed to offer superior strength, durability and hygiene. They can bear very heavy loads, can be reused for many shipment cycles and do not absorb liquids and other contaminants. At the same time, various models of plastic pallets offer specific benefits to clients. Today we will talk about handling, and show you the basic differences between 2-way plastic pallets and 4-way plastic pallets.

Why Is There a Difference in Handling Between Returnable Pallets?

The basic structure of a pallet consists of:

  • The deck – the surface on which packages or products are arranged
  • The base – consisting of feet or skids.

The difference in handling comes from the design of the base. Some plastic pallets require special reinforcement to carry very heavy loads. In this case, freedom of handling must be compromised for superior strength.

Other reusable pallets are designed for light to medium loads. Therefore, they can be designed with fewer struts and solid parts, allowing more freedom in handling.

What Are 2-Way Pallets?

If you are looking at a heavy duty plastic pallet, you will notice that it only has two openings for handling by forklift or pallet truck: at the front and at the back. The other two sides contain reinforcements (sometimes metal tubes) that allow the pallet to carry up to 4800 kg static load.

Who Needs 2-Way Plastic Pallets?

This type of pallets is recommended for manufacturing and distribution companies that ship a large volume of products or very heavy items on a regular basis. To accommodate this type of pallets, their loading/unloading bays and racking systems in warehouses need to be spacious and well designed to avoid downtime or bottlenecks while pallets are arranged the right way for handling.

What Are the Challenges of Handling 2-Way Pallets?

In all cases, warehouse workers must pay great attention to the way they stack 2-way plastic pallets. All the pallets must be oriented with the handling side in the same direction.

At the same time, when implementing racking systems, warehouse managers must find the optimal structure to accommodate the pallets and facilitate pushing and retrieving the pallets from racks.

Common Applications

2-way plastic pallets are used in large warehouses for manufacturing companies and central distribution hubs, as well as in the automotive industry. They are the heavy-duty packaging solution for intense use over a long period of time. In these industries strength and durability are benefits that outweigh convenience in handling.

What Are 4-Way Pallets?

Lighter and easier to handle, 4-way returnable pallets are the ideal choice for shipping very frequent orders of light to medium weights. All four sides can be approached by a forklift or pallet truck, therefore it does not matter what position the pallet has when it is handled.

Who Needs 4-Way Plastic Pallets?

These returnable pallets are the best choice for retail and ecommerce distribution centers, as we as courier and local shipping services. These businesses must prepare and deliver orders very fast, because end customers expect next day or even same day delivery of the products they ordered.

What Are the Challenges of Handling 4-Way Plastic Pallets?

4-way plastic pallets cannot handle the same loads as heavy-duty pallets. Therefore, warehouse employees must pay attention to the tolerances of the pallet in terms of:

  • Static load
  • Stack load
  • Dynamic load.

Common Applications

The unprecedented growth of online shopping is adding massive traction to the demand for 4-way plastic pallets. Companies that used to sell their products in brick-and-mortar stores now have to arrange deliveries to local distribution hubs and then to their end customers.

At the same time, courier and delivery companies need to stock on this type of plastic pallets, because more retail stores need their services if they cannot handle delivery to end customers on their own.

Logistic Packaging has a comprehensive range of 2-way and 4-way plastic pallets in our standard products catalog. Our consultants are ready to help you select the best pallet model for your business needs, so send us an email or schedule a Skype video call with us!