Rackable plastic pallets, stackable and nestable options to meet application needs
Rackable, stackable or nestable? What’s the best plastic pallet for you? Purchasers of plastic pallets will have a wide variety of nestable, rackable and stackable pallets to choose from, depending on the style that best fits their needs. Let’s take a closer look.
Nestable plastic pallets
Nestable plastic pallets are crafted with a design that allows them to fit or nest within one another when empty. This nesting ability optimizes storage and transportation space, making them valuable in industries with limited storage capacity.
Nestable pallets are typically durable, lightweight models that are used in many applications where the emphasis is on the transportation of palletized goods rather than storage – they have typically not been designed for racking or stacking, although this practice is changing. Sometimes referred to as distribution or downstream pallets, they are used widely by grocery retailers for the picking and shipping of orders to retail outlets, as well as by the U.S. Postal Service.
Here’s what you need to know about nestable plastic pallets:
- Space Efficiency: Nestable pallets shine when it comes to saving space during both storage and transportation. This characteristic is particularly advantageous for return trips, where empty pallets can be nested for efficient transport.
- Reduced Return Shipping Costs: Industries involved in reverse logistics or returnable systems benefit from the reduced volume during return shipping, resulting in cost savings.
- Sustainability: The ability to nest reduces the need for additional transportation or storage space, contributing to a more sustainable supply chain.
Stackable plastic pallets
Stackable plastic pallets are designed with the ability to be stacked on top of one another when loaded. This stacking feature leverages vertical space, making them an excellent choice for maximizing storage efficiency in warehouses and distribution centers. Here are some key features and benefits of stackable plastic pallets:
- Space Optimization: Stackable pallets are ideal for businesses with limited floor space. Their ability to be vertically stacked means you can store more products within a smaller footprint.
- Sturdy Construction: These pallets are engineered to handle the weight of loaded pallets stacked on top. They are often built with reinforcement elements to ensure stability and safety.
- Warehouse Management: Stackable pallets simplify warehouse management by allowing organized stacking patterns that optimize the accessibility and visibility of goods.
Rackable plastic pallets
Rackable plastic pallets are specifically designed to be compatible with pallet racking systems commonly used in distribution centers and industrial environments. These pallets are constructed to withstand the stresses of being edge racked. Here’s what sets rackable plastic pallets apart:
- Racking Compatibility: The design of rackable pallets allows them to fit securely onto pallet racks, preventing product damage and ensuring safe storage.
- Uniform Load Distribution: Rackable pallets distribute the load evenly across the pallet’s support points, reducing the risk of point-loading and potential damage.
- Vertical Storage: Industries relying on vertical storage systems benefit from rackable pallets, as they are built to withstand the pressure exerted when pallets are stored on top of each other in racks.
Understanding durability levels
Plastic pallets are available in different durability levels to suit diverse operational requirements. Large plastic pallet suppliers will boast dozens or even more than 100 models to best meet particular operations. Generally speaking, however, plastic pallets are described as lightweight or light duty, medium duty or heavy duty.
- Lightweight: Designed for one-time or limited use, lightweight plastic pallets are cost-effective and easy to handle. They are ideal for industries that require occasional pallet use and aim to minimize transportation costs. These are also ideal for export.
- Medium Duty: Medium-duty plastic pallets strike a balance between durability and cost-effectiveness. They are suitable for industries with moderate handling and storage demands, offering improved reusability and strength compared to lightweight options.
- Heavy Duty: Engineered for rigorous material handling environments, heavy-duty plastic pallets can withstand high load capacities and frequent use. These pallets are designed for industries with heavy-duty requirements, such as manufacturing and distribution centers.
- Material composition
- Typical application
- User references
- Design – one or multiple-piece
- Pallet weight
- Pallet height
- Top deck: solid or vented?
- Top deck surface options: lip, grommets, scuffing, spin disks, cleats
- Washable in an automated system?
- Designed for water drainage
- Designed for spill containment
- Bottom deck style and coverage: nestable nine-leg, picture frame, cruciform, three or four runners, etc.
- Static, dynamic load rating
- Edge-rackable load rating
- If edge-rackable, one direction or two?
- Opening sizes
- Fire rating
- USDA or FDA approval
- Asset management considerations to prevent loss or theft
- Buy-back program for damaged pallets
- IoT compatibility
- Plant location, freight charges
- Pallet color, branding options
Interested in finding a plastic pallet supplier? Be sure to check out our plastic pallet vendor listing.