Types of pallets – A pallet is a must!

Without what is it hard to imagine the functioning of a modern logistics warehouse? Surely many of you will think of forklifts, special racks, advanced IT systems, multifunctional loading ramps or adapted floors. Everyone will mention skilled employees, as people are the heart and driving force of any workplace.

All this, of course, is of great importance for the proper operation of the warehouse, and indeed it would be impossible to function without a cadre of specialists and modern facilities. However, would anyone mention the one that allows goods to be stored effectively and moved efficiently? Would anyone mention the pallet?

The role and benefits of using pallets in transportation and logistics

A pallet is nothing more than a rigid substrate made of wood, metal, plastic or corrugated cardboard, on which goods are wrapped. Modern pallets are designed so that they can be transported by forklifts. It’s hard to imagine how much more work it would cost to transport if it involved moving individual packages unassembled on a pallet.

Of course, wooden mobile bases, along the lines of the modern pallets we know well, were used by people centuries ago, they were well known, for example, by the ancient Egyptians. However, in its current form, the pallet appeared only with the development of forklifts, which dates back to 1915. The platform for forklift equipment was patented by Howard Hallowell in 1925. Standards for the size of pallets were established and adopted during World War II, and evolved over the ensuing years to eventually remain at 1200 × 800 × 144 mm – this is the most commonly used size of platforms, commonly referred to as a Euro pallet (from the EUR designation with which they are labeled). In addition, as the pallet industry continues to grow and no manufacturing plant can prosper without pallets, they are created in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and designs.

Variety of pallets: From traditional Euro pallets to innovative designs and sizes

Among the most popular types of pallets are:

  • Wooden pallets – manufactured from any species of wood (we use such at LCL Logistic),
  • Plastic pallets – more practical than wooden, recyclable, lighter and easier to wash and disinfect,
  • Metal pallets – used mainly for high temperatures and transporting heavy goods,
  • Corrugated cardboard pallets – for one-time use, transport with their help can be small-sized, extremely lightweight goods.

In addition to the platform itself, some industries also use so-called pallet extensions. These are simply enclosures that cover the sides and top of the goods completed on the pallet. On the other hand, box pal lets are containers made of plastic or aluminum, having walls and a flap that closes the block from the top – they also come in isothermal versions, when the goods inside must be kept at a certain temperature. Another “pallet creation” will be a pallet-tank, which is a pallet connected to a liquid impermeable container – it is used when transporting bulk materials and liquids.

Let’s look at the dimensions and maximum permissible loads of the most common types of pallets:

  • “europallet” (EUR, EUR 1, EPAL) – 1200 × 800 × 144 mm, load up to 1500 kg,
  • 1/2 (EUR 6, EPAL 6) – 800 × 600 × 144 mm,
  • ISO (EUR 2, EPAL 2) – 1200 × 1000 × 162 mm (so-called English or industrial),
  • EUR 3 (EPAL 3) – 1000 × 1200 × 144 mm,
  • intended for containers – 1135 × 1133 mm,
  • CP pallets intended for the chemical industry:
    • CP1 – 1000 × 1200 × 138 mm, pallet weight: 23 kg, load up to 1190 kg,
    • CP2 – 800 × 1200 × 141 mm, pallet weight: 17.5 kg, load up to 1530 kg,
    • CP3 – 1140 × 1140 × 138 mm, pallet weight: 23.5 kg, load up to 1030 kg,
    • CP4 – 1100 × 1300 × 138 mm, pallet weight: 23.5 kg, load up to 1580 kg,
    • CP5 – 760 × 1140 × 138 mm, pallet weight: 16.5 kg, load up to 1380 kg,
    • CP6 – 1000 × 1200 × 156 mm, pallet weight: 23.5 kg, load up to 1460 kg,
    • CP7 – 1100 × 1300 × 156 mm, pallet weight: 23.5 kg, load up to 1570 kg,
    • CP8 – 1140 × 1140 × 156 mm, pallet weight: 24 kg, load up to 1490 kg,
    • CP9 – 1140 × 1140 × 156 mm, pallet weight: 25 kg, load up to 1020 kg.

Pallet: the basic storage tool in the logistics industry

To sum up, it is impossible to imagine the operation of a logistics warehouse without being able to use a basic storage tool – the pallet. This simple, inconspicuous object invariably occupies a significant place in the transportation industry, and nothing promises to change in this matter. Nowadays, the trade in new and used pallets itself is booming – the basis of many companies’ operations is based on it. Would it be an exaggeration to say that the pallet is to warehousing what the invention of the wheel was to transportation? The answer to this question, we will leave to the reflection of the reader of this article.