Three minutes to learn about pallets



Pallets are transport structure that supports goods and is removed in a stable manner by forklift trucks, pallet trucks, front loaders or other top devices for handling. Containerized transport prompts people to use pallets because the surface of sea containers is smooth and flat, making it easy for pallets to move.

  • Pallets are the structural basis of unit loads and can improve processing and storage efficiency.
  • Goods or transport containers are usually placed on pallets, with strapping straps, tensile parcels or pallets fixed for shrinkage packaging and transport.
  • Most pallets can easily carry a load of 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs).
  • Although most of the pallets are made of wood, they are composed of plastic, metal, paper trays. Each material has advantages and disadvantages relative to others.

About Botanical Quarantine

As a result of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC abbreviation), pallets that cross national borders must isolate insect and plant diseases that invade species through carrier materials.

Pallets made of untreated wood do not conform to ISPM 15. In order to meet the requirements, pallets (or other wood packaging materials) must meet the registration criteria and must be processed under approved supervision in any of the following ways:

  • Heat-treated wood must be heated to a minimum core temperature of 56°c (132.8°F) for at least 30 minutes. The tray processed in this way has the initials HT near the IPPC logo;
  • Chemical fumigation of wood must be fumigated with methyl bromide. The tray processed in this way is preceded by an initials MB near the IPPC logo. Since March 19, 2010, the use of methyl bromide as a treatment for ISPM15 has been banned in all E[19]U member states. This is due to the potential damage to the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer.

The treated wood tray must be imprinted on two opposite sides, indicating the HT used for heat treatment or the MB used for methyl bromide treatment.

Standards and specifications

Wooden pallets are usually made up of three or four trusses that support multiple decks and place cargo on them.

In pallet measurements, the first number is the length of the longitudinal beam and the second is the length of the bearing plate. A square or approximately square tray helps the load resist tilt.

Pallet Weight

North American Pallet Weight

Pallet weight generally depends upon pallet size, and the load bearing capacity of the pallet. On average, an empty wooden pallet will weigh from 30 lbs. to 70 lbs., depending on wood type (i.e. hardwood/softwood mix) and the moisture content of the wood. A standard wooden pallet (48″ x 40″ x 6″) with a static load bearing capacity of 3 tons and a 1 ton dynamic, will weigh approximately 33 lbs. to 48 lbs. Lightweight plastic pallets can weigh as little as 3 to 15 pounds, while heavier models may weight up to 30 pounds.

Maximum weight loads also depend on the pallet size and type. Weight loads for standard North American sized pallets typically are:

  • 48″ x40″ sized pallets have weight load of 4,600 lbs
  • 36″ x 36″sized pallets have weight load of 4,700 lbs
  • 42″ x 42″sized pallets have weight load of 3,700 lbs
  • 48″ x 48″sized pallets have weight load of 3,700 lbs

Note that some carriers such as Federal Express have their own weight and dimension restrictions. Fedex’s minimal weight a pallet can carry is 151 lbs. and maximum weight load is 2,200 lbs. DHL Express’ minimum is 66 lbs. and maximum weight load is 2,204 lbs.

Euro Pallet Weight

Euro pallets have standardized weight requirements set by the European Pallet Association (EPAL). Due to strict size and construction requirements, Euro pallets are heavier, with standard weights of approximately 25 kg (55.1 lb). To conform to Euro standards, the pallet must provide a safe working load of 1,500 kg (3307 lb.), and a maximum additional load of 4,000 kg when stacking (8818 lb.)

ISO pallets-dimensions (wxl,millimetres)

  • 1016x1219,north America;
  • 1000x1200,europe, Asia;
  • 1165x1165,australia;
  • 1067x1067,north America, Europe, Asia;
  • 1100x1100,asia;
  • 800x1200,europe; Fits many doorways;

* Iso:international for Standardization

North American Pallets (wxl,millimetres)

  • 1016*1219,grocery, many others;
  • 1067*1067,telecommunications, Paint;
  • 1219*1219,drums;
  • 1219*1016,military,cement;
  • 1219*1067,chemical, beverage;
  • 1016*1016,dairy;
  • 1219*1143,automotive;
  • 1118*1118,drums, the
  • 914*914,beverage;
  • 1219*914,beverage, Shingles, packaged Paper;
  • 889*1156,beverage, Shingles, packaged Paper;
  • 1219*508,retail;

European Pallets (millimetres)

  • 800mm1,200 mm145 mm,
  • 1,200 mm1,000 mm144 mm,
  • 1,000 mm1,200 mm144 mm,
  • 800mm600 mm144 mm,
  • 600mm*400 mm,
  • 400mm*300 mm.

Classification of pallets

Although the pallets are available in a variety of sizes and configurations, all pallets fall into two broad categories: Block Pallet and Stringer Pallet.

Block pallets are generally considered to be stronger and more durable than Stringer Pallet.

Sort by Shape

While many purchasing and shipping managers find themselves in favor of one type of pallet over the other, there are a lot of factors to consider before choosing a block pallet vs stringer pallet for your products. After all, pallets are a critical element responsible for safeguarding your products, making them easy to move, and keeping your production lines running. Pallets are the foundation of your unit load, whether you’re shrink wrapping them, strapping them, shipping them, or simply storing them.

In fact, wood pallets are such a vital part of the supply chain that choosing the correct pallet design can make or break (literally) your shipments and storage.

Fortunately, there are two basic choices: block pallet vs stringer pallet.

Block Pallet

The block pallet gets its name from the blocks that form its base. There are typically 9 blocks in a block pallet, with a solid wood block placed in each of the four corners, in the center of each side of the pallet, and in the center of the pallet itself to support the unit load.

A block pallet is also known as a “four-way” pallet because the tines of a pallet jack or forklift can access and lift it from all four sides of the pallet. Block pallets can be designed with or without bottom deck boards.

Block pallets are commonly thought to be stronger and more durable than stringer pallets because they utilize both parallel stringers and perpendicular blocks, but as you’ll see from the head-to-head test below, that’s not necessarily true.

Stringer Pallet

Stringer pallets are the most commonly used pallets in the United States and are so named because they use stringers to support the unit load. Stringers are the boards that are sandwiched between the top and bottom deck boards and are typically made out of 2 x 4’s or 3 x 4’s.

Stringer pallets are generally thought of as “two-way” pallets, meaning a forklift or pallet jack can only access them on two sides, but stringer pallets can be notched (for a forklift) or chamfered (for a pallet jack) on the non-accessible sides to allow for four-way entry. Although the most common size for a stringer pallet is 48” x 40”, they can be designed to virtually any size.

Top 6 Hot-sale Types

Type 1 Pallets

Type 1 pallet is most widely used and needed by most industries. The deck boards and stringers are both 120cms in length. the pallet is the two-way entry and non-reversible to bear a load on only one surface. It can be utilized in a number of ways for slinging and tying down objects loaded on it.

Type 2 Pallets

Type 2 Pallets are four-way entry block type pallets that are 100cms long and 120cms wide. They are the most commonly used pallets that can be moved by forklifts or hand trucks.

Type 3 Pallets

Type 3 Expandable Pallets are two entry types. They are less expensive and can be utilized for dispatching loaded materials even on an ont-time use only.

Type 4 Pallets

Type 4 Pallets are reversible and can be made two ways or four ways. They are, however, for moving by forklift only. Being reversible, either face will hold a full load. In this case, plywood is used as deck boards.

Type 5 Pallets

Type 5 Pallets are heave duty, bolted and reversible they can be used with most types of handling equipment except hand trucks.

Type 6 Pallets

Type 6 Pallets are of a notched stringer design which makes them very versatile four-way pallets. Notching is performed by our automatic notcher machine.

Which Pallet Type Is Best For Your Application?

There are several considerations when choosing between a block pallet design and a stringer pallet design. Here are a few of the things you should think about.

What product is being shipped?

Different products require different specifications for both shipment and storage. For example, pallets for the food & beverage industry have different requirements than pallets used to ship automotive parts. Some products require the pallets to be treated against mold or pests, while that’s not necessary for others.

In addition, some industries require specific pallet sizes and may require either block or stringer pallets for transport. If you’re not sure if a particular pallet size is required for your products, take a look at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for clarification.

Lastly, your product may require a particular wood material for your pallets. While most pallets are made from southern yellow pine, heavier products may necessitate the use of hardwoods, and certain industries prefer pallets made from other woods.

Where is the product being shipped?

Where your product is being shipped is a major consideration when it comes to deciding between block pallet vs stringer pallet design. While stringer pallets are the most commonly used pallets in the United States, other countries more commonly use block pallets.

Additionally, different countries have different standard-sized pallets. While the standard pallet size is 48” x 40”, the same is not true of many other countries. You may also want to consider any specific size requirements needed for your product’s destination. For example, will it need to fit through a standard doorway or will a forklift be available when your products get to their destination?

What’s the weight of the product being shipped?

Whether you choose a block pallet vs a stringer pallet, it must be capable of supporting the weight of your product. In some cases, a custom pallet design is the only way to ensure that your product’s weight will be properly supported.

What kind of strain will the pallet be under?

Often the strain a pallet must endure isn’t evaluated until there’s a failure, but it’s something you should definitely consider as you decide whether you want to use a block pallet vs a stringer pallet.

  • What kind of shipping and handling conditions will be applied to your pallets?
  • Are your products shipping long distances or even overseas?
  • Will they be transferred more than once during transit?
  • How will they be transferred – forklift, pallet jack, etc.?
  • Will the pallets be used multiple times or just once?
  • Will they be stored indoors or outdoors?
  • Will consumers be exposed to your pallets (like at a warehouse store)?

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when you’re choosing the right pallet for your products. Be sure to think it through before you make a decision.

Block Pallet vs Stringer Pallet: Which is really stronger?

As we discussed earlier, it’s a commonly held belief that block pallets are stronger and more durable than stringer pallets.

And it’s important to take all the factors we’ve discussed into consideration before you decide on a block pallet vs stringer pallet design. The manufacturer you choose can also make a huge difference in the dependability of your pallets, as we’ve seen from the lab tests above.

Sort by material

The cheapest pallets are made of cork and are often thought to be consumable and can be discarded as garbage with other wrapping elements. These pallets are simple longitudinal girder trays that can be lifted from both sides.

The general hardwood block tray, plastic tray, and metal tray can be raised from four sides.

Paper trays, also known as "ecopallets", are commonly used for light loads, but enhanced optimized paper trays have gradually taken possession of the wood tray market.

Steel pallets are strong and can be used for heavy loads, high stacking loads, long-term dry storage, etc., and are commonly used in military munitions, accounting for less than 1% of the market. Materials include carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Aluminum pallets are stronger than wood or plastic, lighter than steel, and resistant to weather, decay, plastic creep, and corrosion. They are sometimes used for air transport, long-term outdoor or offshore storage, or military transport.

Plastic pallets are usually made of new HDPE or recycled PET (beverage bottles). They are usually very durable, last 100 or more times, and are resistant to weathering, decay, chemicals, and corrosion. The advantages of plastic pallets relative to wooden pallets include ease of disinfection, odor resistance, flame retardant, longer service life, durability, and better product protection, non-splitting, and lighter weight, thus saving transportation and labor costs, making them safer, greener, and easily disinfected for international transport.

Sort by uses

Different Types of Pallets in Logistics

Two Way, Double Deck, Flush, Non-Reversible Stringer Pallet

This two-way entry pallet has bottom boards to permit transporter and forklift truck handling.

The wider spacing on the bottom of the boards is utilized to reduce the amount of lumber and weight while at the same time retaining the physical advantages of double Decker pallets.

Two Way, Double Deck, Flush, Non-Reversible Stringer Pallet

This pallet or skid is usually classified as a stringer pallet. Single deck means the pallet has only top deck boards and the term non-reversible indicates that they cannot be used properly when turned upside down. Often referred to as skids, which are pallets with no bottom deck boards, they are the most economic pallet to build and take up less space because they can be interlocked or nested during storage.

They are useful for densely concentrated loads when bottom deck boards are not essential and typical uses include dairy, paper, brick, soda, and certain building materials that are not subject to crushing failure.

Two Way, Double Deck, Flush, Reversible Stringer Pallet

This stringer pallet has deck boards spaced identically on the top and bottom which permits the pallets to be reversed.It contains more wood than other styles and is thus very stiff. The bottom deck assists in distributing the bearing forces and so this type of pallet is often utilized with loads that are susceptible to crushing failures. They can only be handled with forklift trucks.

Partial Four-Way, Double Deck, Flush, Non-Reversible Stringer Pallet

This partial four-way entry stringer pallet is the most common in Saudi Arabia. It is versatile, permitting four-way handling with forklifts and two-way handling with pallet trucks or transporters.

Two Way, Single Deck, Single Wing, Stringer Pallet

This two-way entry, single deck, single-wing, non-reversible stringer pallet consists of top deck boards that protrude beyond the stringers and are designed for use with straddle forklift trucks, cargo slings, bars as well as conventional forklift trucks and transporters. They permit the use of narrower aisles in warehouses where proper material handling equipment is available. An added feature of the wing is that it can assist in the securing of stretch wrap when applied to unit loads.

Two Way, Double Deck, Single Wing, Non-Reversible Stringer Pallet

This pallet is similar to the two-way, single deck, wing style, however, with the addition of bottom deck boards, they are much stiffer and thus more durable. In this style, the top deck boards extend over the outside edge of both inside stringers (the wing) while the bottom deck boards remain flush with the stringer edges.

Two Way Double Deck, Double Wing, Reversible Stringer Type Pallet

This two-way design, the double-wing pallet is reversible and thus has the same amount of top and bottom deck boards. Due to the extension of the deck boards beyond the stringers, it is often referred to as the strongest pallet design.

Full Four Way, Double Deck, Flush, Non-Reversible Block Pallets

Block pallets are the most common style of pallets used in Saudi Arabia. The vast majority of block pallets have nine blocks which are located at the four corners, mid-way across the width, and at the geometric center of the pallet. Due to the fact that they allow for lift truck fork and transport entry in all directions, they are referred to as full 4 way.

Euro Pallets (1200×800)

Euro Pallet is user-friendly, thus used for shipping purposes. Handling them is not a daunting task as they can be navigated easily. Are widely used in many industries. The standard size is 800x1200x144mm

Stringer Pallet

Uses stringers between the top and bottom boards.

Block Pallet

Uses blocks between the top and bottom boards instead of stringers. It has openings at all four pallet sides sufficient to admit hand-pallet jacks; full four-way entry access.

Flush Pallet

A pallet built with the boards and stringers or blocks flush along the sides of the pallet is the standard style; all edges of the pallet are square. (A skid can be flush).

Reversible Pallet

A pallet built with matching top and bottom board layout; the pallet can be on either side and work the same; generally, a 2-way pallet option.

Tight-Top Pallet

A pallet constructed with minimal spacing between the top boards; boards are touching side by side. (A skid can have a tight-top)

Plywood Top Pallet

The top of the pallet uses plywood instead of boards; the thickness of plywood is determined by the user. (A skid can have a plywood top)

Racking Pallet

A pallet customized to fit in the Customer’s warehouse racking.

Heavy-Duty Pallet

Components used are of stronger quality such as doubled 2×4 stringers, thicker or wider boards. A skid can be made heavy-duty. (The diagram is a Heavy-Duty Pallet with Top-Overhang).

Used Pallet

Industry Standard 48” Long by 40” Wide, 4-way entry “Repaired” pallets; there may be variance in board types and spacing.

Production of pallets

Woodworking production and equipment

Pallet Material ->

Material selection (may be used machine: Cut-off saw, Optimizing sawing) ->

Cutting pallet material (long plate block cutting: Cut-off saw; Short Plate start cutting: double end trim saw) ->

Sanding (when wood have mildew or dust): Sanding machine ->

chamfering: chamfer machine ->

Notching : notching machine ->

Nailing: Nail machine ->

Printing -> Fumigation->Finished

Machinery for producing wooden pallets

Cutting pallet material

They are two kinds of cutting machines according to different pallet materials.

A. Cut off saw

B. Double-end trim saw

Sanding pallet material

A sanding machine is necessary when wood materials have mildew or dust.



Corner cutting


Other processes

Frequently asked questions

How to Build a Simple Pallet Tree House

This treehouse perched between four trees in a backyard. Although all the cladding is pallet wood, the structural wood for the deck and frame are all properly treated structural pine.

There is a fireman's pole, a slide, a climbing rope, a bucket lift, and a zipline.

Step 1: The Deck Frame

Step 2: The Deck

Step 3: The House Frame

Step 4: The Pallet Cladding

Step 5: The Roof

Step 6: Finishing Off

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