Plastic is Better in the Pallet World

Pallets being used for storage and transportation as well as product displays in stores are certainly essential part of the supply chain eco system. Nowadays, pallets come in a few different materials with the more popular ones being made of wood or plastic.

Read on to understand the differences, advantages and disadvantages in order to make an informed decision in choosing the right pallets for your business.

Wood Pallets : Its Advantages & Disadvantages

While wood pallets as the precursor design and material, are generally good universal choice, its popularity was undermined by multiple weaknesses and deficiencies.

So much so that its popularity began to waver as logistics managers and warehouse operators began to deal with arrays of products with requirements and sensitivity demanding pallets of different material and better quality.

Pros : –

  • Price : Wood pallets are about 3 times less expensive than plastic pallets
  • Prevalence : They are 10 times more widely used and hence more readily available from a wider selection of suppliers
  • Density : Its durability and strength allow it to hold heavier and bulkier loads
  • Environmental Impact : Being biodegradable, wood pallets create less impact to the environment

Cons : –

  • Contamination : Wood pallets are vulnerable to chemical or bacterial contamination. Due to the moisture inherent in wood, such pallets can harbour bacteria and potentially transmit moisture to exposed inventory causing damages and loss. It can also be susceptible to bugs making it harder to maintain. They are therefore not the material of choice for food and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Injury : Handlers are commonly injured by wood splinters, warping of the pallets or protruding nails. Constant injuries to the workers will cost the company in terms of medical fee, downtime and efficiency of the overall process.
  • High Cost : Increase of transportation cost in terms of air freight weight AND continual reordering cost due to its organic element susceptible to weakening or warping
  • Liability : Pallets which are deemed as damaged or unsafe may by rejected by retailers to avoid liabilities in the form of injuries to their employees and acceptance of damaged goods. Manufacturers will then have to bear the cost of handling the rejected loads which will add up significantly thus reducing their profit margin.

Emergence of Plastic Pallet

As a result of the weaknesses found in wood pallets, inventors and manufacturers fervently look for better materials and proposed that pallets to be fabricated from plastics.

Plastic pallet production materialised in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s where a variety manufacturing processes such as thermoforming, injection moulding and rotational moulding were tried and tested to create better output.

Among the options, injection moulding is a popular process due to its precision ability where part consistency and reliability in high volume production is required. It is a technique which enables continual reproduction of pallets that remain equal in quality and stable over time.

Advancement of Plastic Pallet

Plastic pallet grew in popularity and expanded quickly due to its many advantages.

Pros of Plastic Pallet : –

  • Durable : Can be reused up to 10 years and above without any breakage thus greatly reducing the cost of repair and replacement
  • Low Maintenance : Moisture and insect resistant, plastic pallets need not be treated to prevent fungus growth, insect infestation etc.
  • Easy to Clean : Plastic pallets aren’t porous making them easier to clean ; either steam cleaned, hot washed or chemically sanitised to remove bacteria especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic
  • Safe Handling : Being lightweight, sleek and splinter-free, plastic pallets are friendly for manual handling
  • Cheaper Cost : Approximately 30% lighter than wood pallets; transportation cost is greatly reduced by its lightweight feature
  • Recyclable : 100% recyclable where it can be processed and remake into a new pallet. Vital in reducing waste as well as resources required.

As crucial warehousing tools, the above features are important factors contributing to a more efficient and safe operation. Less resources be it monetary, time or manpower are required to upkeep plastic pallets.

Advantageously, plastic pallets outperform its predecessor and most importantly, its recyclable quality is imperative in preserving a better environment.

Plastic Pallet Today

With the advancement of material sciences, so has the design of pallet and their quality. The plastic pallet today is solid, robust and very reliable.

At our state-of-art research and testing centre, we conduct extensive evaluation in order to create Mah Sing Plastics Pallet that is superior in its strength, rigidity and durability.

Each and every Mah Sing Plastics is made with precision and strict quality control. They are subjected to four crucial test namely: –

-Impact strength test

-Corner drop test

-Compression strength test

-Flexural strength test

These tests are conducted to ensure the pallet strength is able to handle heavy load without breaking easily and its rigidity (stiffness) is high that they do not easily bend under load. Both which are imperative factors contributing to the durability of the pallets. This is an assurance that Mah Sing Plastics commits upon for its customer’s peace of mind.

Start a conversation with our specialist to see how our expertise can meet your pallet needs.