The utilization of pallets for the movement of freight has revolutionized cargo handling both in the UK and worldwide. The development of new materials for pallet manufacture will add to the beneficial impact on the environment of their use.
Export pallets are now in widespread use throughout the world for the movement of freight with the most popular sizes for the bases evolving as 80 x 120 and 100 x 120cms. Modern transport units are constructed so that the maximum number of pallets can be loaded to them thereby keeping costs to a minimum and reducing the risks of damage in transit.
The use of pallets is also very important within the warehouse environment. Goods stored on pallets can quickly be prepared for dispatch on call off by a customer and the palletization also facilitates the breaking down of complete pallets to fulfill orders for smaller quantities.
In order to maximize the use of pallets, many suppliers have agreements with their customers that for each pallet delivered to them an empty pallet will be given back in exchange. Pallet suppliers have also set up networks enabling customers to hire pallets on a one-way or a two-way basis and for long-term rental contracts.
Traditionally pallets have been made of timber but in order to conserve the environment pallet manufacturers are turning their attention to the use of recycled plastics and with their greater durability they are now as cost-effective as timber pallets.