The short answer, it depends.
To understand how much you’ll need to spend to switch to using a plastic pallet, you first need to identify what sort of pallet system you are operating. Do you send your wooden pallets out, never to be seen again? Or are your pallets an integral part of your system, returning regularly to you as part of a loop system? Maybe you just use pallets internally as part of your own warehouse system? There are options that cover all pallet systems. The level of investment you have to make will differ based on your needs.
If you work in a system that utilises single use wooden pallets, you are more than likely looking for the cheapest option available. Why? Well, you’re going to use the pallet once so why spend more than you need to? This is a fair train of thought, and the natural assumption is that you’ll spend less on a wooden pallet. This isn’t always true. If you’re buying in volume, you can spend as little as £7 a pallet on a single use nestable pallet. On top of that, the feature of a nestable pallet is that it saves space when it’s not carrying a load giving you far more room in your warehouse when storing your pallets.
If you are operating a return or loop system, you will need a sturdier option. This is where the return-on-investment benefit of a plastic pallet really begins to make sense. The fact is the initial purchase will cost you more than if you were buying wood. This is because you are buying a pallet that will last longer and can be repaired and is more robust than the traditional wooden alternative. That is why you save money in the long run as you don’t have to constantly replace the pallets in your system. If you go with a nestable pallet for your return system, you then get the added benefit of saving money in return carriage. As the pallets take up so much less space due to their nestable capability you can drastically cut your shipping costs, especially if the pallet is being shipped via air freight.
The next key consideration is how much you need to spend when you are shipping a wooden pallet into Europe. New rules mean shipping your goods from the UK into Europe will be complicated by the fact the pallet must meet ISPM15 regulations, unless you decided to use a plastic pallet, in which case your pallet will be exempt from all ISPM15 regulations, and you will save time and money.
Now, the elephant in the room, plastic and the environment. Single use plastic is a hot topic just now, and rightly so. We need to reduce the amount of plastic waste on the planet. That’s why at Exporta we ensure no pallets are single use. We recycle them for you after use, and reputable pallet merchant will do the same. Every plastic pallet can be recycled and reused. They can also harness waste materials from items such as bottles and containers.
Here’s a little more info on the sustainable benefits of switching to plastic.
So, you might be asking, well, how much does a plastic pallet cost then? The quickest way to get this answer is by identifying what type of system you are operating and speaking to an expert who can guide you through the process.
Don’t assume you’ll spend more, as in the long run you might just be surprised.