Logistics professionals of all types have a lot on their minds. Deadlines for shipping products out, delays in the arrival of components, and the complex logistics of product storage all compete for attention. It’s no wonder that pallets aren’t given much thought, even though they are the basic load unit around which all things in a mechanized supply chain revolve. Yet not paying enough attention to pallet sourcing and supply may result in a mad scramble to find enough pallets or lowered standards for what constitutes an acceptable pallet.
Pallets often create these kinds of hassles for businesses because, while vital to the supply chain, they are essentially another product that must be dealt with independently of whatever products your company trades in. Pallet supply effectively flows in reverse of your products’ supply chain, which can make pallet management an ongoing struggle. A pallet management company takes on this task for you, ensuring you have an adequate supply of fit-for-use pallets at all times.
Why Should You Use a Pallet Management Company?
Working in logistics, you’re probably no stranger to the issues involved in managing a supply of pallets. Since the flow of pallets is one-way from your production facility to your retail partners, you must continually procure new pallets to replace those you’re sending off. This is a constant expense that offers no possibility of recouping the money spent. Even the reuse of pallets may not be possible for many businesses. Determining how many pallets are in each location at the end of the supply chain and finding transportation to bring them back is a much more complicated task than simply buying new pallets, which is what many companies end up doing.
A pallet pooling service makes it possible to store relatively few idle pallets at any given time.
This is precisely why pallet management services exist. A pallet management company maintains a network of clients that allows them to move pallets around efficiently from the end of one business’ supply chain to the beginning of another’s. They’re able to ensure that their clients have the right number and kind of pallets at the right time. Pooled pallet rental programs offer businesses that participate in their pallet pool multiple advantages, such as:
- Reliable Supply: When you contract with a pallet management company to handle your pallets, they take care of the pallet supply. Logistics managers no longer need to contract pallet builders or recyclers to provide a supply of white wood pallets at regular intervals.
- Sturdier Pallets: The platforms used by pallet poolers are meant to last many trips through the supply chain. The durability of pooled pallets is a benefit to your business as it lowers the likelihood of product damage through pallet failure. Plastic pallets, in particular, have many advantages over wood pallets–even over wood block pallets–and may be the best choice for pallet pooling.
- Reduced Overhead: When you manage your own pallet inventory, you’ll need to stack and store a large supply of pallets in a safe manner in order to prevent injuries and satisfy your insurer, as well as maintain a pallet inventory sufficient for peak seasons. Pallet storage can monopolize large amounts of space that could be put to more profitable use storing products or equipment. A pallet pooling service makes it possible to store relatively few idle pallets at any given time.
Pallet management companies free you from the tedious exercise of procuring, storing, and managing an inventory of pallets, allowing you to focus without distraction on your core business of making and shipping your products. However, not all pooled pallets and pallet management companies are created equal.
What to Look for When You Pick a Pallet Management Company
If you’re working with wood platforms, whether block or stringer pallets, you’ll inevitably have to deal with pallet maintenance. Wood decays over time and can be damaged by heavy loads and warehouse machinery. Put simply, it’s not a matter of if a wood pallet will break, but when. Some of the unreliability of single-use stringer pallets can be avoided by using pooled wood block platforms, but since block pallets are made of the same material as single-use pallets, they have many of the same issues. They also have an additional problem: since pooled wood pallet companies have an incentive to keep their pallets in service as long as possible, wood pallet pools can be full of pallets that have not been maintained properly. Pallets in poor repair put your products, your employees, and your equipment at risk. A pallet management company shouldn’t provide you with pallets that you would not be willing to buy. This can sometimes be difficult for pooling companies that specialize in wood pallets to manage.
Plastic pallets are lightweight, consistent in size, easy to clean, and accepted (and often requested) by retailers.
Instead, choose a pallet management company that provides a higher quality pallet. Because of their unitized construction, plastic pallets stand up to heavy cargo and machinery better than wood pallets, and won’t splinter or leave behind nails or screws. Plastic pallets are lightweight, consistent in size, easy to clean, accepted (and often requested) by retailers, and can help your company reduce its use of slip sheets. Choose a pooling company that specializes in plastic pallets, values your business, and prides itself on offering the best customer service and support available along with a superior plastic platform.
iGPS pooled plastic pallets are available wherever they are needed and iGPS is ready and willing to work with you to solve any pallet issues. To choose a pallet management company that cares about its customers and offers a high-quality plastic pallet, give our team a call at 1-800-884-0225, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.