We’re all familiar with the scene: broken wood block pallets piled against a warehouse wall. Wood pallets like these have served their useful lifespan of around 15 to 20 trips across the supply chain and are often bound for the local landfill—or perhaps a good bonfire.
On average, once every three to four trips through the supply chain, each of these pallets would have required repairs to continue safely bearing loads. It’s not that wood pallets aren’t strong; the rigors of the modern supply chain are taxing. And while warehouses, machinery, and transportation have evolved and innovated, the wood pallet endures like a relic of another industrial era.
Let’s explore a few common repair tactics that warehouse managers should be aware of if they use wood pallets. Then, we can examine an innovative solution that improves pallet durability while lowering the total cost of business (TCOB).
Common Repairs for Damaged Wood Pallets
Damaged wood pallets create more than an unsightly environment around the warehouse. They can be hazardous to people, products, and machinery. Listed below are a few common repairs that will not only extend a pallet’s lifespan but may also avoid product and equipment damage while protecting warehouse workers from on-the-job injuries.
- Protruding nails and fasteners: Not only do these sharp objects cut workers and products, they routinely work loose from pallets and jam automated equipment. Make sure these fasteners are secure and flush with pallet boards.
- Loose pallet materials: Check for loose boards that could compromise the pallet’s integrity. Tightening these materials can recover pallet strength and protect against damaged products resulting from pallet failure.
- Missing deckboards: Deckboards are common casualties of forklift operations. Replace any missing boards according to ISPM-15 requirements to regain the pallet’s structural integrity.
Warehouse managers who vigilantly guard against these common wood pallet weaknesses can generate warehouse cost-savings and increased efficiencies. For more substantial improvements in pallet durability, warehouse managers can turn to innovations in shipping platforms: they can consider plastic pallets.
Improve Pallet Durability With Plastic Pallets
The continuous repair of wood pallets presents a tiresome task. Plastic pallets offer a more durable solution for warehouse managers ready to upgrade to the next generation of shipping platforms. While wood pallets complete only 15 to 20 trips across the supply chain, plastic pallets travel up to 100 times across the supply chain and rarely require repairs.
Instead of littering nails and splinters over the warehouse floor and potentially interrupting automated warehouse systems, plastic pallets offer a unibody construction free of nails and fasteners. Also, with 85 percent top-deck coverage, plastic pallets do not cause product damage due to broken boards.
Forward thinking warehouse managers across grocery, pharmaceutical, and other industries are moving away from the repair mindset that wood pallets require and realizing cost and efficiency savings by switching to innovative, high-quality plastic pallets.
iGPS plastic pallets offer freedom from pallet repairs while reducing the total cost of business (TCOB). To learn more about how iGPS shipping platforms improve pallet durability, give our team a call at 1-800-884-0225, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.