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There are three materials that pallets are usually made of. What your company or organization should use will depend on how your business ranks durability, sanitation, strength, and value. Practically every single product available on the market today, both commercial and industrial, has been on a pallet for some time at one point.

The pallet is essentially what allows forklifts to easily access goods and helps move the loading and unloading freight along quickly. Wooden pallets are the most popular kind, making up a whopping 95% of global use of pallets. The remaining 5% are made up of metal and plastic pallets.

Let’s look at how different pallets stack up according to their material:

Metal

Long-term durability is the key quality that metal pallets hold over those made from wood. This is particularly true if you need pallets that are able to hold over 4,000 pounds. Some operations have outdoor storage requirements for pallets, and they tend to choose metal overall.

They are incredibly easy to clean. Compared to wood, which rots, metal is much better at withstanding natural causes such as UV rays and rain. When there are flammable materials in the area, no matter what happens, there will be no possibility of any burning pallets since they’re metal.

On the other side of the spectrum, metal also holds up incredibly well in freezing cold environments. In comparison, wood and plastic will end up getting increasingly more brittle.

Plastic

For the most part, plastic serves as the middle ground between metal and wood pallets. Pallets made out of plastic, particularly those manufactured through rotational molding, are best for businesses mainly looking at sanitation and durability. Rotomolded plastic pallets have a far longer average lifespan compared to wooden pallets. The latter has a tendency to splinter and even crack.

Wooden pallets also tend to carry insects, moisture, and a number of other concerning elements. That’s one of the key reasons why plastic pallets have become more preferred, specifically by the pharmaceutical and food processing industries.

Wood

When low upfront costs and strength are what you’re after, wood is your best bet. As previously mentioned, it is the most popular type of pallet, largely for how cost-efficient it is. Since the material is essentially derived from nature, it’s sustainable by default. There are several advantages to it, including how easy and quick they are to get custom-made.

Wooden pallets are usually cut to size, assembled from lumber. They are also incredibly flexible in terms of strength, depending on factors like a shift from pine and other softwoods to oak and other hardwoods, as well as much thicker boards.

Conclusion

Before you go searching for where to buy pallets, be sure you know what type is best for your needs. There are three key materials that pallets are made of—metal, plastic, and wood. Wood is the most popular, but metal and plastic have their own strengths. When choosing among pallet options, it all depends on what would fit your business.

Wondering where to get wood pallets? Contact JL Texas Pallets & Logistics! We are a pallet and crate specialist offering #1 and #2 B grade pallets, remanufactured pallets, and crating solutions for small businesses.