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What Is Pallet Shipping & Is It Cheaper?

Is pallet shipping actually cheaper than shipping individual packages? Well, it depends on quite a few factors, but we’re here to help you determine if it’s the better decision your shipping needs. 

Pallet shipping can be a trusted way to ship your goods, although it will be more expensive than your traditional shipping options. But what will it cost to ship one pallet versus 100 packages? 

The protection pallets offer your shipment is ideal for many and if you have enough items going to one location, it may very well make sense to organize your shipment and utilize pallet shipping. 

How Does Pallet Shipping Work?

Pallet shipping is a type of shipping used in freight shipping. It utilizes pallets to more efficiently ship items, large or small. 

Pallets are essentially a flat platform that can help stabilize a shipment. They can provide a more solid foundation to allow for easier stacking and other tasks when shipping. 

What Do I Need to Know About Pallets?

While pallets are a fairly simple item to consider when shipping, there are things you should know about them. Standard pallet shipping is generally done with wooden pallets, but plastic pallets may be an option as well. 

Whatever pallets you choose, you need to be certain they have four-way entry options to allow for easy loading and unloading with equipment. Standard wooden pallets are typically 40 inches by 48 inches, and size is important because it ensures that your pallets will properly fit on the load. 

Wooden pallets are known to be durable and sturdy for both light and heavy shipments and they can typically hold up well against the harsh elements they may be exposed to during shipping. Pallets can be beneficial in shipping, but it’s important to utilize ones that won’t slow down the process. 

When Are Pallets Best For Me?

Pallet shipping can help things run more efficiently, but does it make sense for all shipments? Here are a few reasons you might want to consider pallet shipping: 

  • Shipping LTL 
  • Shipping high-value cargo 
  • Shipping a large number of boxes 
  • When you need to speed up loading or unloading times
  • When your shipment is unloaded by appointment 
  • If freight is fragile or easily damaged 

What Is the Difference Between Package and Pallet Shipping?

Package shipping has been the standard shipping option for decades. However, pallet shipping is an ever growing option, especially with the continued growth of eCommerce businesses. 

Package or parcel shipping involves the shipment of single packages or parcels. These items may be in boxes, envelopes, or varying containers. Pallet shipping is used to ship multiple items at once. Pallets keep your large shipments together on one base. 

Many items, including furniture, can be ideal for pallet shipping. Furniture and other large, bulky items can be difficult to handle when shipping is considered. Imagine you ordered a piece of furniture that you are to assemble yourself, but much to your dismay, after completing the assembly, you realize it’s not what you need at all. 

Cue the painful return process. Pallet shipping with the right company can help avoid the hassle. There are companies that specialize in shipping large, bulky items, no matter the shape. If you’re left to ship an item you’re unsure about, look at utilizing pallets for shipping before you get overwhelmed. 

Is Pallet Shipping Less Expensive?

Because pallets add to your shipments’ weight, pallet shipping will almost always cost more than package shipping. To determine if pallet shipping will be a more cost effective option, you must first consider your requirements. 

Pallet shipping will be a larger commitment up front, but for the right shipments, it may be less expensive than individually shipping out packages. Depending on the number of packages you have going to one location, it may make more sense to work them together on one pallet. 

Pallet Shipping Costs Explained

If you’re trying to figure out if pallet shipping is worth pursuing, it’s important to know more about the factors that go into determining the costs. 


The location of your pallets matters. Where they will ship to you from will play a great role in the cost. The further away they are from your location, the more you will pay to have them shipped to you. Put simply, the less miles the pallets have to travel, the more affordable it will be to ship them. 


Another factor that will affect the cost will be specifications. Smaller, lighter pallets will typically cost less to ship. This is generally because smaller, lighter pallets allow for greater stowability which helps increase the number of pallets that will fit. 

The greater number of pallets on a load means the shipping cost will be able to be split more ways, decreasing the shipping cost per pallet. Let’s take an example of this! 

If the shipping cost is $800 and the load is able to hold 800 pallets, the shipping cost per pallet would be $1 per pallet. Increase the pallet load to 1,000 and the shipping cost will be reduced to $0.80 per pallet, which will lead to a savings of $0.20 per pallet. 

While the savings may seem minimal, add this up over time for your shipments and you’ll appreciate them. Consider using smaller pallets to fit more and potentially save on your shipping costs. 

Order Quantity

How many pallets you order will affect the cost. Typically, the more pallets you order, the less you’ll pay per unit for shipping costs. Finding your ideal pallet quantity will help you lower your shipping costs. 

For example, if you order 75 pallets and your delivery fee is $150, the cost per unit is $2 per pallet. If you were to double that and order 150 pallets, your cost per pallet will decrease to $1. 

Shipping Services

Pallet shipping is often ideal for non-time sensitive shipments. If you need pallets in a hurry with rushed shipping, you’re going to see much higher costs than if you were to have them delivered in standard time. Staying ahead of your inventory and pallet needs is optimal so you aren’t left to require rushed shipments. 

Benefits of Pallet Shipping

Pallet shipping can be costly, but it can come with many benefits for both the shipper and receiver. 

Pallet shipping can help in the following ways: 

  • Protect your shipment in transit
  • Protect your shipment during loading or unloading
  • Makes loading and unloading times more efficient
  • Speeds up loading or unloading times 
  • Maximizes the usable shipping space on the trailer 
  • Your shipment arrive undamaged and easy to unload and move around 
  • Your shipment be more cost-effective
  • Keep your shipments organized

Disadvantages of Pallet Shipping

There are of course, disadvantages to consider when trying to determine if pallet shipping is the best option to choose. There’s no arguing the fact that pallets add weight to your shipment, which might lead to an increased shipping cost. 

Shipping with pallets means that the use of equipment will be required for loading and unloading your shipment. This will also lead to additional shipping costs and will require you to make sure your shipping location can accommodate pallets.

From there, you must consider that of course, the pallets themselves cost money. While the main cons associated with pallet shipping will lead to a higher shipping cost, working with the right carrier can help you avoid adding in additional costs. 

Ship Your Items With the Confidence You Deserve

No matter what your shipment entails, you should always be able to trust that your items will make it to their destinations without concern. However, if you’ve ever purchased something online, you know that this unfortunately isn’t always the case. 

Transportation can be hard on items, but thankfully, pallet shipping can help provide the stability your shipment needs. Whether you’re shipping domestically or internationally, pallet shipping can keep your goods as protected as possible. Ship with the confidence you deserve with pallet shipping. 

Ship The Way You've Always Wanted

uShip helps you find and book with the right feedback-rated transporter who can haul your large items at the right price. Our technology makes rates and tracking transparent from pickup to delivery.

Ship The Way You've Always Wanted

uShip helps you find and book with the right feedback-rated transporter who can haul your large items at the right price. Our technology makes rates and tracking transparent from pickup to delivery.