Are Used Pallets Cost Effective?

Are Used Pallets Cost Effective?

When it comes to buying used pallets, a case can be made for this being the most cost-effective solution. In this current climate, making cost-effective decisions is key to everyone. This doesn’t just apply to business, but to everyone in their day-to-day lives too. While sustainability is a key thought and buying ‘preloved’ or second-hand can be seen as reducing waste, choosing to go for a used option might not be as cost effective as you might think.

Businesses try to make cost-effective decisions because it helps them to maximise profits and remain competitive in the market. Cost-effective decisions involve identifying and implementing strategies that can reduce costs without compromising the quality of the product or service. When it comes to used products though, quality cannot always be guaranteed.


Different Types of Pallets

Pallets are flat structures employed to support and protect the transport of goods in a variety of industries. There are several types available, each with its own unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:

  • Wood Pallets: Wooden is the most common type of pallets used worldwide. They are sturdy and can support heavy loads and are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of pallets. However, they can be prone to splintering, which can damage goods, and can also be a fire hazard.
  • Plastic Pallets: Plastic is becoming increasingly popular due to the durability, resistance to moisture, and ease of cleaning. They are also more environmentally friendly than wood as they are recyclable. However, they are more expensive than wood pallets, and may not be able to support as much weight.
  • Metal Pallets: Metal is the strongest option, able to support extremely heavy loads. They are also fire-resistant and easy to clean. However, they are heavier and more expensive than wood or plastic so require a bigger initial investment.

At Exporta, we provide options for all these different types of pallets. You can view our range of Wooden, Plastic, and Aluminium ranges here.


Downsides of Used Pallets

While second-hand pallets may seem like an attractive option due to their lower cost, businesses should carefully consider the potential downsides and assess whether the savings are worth the risks and hidden costs. There are several downsides, including:

Durability: Used pallets may not be as durable as new ones, especially if they have been repaired multiple times. This can result in pallets breaking or collapsing, causing damage to products or injury to workers.

Contamination: Second-hand may have come into contact with contaminants such as chemicals, dirt, or bacteria during their previous use. This can pose a risk to the products being transported on the pallet and the workers handling them.

Inconsistent Sizes: Used pallets may not be consistent in size or quality, which can make it difficult to stack them efficiently and safely. This can also cause problems with automated machinery or shipping containers that require a certain pallet size.

Hidden Costs: While used pallets may seem like a cost-effective solution, there may be hidden costs associated with them, such as repair costs or disposal fees. These costs can add up over time and negate any cost savings.

Regulatory Compliance: Some industries, such as the food and pharmaceutical industries, may have strict regulations regarding the use of pallets. Used pallets may not meet these regulations, which can result in fines or legal issues.


Why New Pallets are More Cost Effective than Used

New pallets, and specifically plastic, are a more cost-effective solution than buying used. Plastic is easier to clean, there are no inconsistencies in sizing, and they are fully exempt from ISPM15 regulations.

Plastic Pallets are also ideal for loop systems or returnable transit packaging. The life span of these pallets is 10 times longer than of a typical wooden, so while the initial investment is higher than used pallets, the ROI is better in the long run.

Plastic Pallets also benefit from being more hygienic, better quality, highly durable and more reliable. All round they will serve you better than a used wooden pallet.


How Can Exporta Help?

Want to talk to someone about your pallet requirements and how you can save by switching from wooden to plastic pallets? Want to find out how you can actually earn credit against your next Exporta order with our Pallet Buy Back scheme? Call 0800 294 4394 or complete the contact form online and one of our team will be ready to support you with your enquiry.

Exporta Global 5/04/23


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