Manufacturers are always looking for the best ways to ship products to their end users, be it consumers or retail stores. Among the things they have to consider include the most efficient and cost-effective ways to ship and in what quantities can goods most efficiently be shipped. They also have to consider what kinds of shipping materials will best suit their needs.
One of the shipping materials that large manufacturers have to deal with is pallets. Pallets are the objects upon which manufacturers will stack goods/materials in quantities adequate for shipping. Pallets manufacturers create different sized pallets to fit different needs. Pallet sizes can range from small for smaller shipments to extremely large pallets for the shipping of industrial size goods/materials.
Given the importance of pallets in the shipping process, the material from which a pallet is made matters in terms of choosing the right pallets. In fact, pallets can be made from a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, polyurethane, and wood. Pallet manufacturers benefit by utilizing many of the B-Grade and downfall woods that Silvaris provides.
What most people in the shipping industry fully understand is that wood is by far the best material from which to make pallets. This is true for a variety of reasons. In support of this contention, the information provided below is going to focus on four (4) reasons why people should strongly consider using wood pallets, as their best option, for their shipping needs.
In 2021 supply chain issues were the main culprit for pallet prices increasing from $9 per pallet early in the year to a high of $15 per pallet in September.
1. Durability/Strength and Utility
As natural materials, hardwoods and even some softwoods are simply stronger that their metal or plastic counterparts. In other words, they are able to withstand a lot more in terms of weight pressure. Of course, it would be easy to create metal and plastic pallets that could be made thicker to provide more durability and strength. However, lots of other efficiencies would be lost along the way. That would include the loss of cost efficiencies and the fact the pallet might create weight issues unto itself.
Here's the kicker in terms of material strength. Wood heating and drying techniques can make some wood materials even stronger than they were originally. That matters a lot if a manufacturer intends to securely ship large quantities of heavy goods/materials.
As far as utility is concerned, wood provides one very big advantage over its counterparts. It has a coarser surface. In other words, it provides a higher level of friction that helps keep a load from slipping or shifting around on its pallet. Imagine for a moment how much slippage one might get from the slick surface of a plastic or metal pallet. This utility is significantly important to manufacturers that are trying to ship goods/materials that are easily subjected to damage.
2. Eco-Friendly Material
If you are going to do business in North America, you had better be conscious of the environment. Environmentalists have their fingers in every aspect of the manufacturing process, which makes it clear that manufacturers had better be looking for the most eco-friendly options in everything they do. Yes, that includes selecting eco-friendly methods of shipping goods/materials.
The eco-friendly advantages that come from wood pallets range from the process by which wood is created to a pallet's afterlife. What environmentalists want to see is less waste of natural resources like trees. You get that with wood pallets because they are durable, requiring the use of less wood to make replacement pallets. There are also easy to repair with nothing more than a hammer and nail or glue.
By the way, it doesn't hurt that water, oxygen, and sunlight are all that is required to turn a tree seedling into a mature tree that's suitable for transitioning into wood pallets.
Did we mention the fact that the use of wood over synthetic materials ensures there is a reduction of carbon emissions that would result from the manufacturing processes needed to manufacture synthetic materials?
When a wood pallet has outlived its original usefulness, there are still two eco-friendly options available. First, the wood from broken pallets can be used to make new pallets. Second, used pallets can be repurposed into household goods like furniture.
3. Material Sustainability
Along the same lines of being eco-friendly, it's important that manufacturing materials are sustainable. That ensures the materials will always be readily available without stressing the environment.
Wood pallets come from trees and trees are plentiful in the Northern States of the U.S. and in Canada. Given the amount of land that can be dedicated to tree farms, there is no indication of a current threat to the sustainability of the tree population.
According to recent reports from the American Hardwood Export Council, the growth rate of hardwood trees in North America is more than double the consumption rate of wood. That ensures that newly planted trees will have plenty of time to mature before they are needed as a natural resource. The lumber industry remains on target with its goal of planting 1.7 billion new trees every year.
While keeping environmentalists happy is always a good idea, it's equally important to keep business owners and stakeholders happy. That is usually done by watching the bottom line.
The simple truth is wood pallets are cheaper that their plastic, polyurethane, and metal counterparts. They are cheaper to manufacture and cheaper to maintain. If a plastic or polyurethane container breaks, it has to be replaced; there are no repair options. If a metal container rusts and corrodes, it has to be replaced for health reasons.
Most wood pallets can easily be repaired, which provides another level of cost-efficiency. The fact wood pallets can also be fully recycled also helps create cost savings over the long term.
Based on the information provided above, it should be clear that environmentally and fiscally responsible manufacturers should always consider wood pallets in favor of their counterparts.
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