When you walk into nearly any warehouse in the country, you’re sure to see stacks of pallets somewhere in the facility. This is because pallets are an important part of the shipping, packaging and warehouse industry. Pallets have been used for decades to carry large quantities of heavy items during transportation. Once the pallets have arrived at the destination, the items must be unloaded and organized within the warehouse until they are brought to a distribution center or shipped directly to the consumer. However, for those in the warehouse industry, pallets can cause a lot of issues between price and space. Learn about pallet pooling to help you switch to types of eco-friendly packaging and reduce your overhead.
What Is Pallet Pooling?
Before you can determine if pallet pooling is right for your business, you need to know more about this relatively new and revolutionary service. Pallet companies now offer the option to pool your pallets, much like the idea of a carpool. Multiple warehouses and companies share the same pallets that can be reused over and over to help reduce costs for businesses and reduce waste as individually owned pallets would just get thrown away or take up extra storage space. Pallet pooling also helps to reduce transportation costs and fuel emissions as companies no longer need to have their own vehicles transporting pallets of products.
Choosing the Right Type of Pallet Pooling
An increasing number of companies are offering pallet pooling services to warehouses, allowing them to essentially rent pallets from a shared pool at a reduced cost. Traditionally, wooden pallets have been used as the materials are cheap and easily obtained, but there are some major issues with wood pallets. For pallet pooling, it makes more sense to use a plastic pallet that can handle a lot of wear and tear and last longer. Find out more about different types of pallets and which is best for pallet pooling.
It’s extremely common to see pallets made from wood, and while these types of pallets are technically reusable, they aren’t designed to withstand a lot of damage. The greatest advantage of wood pallets is that they are cheap and easy to make, but the low price tag is apparent when you try to reuse these products. Wood pallets fall apart quickly and after little use. Though this might be a convenient, cheap option, it’s not feasible as a long-term pallet solution. Additionally, wood pallets constantly need to be repurchased as the old ones fall apart. This is contributing to higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions as more products are produced.
Discover everything you need to know about pallet pooling and the key strategies for maximizing efficiency in your supply chain operations with this comprehensive guide.
Ironically enough, plastic pallets are actually the more eco-friendly option when it comes to pallet pooling. Although we tend to shy away from using too much plastic, these types of pallets are much more durable than their wooden counterparts, meaning they last longer and can be reused for a much greater period of time. Plastic pallets have a number of other advantages, too. If your warehouse stores or transports any kinds of products that may become contaminated, wood pallets can absorb bacteria and other contaminants, spreading them to more products when the pallets are reused. Plastic pallets are easy to sanitize between uses and reduce the chance of spreading bacteria. Many plastic pallets are also lighter than the wooden alternative, making it easier to move them around the warehouse.
The Benefits of Pallet Pooling
Finding new ways to integrate eco-friendly packaging into the shipping and warehousing industries is important. Large businesses contribute a great deal of waste to the environment, so taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint can help protect the Earth and reduce your own maintenance costs. With pallet pooling, you can lower your costs by no longer needing to purchase pallets for all of your stored products. Instead, you simply pay the pallet pooling fee and request your share of pallets from the company as you need them. This reduces the number of pallets being produced and lowers the amount of fuel being used by transportation trucks. Warehouses are no longer using their own individual transportation to get pallets, instead relying on the pallet pooling’s truck service.
Greater Level of Safety
Opting to use reusable pallets from a pooling company has many safety benefits associated with it. Most of these pallet pooling companies are using plastic pallets because of the superior advantage they have over wood pallets. Pallet pooling companies need to be able to use their equipment for a long time and ensure that it’s durable enough to withstand use by multiple companies and warehouses. These plastic pallets are lightweight compared to traditional wood pallets, which makes it safer for warehouse employees to move and handle them. As previously mentioned, plastic pallets are also much easier to sanitize, and they do not absorb hazard materials in the way that wood pallets can.
Cut Down Costs and Increase Space
When you don’t have to continually purchase new pallets, you’ll notice a reduction in your overhead expenses. The service fee for pallet pooling is typically much lower than the price of purchasing pallets, so you’re saving money, but you’re also saving valuable warehouse space. When you own your own pallets, you need to find a place to keep them, and they are not a small item by any means. When you rent your pallets from a pooling company, you simply send them back when you’re done with them. This frees up more space in your warehouse to store additional products or improve overall organization.
Use Pallet Pooling for All Your Warehouse Needs
Pallet pooling is the perfect way to reduce costs and lower your environmental impact. Research some companies in your area that offer this service to start using more eco-friendly shipping methods and improve the safety and organization of your warehouse. Clear out that extra space where pallets tend to pile up and put it to better use with additional product storage or keep other essential warehouse equipment here.