Quarter pallets can deliver added benefits to the last mile of retail distribution.
Small or fractional pallets, including quarter and half pallets, can help provide a powerful boost in floor-ready retail sales while increasing efficiencies for the “last mile” of retail distribution. Is the quarter pallet the right choice for your POS (point of sale) application? Let’s take a closer look.
1 What is a quarter pallet?
A quarter pallet is one with a footprint (length and width dimensions) that is one-quarter of a full-sized unit. As such, quarter pallets can vary in size. For example, quarter pallets can be based on several full-size pallet footprint dimensions such as 48×40-inch, 48×45-inch, 1200×1000-mm, 800×1200-mm, and others. Quarter pallets are a variety of modular pallets, which can be combined with other like-sized pallets to form a complete pallet footprint.
2 In what sizes are quarter pallets available?
Common pallet sizes include 20×24-inch, 24×24-inch, or 600×400-mm. However, there may be a range of sizes customized to specific displayer designs.
3 What are the benefits of a quarter pallet?
The key advantages relate to eliminating order picking touch labor at the warehouse and stocking labor at retail and their utility for retail display. Floor displays at retail have been shown to boost sales, and quarter pallet displays can help. Additionally, floor displays can reduce the need for backroom storage at the retail location.
Display pallets that ship intact can also help reduce the need for as much protection from secondary packaging, and therefore
Another benefit of quarter pallets in general shipping applications is in helping to eliminate product damage. Quarter pallets can provide superior product protection to small loads over 100 pounds that would otherwise be shipped unpalletized. However, the handling stability of quarter pallets can be an issue. Material handling equipment compatibility and operator training should be evaluated.
4 From what materials can a quarter pallet be manufactured?
Like full-sized pallets, quarter pallets can be produced from various materials, such as timber, molded wood, plastic, paper, and metal.
5 What features should buyers consider?
Quarter pallet features that may be of interest include:
- solid top deck with minimal gaps between top deck boards so that merchandise can be placed directly upon the pallet,
- nestability to promote efficient backhaul and storage (Litco presswood pallets can be stacked 50 units high)
- compatibility with displayer unit to provide effective fit and rapid assembly and disassembly,
- ease of sanitation through design for ease of cleaning and draining
- quarter pallet boxes with features including doors and rising floor,
- casters for rolling functionality, eliminating the need for material handling equipment on the retail floor.
6 What are other considerations?
Quarter pallets present some challenges to consider. For example, the building of quarter pallet displays may involve increased touch labor and packaging expense versus full pallet building at the manufacturing plant and distribution. Also, distribution activities can negatively impact handling and cube efficiency of outbound freight if appropriate handling equipment has not been incorporated. Using a single pallet fork to move quarter pallets can be challenging. For a detailed discussion of small pallet handling stability, read this MHI white paper.
In terms of disposal, paper pallets are readily recycled. However, pallets of other material not recovered for reuse can be more challenging to keep out of the waste stream.
7 Who manufactures quarter pallets?
8 Who Pools Quarter Pallets?
Quarter pallets are increasingly offered through pooling company services. Providers include:
- CHEP Wheeled Quarter Pallet Wins Bronze
- CHEP Quarter Pallet Movements Up 12.1% Year on Year in UK
- CHEP UK Has Introduced Bluetooth Sensors to Quarter Pallets
- Strategic Leadership Forum Sparks Initiative to Improve Floor Ready Display Modules
- Making the Case for Small Pallets
- Family of Modular Display Pallets Launched by ORBIS Corporation
- New CHEP Quarter Pallet Released in Germany Targets Last Mile of Retail Distribution
- LPR Buys 600x 400 mm Quarter Pallet Pool from Contraload
- New Plastic Pallet to Provide Pågen with SEK 7 Million Annual Saving