The key to international trade and a fair exchange of goods for money in supply chain is standardization. Standardization appeared at the same time as the industrial revolution and large scale manufacturing of goods. Products were now not subject to the variations which are inherent to hand crafting, but made of the same raw material, with the same level of quality and in the same quantity per item.
Just as industrial manufacturing boosted a standardization of sale prices for products, pallets standardized the storage and transportation fees for goods in transit. We cannot imagine the world of logistics without pallets. While other packaging materials evolve into different shapes and sizes, become obsolete and are replaced by others, the pallet, in its sheer simplicity, has stayed the consistently the same through the decades.
Of course, from the first unreliable cardboard and wooden pallets to the modern plastic pallets, there are some definite changes in the raw materials used. But the general shape and function of the pallet has stayed the same, irreplaceable by any other product. For this reason, for any logistics and packaging professional, pallets are the A-listers, the stars of the supply chain industry. Because every claim needs clear proof, we have prepared a list of the top reasons why we consider pallets the no. 1 product in our line of business.
1. The Use of Plastic Pallets Helps Logistics Managers Plan Ahead
By placing products on standard sized pallets, logistic managers can observe the regular in/out flow of products from the warehouses. Thus, they can always predict the moment when they need to replenish the stocks, in order to keep the supply chain working smoothly, without product shortages or an over-accumulation of products in the warehouse.
Predictability is the key to everything in logistics: planning budgets, profits and losses, organizing the available space in warehouses, implementing an efficient FIFO system and so on. All these are possible thanks to the use of pallets.
2.There Is a Wide Variety of Pallets Models for Every Application
Plastic pallets are extremely versatile, despite their standard shape and size. They can be open deck pallets, which are lightweight and adequate for exports and one-way usage. Closed deck pallets are very sturdy and can carry heavy loads. Hygienic/ cleanroom pallets were developed for the food and pharma industries with special characteristics, such as smooth surfaces, to prevent accumulation of dirt. ESD pallets can be safely used in the electronics industry, while display pallets remove the need of intermediary packaging materials from the storage room of the supermarket to the shelves.
3. Pallets Are the Packaging Product with the Highest ROI
Compared to other packaging materials, pallets have an affordable price. Modern pallets, made of plastic, can go through intensive cycles of use for a long time, do not need frequent repairs and can be cleaned quickly using a standard washing machine. Thus, companies will amortize their investment in a short time. As any manager knows, one of the key elements of profit is an efficient rate of return on the investments made. From this point of view, pallets are the packaging material with the highest ROI in any industry.
4. Pallets Are a Flexible Packaging Material, Easy to Customize
Because it is such a popular packaging material, more types of accessories were developed for plastic pallets than for any other products. For example, anti-slip mats help companies ensure extra-safety to the products stacked on a pallet. Load securing accessories can be installed on the surface of pallets to offer adequate support to products of special shapes (pipes, coils, etc.). With the help of pallet collars, any company can build a container starting from a pallet and then top it off with a special lid. Also, pallets are available both in standard EURO and ISO sizes and in special or customized sizes.
5. Technology Developed Around Pallets Improves Work Flow
Forklifts are probably the simplest form of technology developed to improve the speed and safety of handling pallets. But this is already a standard piece of equipment in every warehouse. At the present there are various software programs available which help logistics managers plan the usage of warehouse and trailer space. By inputting the number and size of pallets and the available space, the software will create the most efficient configuration for arranging the pallets, both those loaded with products and those which are not in use.