A shipping pallet is a flat structure that is used to support and transport goods. Since it is flat, it is highly stable to hold the goods even when they are lifted by a pallet jack, front loader, forklift, work saver or any other kind of jacking device or even a crane maybe.
A pallet forms the foundation of any load and helps in the efficient handling and storage of goods. The goods that need to be stored or transported are first placed on the top of these shipping pallets and then secured with the help of stretch wrap, shrink wrap or strapping and then shipped to their destination. These are commonly used for shipping items in bulk.
Wooden pallets are the most common ones; they can be made of plastic, paper, metal or any recycled material as well. Each of these materials mentioned above has their own advantages and disadvantages and are used for different purposes.
Different types of pallets
There are several types of shipping pallets. Depending on their size, design, and configuration, these can be broadly categorized into two different types-stringer pallets and block pallets.
The different types of pallets are:
- Stringer pallet
- Block pallet
- Flush pallet
- Perimeter base pallet
One of the easiest and the cheapest ways to improve the quality of shipping pallets is to use good quality nails. If a pallet is non-wooden, a controlled coefficient of friction can be used that prevents the slipping of the pallet from forks or racks. Two-way pallets have additional rigidity and strength, and these should be used if they are not required to be lifted from all the four sides.
Pallets vs. Skids
While the words pallets and skids are used interchangeably, they have their own set of differences and different uses too.
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The primary difference between the two is that a shipping pallet has a top deck as well as a bottom deck that makes it much more stable than the skids. There are, approximately, three to four stringers that support a number of deck boards over them. The good is placed on top of these deck boards. Pallets are, basically, used to transport the items that are in transit.
When you are buying shipping pallets there are several factors that you must consider such as stress, temperature, and humidity. There are plastic and wooden pallets, and each has its own set of pros and cons. However, the wooden pallets can get damaged easily due to different elements such as temperature, humidity or stress. They also get damaged when they are overused.
A skid only has the top deck and not the bottom deck and is called a single-deck loading platform for this reason. It is a simple mobile platform that is based on the pedestals that are attached to the deck. Their use was highly popular before the double-faced pallets were created. But post their creation in 1930; their popularity witnessed a major setback due to the high functionality of the shipping pallets.
Skids are now, popularly, used as a permanent base for heavy items such as machinery and provide them the advantage of mobility. Since the bottom deck is missing in skids, they can be easily pulled through surfaces such as sand. For this reason, they were popularly used for hauling large and heavy supplies during World War II.
Skids have been a popular choice for storage since their lower deck is missing but ever since the nestable pallet has been introduced in the market, things have changed to a great extent.