If you’re in the transport and logistics industry, you already know how invaluable pallets are for shipping and storing goods. These standardized platforms are generously designed for compact and secure shipping at a reasonable price.
But just how much do pallets cost? It’s essential to factor the price of the pallets you use into your shipping costs. This guide will provide you with a deeper understanding of pallet pricing so you can ship efficiently.
How Does Pallet Pricing Work?
Many factors influence the price of pallets. These include:
- Material: While wood pallets are the most popular option, there are also plastic pallets, paper pallets, presswood pallets, and metal pallets.
- Quality: High-quality pallets typically cost more than basic options.
- Availability: You may be limited by pallet choices available in your area. Additionally, different countries use a variety of standard pallet measurements that can also affect the pallet’s price.
- Size: Pallet size is typically influenced by what you are shipping and can affect cost.
Depending on these and other factors, the price of pallets will vary. This is why it is hard to estimate how much pallets cost without considering a company’s shipping needs.
5 Types of Pallets
There are five main types of pallets used in global shipping. Pallets can be made from wood, plastic, paper, presswood, and metal. The choice of material is largely dependent on what is being shipped.
When most of us think of pallets, we typically think of standard wood pallets. Wooden pallets are not only durable and easy to repair, but they are also cost-effective to purchase. It is no wonder why wood pallets are the most popular pallet choice on the market.
You can purchase a standard 40-inch by 48-inch pallet in new condition for anywhere from roughly $11.25 to $12.50. If you desire heat treatment, add one dollar to this price range. For recycled wooden pallets, an eco-friendly and cost-saving option, expect to pay between $4.25 and $7.40.
Geographic and market factors such as labor, lumber cost, and manufacturing time can also affect the price of wooden pallets.
Another commonly used pallet type is plastic pallets. These incredibly durable pallets can be used for a long time but come at a higher cost. Unlike wood pallets, plastic pallets can be sanitized, helping them meet the strict requirements of the pharmaceutical industry. They also have a high strength-to-weight ratio, making them great for shipping food and beverages.
Plastic pallets can also be manufactured in various custom shapes and sizes. While this can drive up the cost even further, they are an excellent choice for difficult-to-ship items. New standard plastic pallets have a wide range of prices from $10 to $80. Specialty or custom models can even cost $100 or more.
Corrugated paper pallets are an excellent choice for lighter loads and environmental friendliness. It helps to keep in mind that the actual cost of a pallet is not just the pallet itself but the cost of shipping the dead weight of said pallet along with your products. Using paper pallets when appropriate makes it possible to avoid some of this unnecessary cost.
Paper pallets range from $7 to $18, with the price directly correlating to its strength. You can also cut costs by recycling paper pallets for recycling revenue. These types of pallets are much easier to recycle since they have no nails or fasteners and are relatively clean.
Presswood pallets, also known as wood composite pallets, are made from natural wood chips bonded together through high-temperature molding. These wood chips are typically either waste from sawmills or the wood recycling industry, making these pallets a more environmentally friendly option than traditional wood pallets.
Not only are presswood pallets an environmentally friendly option, but they are also an excellent choice for international shipping. Since the material is four times lighter than wood pallets, mold-resistant, and without fumigation, you can use them for international shipments without requiring heat treatment.
While presswood pallets have not gained the popularity they have in Europe within the United States, they are still a great low-cost option for pallet shipping with prices starting around $7 per pallet.
While metal pallets are uncommonly used, they are popular in both chemical and catering industries for their ability to withstand harsh conditions while staying hygienic. They are also great for heavy loads.
Rolled thin steel and mesh pallets are the lighter and less expensive option costing approximately $70 to $90, making them competitively priced compared with reusable plastic pallets. Meanwhile, stainless steel pallets are more expensive, costing $200 or more.
Things to Consider With the Cost of Pallets
When choosing the right pallets for the job, there are several factors you must consider. Unfortunately, all of these factors also influence the price of the pallets.
The main determining factor for the cost of pallets is the material they are made out of. While wooden pallets are the most popular option, they cannot fulfill every pallet-related need. That’s why there are also plastic, paper, presswood, and metal pallets on the market.
New or Used
Since most pallets are reusable, purchasing used or refurbished pallets is possible. These recycled pallets are not only cost-effective but environmentally friendly. However, there are some instances where you may need to purchase new pallets, such as for hygienic reasons or unique loads.
Rent or Purchase
You may also choose to rent pallets instead of purchasing them. This is an excellent option if you don’t need many of them or they are required for a one-time shipment. Renting pallets is typically less expensive than buying them initially. However, costs may add up if you rent pallets consistently.
The size of your pallets also affects the cost. Standard-sized pallets will cost considerably less than custom, while smaller pallets will cost less than larger ones due to material cost and weight.
The quality of pallets should also be considered when estimating costs. While the cheapest pallet may be cost-saving initially, over time they will need to be repaired or replaced more frequently.
Poorly built pallets can also cause jams or faults in automated systems leading to time-consuming maintenance and downtime. You’re much better off sticking with higher quality pallets for a reputable seller for long-term cost savings.
The availability of pallets in your region also affects the price. In 2021, lumbar shortages combined with a high demand for pallets forced pallet suppliers to raise their prices for standard wooden pallets across the US and the UK.
Additionally, if you require uncommon or custom pallets, your location can affect the cost as some options are not widely available in every region.
So, How Much Are Pallets?
Depending on your shipping needs, pallets can cost anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds! While standard-sized wood pallets are the most popular option, there are pallets made from other materials that are better suited for different industries. The size and quality also accept the price of pallets, and it can be possible to save money by using used or rented pallets.
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A pallet shipper is used to transport perishables. It resembles a large box and is insulated to preserve food or pharmaceuticals.
Pallets should be no taller than 60 inches for shipping for safety reasons.
As a general rule, pallet shipping is cheaper when compared to parcel shipping for shipping large amounts of freight since pallets allow you to transport multiple packages at once.
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