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Category Archives: Material Handling Advice

Wood, Metal or Plastic Pallets – What’s right for you?

Are Plastic Pallets, Metal, or Wood best for you? Take our pallet Quiz!

Choosing the best pallet for your warehouse is an important decision.

Will Wood, Metal or Plastic Pallets be right for you? We can help.

Take our quick Pallet Quiz and for our recommendation on the best pallet for your needs.

Can’t decide on Wood, Metal or Plastic Pallets – We Can Help!

Please contact us to see if Wood, Metal or Plastic Pallets are right for your application.

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Plastic Pallet Part Numbers Explained

Plastic Pallet Product Numbers Explained

PP-O-40-NL3, Whaaaaaat?

That’s funny looking. On first glance, “PP-O-40-NL3” may look like jargon from some new, unfriendly material handling science.

But wait- it’s actually one of our plastic pallet part numbers!

Confusing and random? No!

Once you understand our simple key, our part numbers are useful and make perfect sense.

Plastic Pallet Part Numbers Explained 2

Cracking The Plastic Pallet Part Number Code

Let’s dissect a part number.

PP-O-40-NL3

PP- This one’s easy, PP simply stands for Plastic Pallet. You might also see, CP (Container Pallet / Bulk Bin), and PW (PressWood pallet).

PP-O- The letter “O” means Open Deck. You may also “S” for Solid Deck (or closed deck). Plastic Pallets have two main deck types, so this part of the part number can help you zero in on your preferred pallet!

PP-O-40- This number indicates a pallet or bin’s dimensions, and starts with the width. In this case, the pallet is 40 inches wide. If the length isn’t listed it’s typically 48 inches.

PP-O-40-N This letter means the pallet is Nestable, one of our 3 main pallet types. “N” for Nestable, “S” for Stackable, “R” for Rackable.

PP-O-40-NL– This letter classifies the a pallet or bin’s weight capacity. “L” for Light Duty, “M” for Medium Duty, “H” for Heavy Duty.

PP-O-40-NL3– The trailing number differentiates similar products by creating a series. Pallets with a smaller series number were added to our product line earlier. Example: NL3 was launched before NL4!

Plastic Pallet Part Numbers

Other Plastic Pallet Part Number Designations

Example: PP-O-40-R2.001.FDA/FR/FA-Blue

.001,.003,.005 These are found at the end of a pallet that has 1, 3, or 5 reinforcing rods.

FDA Typically at the end of a part number, indicates the plastic pallet is FDA approved. This means that the pallet is manufactured using virgin resin and is typically blue

Black,Blue,Red, Green, Etc. When our plastic pallets and bulk bins are available in more than one color, we put the color at the end of the part number.

FR All Fire Retardant pallets are designated with an “FR” in the product number.

FA Pallets molded with Freezer Additive are identified an “FA” in the product number.

All good on Plastic Pallet Part Numbers?

Clear as mud right? While detailed, there is a science to our part numbers- and they do describe and explain the products they represent.

Need Help Selecting A Pallet?

We don’t require anyone to learn our plastic pallet part numbers if they don’t want to – contact us so we can choose the perfect plastic pallet or container bin for your application.

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

How Long Do Plastic Pallets Last?

How Long Do Plastic Pallets Last

How long do plastic pallets last?

That’s the $64,000 question in our industry. Predicting a plastic pallet’s lifespan is both simple and impossible to determine.

Pallet Lifespan - How Long Do Plastic Pallets Last?

How Long Do Plastic Pallets Last?

What Is the lifespan of a plastic Pallet?

The Simple Answer

Plastic Pallets last forever!

Disclaimer: The claim that plastic pallets last forever assumes the following

  • the pallet is not stored in the sunlight
  • the pallet is not lost or intentionally damaged
  • the pallet is always loaded properly within specifications
  • the pallet is always handled perfectly

The Impossible Answer

A Plastic Pallet’s Lifespan? It depends!

Plastic Pallets last forever if… there are a lot of “ifs”.

  • Pallet lifespan depends on the users application and handling practices:
  • It’s also important to make sure the pallet being used is appropriate for the application.
  • Often times, the cheapest pallet can become the most expensive, hiding the true expense of using a pallet that is not up to the task. After all, you must you consider product damage/loss due to overloading or improper use.

Reality Check

Neither answer is really helpful in the real world of material handling.

However, we do know that when the right pallet is selected for an application and it’s handled appropriately, it will outlast a wood pallet many times over.

At One Way Solutions, we’ve seen pallets in active use that were produced more than a decade ago.

The Bottom Line Pro Tip

Treat your plastic pallets well and they will return the favor- they’ll last longer and you’ll save money by drastically reducing the frequency of pallet replacement.

Happy Warehouse - Happy Plastic Pallets

What do you think?

We value your option and pallet expertise!

  • How long have your pallets lasted?
  • What handling tricks have increased pallet lifespan?

Please leave your comments below and contact us for assistance on finding the perfect plastic pallet for the right price.

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

What’s Your Cheapest Plastic Pallet?

Our Cheapest Plastic Pallet

What’s our Cheapest Plastic Pallet?

To be honest, that’s a tough question. But I understand why you’re asking!

But first, a bit of pallet advice:

The cheapest plastic pallet isn’t necessarily the best plastic pallet for your application!

Considering that approximately 100 people per year die from forklift/pallet injuries, making sure that the pallet we sell is sufficient for it’s application is something we take seriously.

In the past 15 years, there have been dozens of customers that have not taken our pallet advice, only to regret it later. Fortunately, these cases resulted in an exchange for a more durable pallet and were not the result of an injury.

Just Answer The Question!

If we put aside the issue of application and look purely at price, we have several plastic pallets that match the ‘up front’ pricing of wood pallets. I say ‘up front’ because plastic pallets also have less tangible cost savings.

What are the hidden plastic pallet savings?

  • freight cost savings
  • lower frequency of replacement
  • potentially lower insurance premiums
  • less operations down time due to injury (due to nails and splinters commonly caused by wood pallets)
  • less product damage (again, no nails / splinters)
  • reduced risk of product and contamination (vital for food and pharmaceuticals)

Lower Freight Costs

Because plastic pallets often weigh less than wood pallets, it costs less money to ship them to your warehouse and to your customers.

Lower Frequency Of Replacement

Plastic pallet durability is excellent, often outlasting wood pallets. The longer plastic pallet lifespan means you will replace them less frequently- and buying less often saves you money!

OK! But what are your cheapest plastic pallets?

All of our pallets are priced competitively, but I’d like to mention one pallet that stands out in our pallet catalog.

Meet the NL5.5, our cheapest plastic pallet!

Our least expensive pallet is the # PP-O-40-NL5.5 40×48 Nestable Open Deck Light Duty Plastic Pallet. We offer higher quantities of the NL5.5 for less $8 per unit, and it weighs less than 12 lbs.

Pro Tip: less weight means less pallet resin material, that’s less cost for our customers!

40 x 48 Nestable Light Duty Plastic Pallet

Our cheapest pallet, the NL5.5

One Way Solutions co-designed the NL5.5 plastic pallet to have the lowest possible weight with a high load capacity sufficient for many applications and widespread use. It’s weight to capacity ratio is among the highest in our product offering.

Right Pallet, Right Price, Right Time, Right Way!

At One Way Solutions, we strive to find cost savings at every opportunity so that we can pass these savings onto our customers. Combined with unparalleled service, we continue to build repeat business as loyal customers return for their plastic pallet needs.

Our very first customer in 2003 is still a customer in 2017.

We Can Help!

Please contact us for pricing or info on any of our plastic pallets, including our cheapest one.

About Brian Pigott

Brian Pigott is an engineer and customer-centric entrepreneur. Brian is the Managing Director of One Way Solutions.

Safe Pallet Stacking – Pallet Load Calculator

Safe Stacking: Pallet Load Calculator

We’ve got great pallet handling questions coming in through our articles – keep them coming please!

These inquiries are always interesting because they transcend the more general guidelines set forth by various regulatory agencies.

Calculating Loads for Safe Pallet Stacking

The latest question was regarding safe pallet stacking; specifically, how to safely calculate maximum pallet loads when stacking pallets.

Question:

Q: Hi Robin. We place four 55 gallon drums of juice onto a pallet. Each drum is about 450 pounds. We want to stack these pallets of juice on top of each other in our freezer. How high can we stack these? Since it is sitting on a cement floor I assume this would be figured out as a static load. We have 40 by 48 wooden pallets. Since our finished pallets are not subjected to other forces (Dynamic, conveyors, racking) the static load can exceed the dynamic rating of the pallet. Is this an accurate statement?

My Initial Reaction

Whoa, 1,800 pounds of juice on each pallet is serious business. I can see why this is important; overloaded pallets are dangerous. Plus, upsetting 220 gallons of juice would result in a costly, time-consuming mess.

Answer:

This is not an accurate statement, necessarily. At some point, you will be moving the juice onto the pallet and stacking the pallets, exceeding the dynamic load during the process could be disastrous and should be avoided.

For safety’s safe, please make sure the following guidelines are followed:

  • The load per pallet load cannot exceed: the pallet’s dynamic load capacity.
  • The total load of the stacked pallets cannot exceed: the pallet’s static load capacity.

The safe number of laden pallets per stack will depend on your pallet’s load capacities. Please use this formula to calculate the safe number of pallets per stack:

RoundDown (Static Load Per Pallet Total Laden Weight Per Pallet)

Example: Static Load Per Pallet is 10000 lbs, Dynamic Load Per Pallet 2200 lbs, Total Laden Weight Per Pallet is 2100 lbs

Round Down 10000/2100 = Round Down 4.76 = 4 Pallets!

As long as the total weight of the stacks doesn’t exceed the bottom pallet’s Static Load Capacity, you should be fine.

But once you have completed your stack, do not move any multiple pallet stacks unless the bottom pallet load is safely under the Dynamic Load capacity.

Thanks for the question and let us know if you need help finding the most competitive price for your plastic pallets and container bins. We’ll be happy to help you with any performance calculations you may have!

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Nestable Pallet Height Calculations

Calculating Nestable Pallet Stack Height

Pallet Stack Height Calculations

Our Customers Continue To Inspire Us

Just when we think that we’ve reached new heights of pallet wisdom, one of our prized customers steps in and pulls us back to earth.

Sure, we routinely optimize pallet shipments to find our pallet buyers the most competitive shipping rates- so why not share that wisdom on our blog?

Here’s a Note we received from our Customer

I am interested in your 24 x 32 Nestable Plastic Semi Pallet Item ; # PP-O-24-NL. I would like to stack several together to achieve a particular height. Your website indicates that one pallet is 5.1″ tall. Can you tell me the height of just the pallet’s deck so I can calculate how many pallets I would need to stack together to achieve a particular height?

Calculating Nestable Pallet Height

One of the most basic, yet elusive calculations we perform is the stack height of plastic pallets. We want to fit as many as possible into the truck that delivers your pallets, to reduce your freight cost per unit.

Here Is How To Calculate Pallet Stack Height

Nestable Pallets

Nesting Height Calculation Explained

To calculate the stack height of nestable pallets, you simply need to add the full height of one pallet, plus product of the additional number of units and the pallet’s nesting height.

Example:

Total Pallet Units (Quantity): 10
Pallet Full Height Per Unit (Full Height): 5.1″
Pallet Nesting Height (Nesting Height): 1.60″

(1 x Full Height) + ((Quantity-1) x (Nesting Height))

(1 x 5.1) + ((10-1) x (1.6))
= (5.1) + (9 x 1.6)
= 5.1 + 14.4
= 19.5 Inches

nestable-pallet-pp-o-24-nl nestable-pallet-closeup-pp-o-24-nl

Use Our Handy Nesting Height Calculator

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Pallet Sizing Guide by Industry

Sizing Pallets By Industry

Pallet Sizing Guide

Choosing the correct pallet size for your warehouse or industry is simple with our easy-to-understand pallet sizing guide.

So Many Choices! Where do I start?

There are many plastic pallet sizes in today’s market. Often the requirements of the pallet’s application and industry will help guide the size selection. Many standard pallet sizes were established long ago when wood pallets were the only option. Although industry specific sizes are not necessarily requirements, they are often the most popular and are therefore most commonly used.

Do Plastic Pallets Offer Enough Sizes? Yes!

Yes! Plastic pallets are quickly growing in popularity – and are even required for some industries. Plastic pallet sizes were initially driven by high volume wood pallet sizes. This is a tremendous benefit to plastic pallet users in all industries; their preferred size is available and offers the natural plastic pallet benefits such as:

  • added cleanliness & sanitization
  • enhanced durability
  • reduced product damage

Does Pallet Size Matter? Yes!

There are several reasons for the need to have the pallet made to a specific size.

Shipping Economy

Trucks and shipping containers have standard sizes. Many pallet sizes are designed to optimize or “max out” the truck’s carrying capacity, shipping as little air as possible to reduce freight expenses.

Match You Product Footprint

Match the pallet dimensions to the footprint of product packed for shipping allows a more uniform unit load and reduces product damage. Here are a few industry examples:

Dairy Industry Pallets

The Dairy industry commonly uses 40” x 40” pallets.

Automotive Industry Pallets

The Automotive industry commonly uses 48” x 45” pallets.

Pallet Size Differentiation

Some pallet sizes were created to differentiate against common pallet sizes found in the market. If a pallet is smaller or bigger than a commonly used size, its specialized size can deter pallet theft because its specifications may exclude it from use in certain industries.

Pallet Sizes By Industry

Here is a list of popular plastic pallet sizes the industries they serve.

48” x 40” Pallets

48 x 40 is the most popular pallet size in the United States and is available in greatest variety of styles, from lightweight nestable plastic pallets to heavy duty stackable plastic pallets supporting racking loads greater than 3,000 lbs.

Its widely accepted size easily fits drive / edge racking and beam racking.

A champ for truck loading, 40 x 48 pallets are “pin wheeled” by alternating 40 and 48 in each row for maximum packing density.

Common Uses:

  • Export (lightweight, nestable models)
  • Grocery & general warehousing
  • Over the road shipping
  • Bulk bottle storage & transport

48” x 43” Pallets

48 x 32 pallets, also called “Euro Pallets”, is commonly used for outbound export to Europe and is designed to fit smaller European trucks (lorries), that are smaller than US Trucks.

Widely used, this size is the European version of the US 48” x 40” pallet.

42” x 42” Pallets

42 x 42 pallets are a less common, specialized size designed to deter pallet theft.

Common Uses:

  • Telecommunications Industry
  • Paint & Technical Coating Industries

Trivia: 42 x 42 pallets were originally designed for the US Military to transport and store mortar rounds. 

48” x 48” Pallets

48 x 48 pallets nicely fit the footprint of 4 x 55 gallon drums, eliminating the drum hangover that occurs when less optimal 45 x 48 size pallets are used.

Common Uses:

  • Chemical industry
  • 55 gallon drum shipping
  • 5 gallon drum shipping

48” x 42” Pallets

48 x 42 pallets are uncommon, but used in certain niche industries.

Common Industries/Uses:

  • Chemical Transport
  • Beverage Transport
  • Paint & Technical Coatings

40” x 40” Pallets

The Dairy industry commonly uses 40” x 40” pallets, and this no accident. 40″ x 40″ pallets best fit the configurations of stacked milk crates.

Common Industries/Uses: Dairy

48” x 45” Pallets

The Automotive industry commonly uses 48” x 45”, and this is no surprise. 48″ x 45″ pallets match the footprint of returnable bins/containers (the totes “cube out” nicely on this size) transported to and from auto parts manufacturers and the automobile companies.

Common Industries/Uses: Automotive

45” x 45” Pallets

45 x 45 pallets are commonly used to transport drums and chemicals. They are also used to transport ocean freight in sea container shipments because their size makes efficient use of the container space, “cubing out” to maximize freight density. With the high cost of a container shipment, it is critical to ship as little air as possible.

Common Industries/Uses:

  • Chemicals
  • Ocean Freight

44” x 56” Pallets

44 x 56 pallets, known as bulk beverage container pallets, was one of the first plastic pallet sizes in existence. This pallet size is used to ship empty cans and bottles from the container manufacturers to beverage fillers.

Common Industries/Uses: Beverage

36” x 36”, 37″ x 37″, 36″ x 48″ Beverage Pallets

36 x 36, 37 x 37, and 36 x 48 pallet sizes are known as beverage pallets and are frequently used to move filled goods, sized specifically to fit in small bays on soft Coke & Pepsi delivery trucks, and through the doors of retail stores that sell the beverages to consumers.

Common Industries/Uses:

  • Beverage
  • Retail

48″ x 20″, 40” x 24” Pallets

40 x 24 & 48 x 20 pallets fit nicely on the floor in store aisles, making them a natural choice for Point of Purchase (POP)/Store Displays.

Common Industries/Uses: Retail, Point Of Purchase

Did You Get All That?

Who would have thought there were so many pallet sizes? On second thought, the more you think about the diversity of American industry, the less surprising the variety of plastic pallet sizes seems.

How Can We Help?

Searching for the perfect plastic pallet at an unbeatable price? Contact Our Pallet Experts for assistance.

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Plastic Pallet Types Explained

Plastic Pallet Types – Let Us Explain!

So you’re interested in the different plastic pallet typess? You’ve come to the right place. We’ll provide our plastic pallet expertise to help you understand the differences between the three main types of pallets.

Type 1: Nestable Plastic Pallets

Design Features

Nestable Plastic Pallet decks are commonly supported by 9 legs and lack runners. Nestable pallet legs are tapered, allowing the legs to nest into one another when stacked. Nestable pallet decks are solid or grated (see also: open, perforated) and are usually designed with nesting registration holes that match the footprint of the pallet legs.

Application

Nestable Plastic Pallet Legs

These pallet design features allow empty pallets to stack inside one another, normally achieving a 3-1 ratio, a distinct space saving advantage over a stackable pallet. Some nestable pallets can achieve up a 75% volume reduction during storage and transportation! This space economy reduces the per pallet freight costs & storage space required of empty pallets.

Warning: Nestable Pallets are not designed for double stacking! Stacking nestable pallets on top of sensitive, uneven loads can result is product damage and unsafe working conditions. 

Fast Facts:

  • 9 Legs (usually)
  • No Runners

Recommended For:

  • Loads below 3306 lbs
  • Saving shipping costs and storage space

Not Recommended For:

  • Heavier pallet loads, double stacking
  • Roller tracks / Conveyors

Type 2: Stackable Plastic Pallets

Design Features

Stackable Plastic Pallets are designed to stack on top of each other and do not nest inside one another when empty; perfect for stack loading, static storage, and conveyance in manufacturing, warehousing, and processing environments.

Application

Stackable Plastic Pallet 6-Runner

Stackable plastic pallet bases are usually provided with 3, 5 or 6 runners. Pallets with bottom runners travel more safely and consistently through a chain or roller conveyor system. Pallet runners also provide additional support and stability for double stacking loaded pallets. Runners work to more evenly distribute the pallet load for more even stacking, reducing the incidence of product damage.

Fast Facts:

  • 3,5, or 6 runners
  • A 6 runner base is also known as a cruciform base

Recommended For:

  • Chain or roller conveyors
  • Double stacking loaded pallets

Not Recommended For:

  • When empty, efficient storage and space optimized shipping

Type 3: Rackable Plastic Pallets

Design Features & Application

Rackable Plastic Pallets have bases with runners, a cruciform or 6 runner pallet is most common. Rackable pallets are designed to be placed in perimeter racking where pallets are supported on fours sides, but are not supported in the center.

Does Stackable Mean Rackable?

“All certified mail is registered- but registered mail is not necessarily certified”
– Newman (Jerry Seinfeld’s arch enemy)

Huh? Similarly, Rackable pallets are almost always stackable – but stackable pallets are not necessarily rackable!

Load Testing – The Unsung Key To Material Handling Excellence

Of course every “Rackable” plastic pallet has a racking load capacity, but the suitability of the pallet’s capacity should always be tested for this very important reason:

Pallet capacity changes based on the unique properties of each load-
even with loads of identical weight!

Reinforced Plastic Pallets

Some rackable pallets are designed with additional support to boost their load capacity. This is achieved in two ways:

  1. Reinforcing rods: Some rackable plastic pallets are reinforced with fiberglass or steel rods that pin the pallet deck to the pallet posts, making them stronger in the rack.
  2. Added plastic: Other rackable pallets are designed with a greater mass of plastic, allowing them to rack without reinforcement rods.

How can we help?

Was that helpful? If you have any questions about plastic pallets or need help finding the best pallet at the most competitive price, please contact our friendly Plastic Pallet Experts.

Tell us what you think!

Care to share? We’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below.

Want to continue learning more about plastic pallets? Here’s an article we wrote on how to determine pallet capacity!

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

Pallet Capacity Explained – Is Your Pallet Strong?

How Do I Determine A Plastic Pallet’s Weight Capacity?

Is your pallet strong enough for the job? In this post, you’ll find pallet capacity explained in plain terms to remove the mystery and uncertainty of finding pallet best suited for your application.

Plastic pallet designs have many variations. The somewhat straightforward wood pallet design, simplified using PDS Pallet Design System software, offers much less design variation / innovation.

Ultimately, the decision making process is similar; always select your pallet design based on the requirements of your specific application.

When choosing a plastic pallet for your application, the manufacturer’s specifications must meet or surpass the cargo weight that is placed on the pallet.

Pallet Load Capacity Ratings

Specific load capacity ratings should be defined in your core requirements. Here are the three most important types of pallet load capacity types to know:

  1. Dynamic Load Capacity
  2. Static Load Capacity
  3. Racking Load Capacity

Understanding the 3 types of pallet load ratings is essential to selecting the proper plastic pallet; read on to learn everything you need to know about each one to master plastic pallet selection.

3 Plastic Pallet Load Ratings – Pallet Capacity Explained

Dynamic Load Capacity

Dynamic Load Capacity is the maximum evenly distributed weight a pallet can hold while being raised by a forklift or hand jack. If your workflow causes you to lift pallets (commonly with fork or jack); consider this your maximum weight capacity.

Tip: Remember, “dynamic” denotes activity or motion.

Pro Tip: This excludes conveyors, unless they lift the pallet upwards.

Static Load Capacity

Static Load Capacity is the measure of weight that the pallet can hold when it is at rest or in a fixed position on an even, level surface (also when stacked). Static Loads do not vary since cargo is static, or at rest.

Tip: Remember, a static pallet is a pallet at rest.

Pro Tip: Don’t get cute! Just because you are stacking individual pallet loads doesn’t mean you’re not exceeding capacity. Remember to calculate your total load based on the total weight your pallet is supporting (including other pallets).

Super Pro Tip: Because dynamic loads are subjected to additional forces, the Static Load Rating is always greater than Dynamic Load Rating.

Racking Load Capacity

Racking Load Capacity is the maximum weight a pallet can hold in a racking system (where the center and or/sides of the pallet is unsupported).

Tip: Think of Racking Load Capacity like a bridge’s weight capacity.

Pro Tip: Treat Racking Load ratings as estimates; variations in racking system designs can cause variations in a pallets working Racking Load Capacity.

Don’t Be That Guy

Don’t go over the maximum rating! Exceeding pallet load capacity ratings can cause the pallet to fail and break, potentially creating seriously undesirable consequences:

  • Employee Safety Hazards
  • Costly Inventory & Equipment Damage
  • Lost productivity

Tip: Keep your pallet specification sheets for reference.

Pro Tip: Don’t have your pallet’s specification sheet? Contact our Plastic Pallet Experts for help.

Read The Fine Print

Follow Pallet Loading Best Practices

A plastic pallet manufacturers calculated performance specifications are based on an evenly distributed load that covers the pallet’s entire top deck surface. If you follow weight distribution best practices, you should be able operate within the manufacturer’s load ratings.

Pallet Loading Mistakes Diminish Load Capacities

Some unit loads can cause the working load capacity to fall below the manufacturer’s load capacity.

Here are some loading missteps that can diminish or confuse a pallet’s working weight capacity:

  • Point Loading: Placing a concentrated load at specific point or area of a pallet (picture an engine block placed in the middle of a pallet) that does isn’t uniformly distributed across the pallet deck can cause deflection, pushing the internal deck height below the pallet edge height, diminishing unsupported racking capacity.
  • Pallet Stacking: Add It Up! When stacking pallets, be sure to consider the additional load caused by higher stack rows; the total load on lower stack layers is cumulative and continues to tally and include weight from upper pallet layers. Add all weight (pallets and all) that sits on top of a pallet when considering maximum load capacities.
  • Box Columns: Stacking boxes in uniform single columns on a pallet can also cause deflection and reduced cargo stability. Inappropriate shrink wrapping and strapping can further allow columns to spread out; a syndrome called “cauliflowering” as box columns spread out like a blooming cauliflower. Cauliflowering can cause pallet edges into the air, further decreasing stability.

Pro Tip: Stack boxes using “brick stacking” or “cross stacking” formations so the cargo moves as unit for more secure transport and minimize point loading.

  • Uneven Layers: Uneven cargo layers between pallets are a loading challenge. Layers of loose material stored in sacks can shift during palletization, causing uneven layering that results in stressed, twisted, point loaded pallet decks that may lack sufficient support due to the compromised working load capacity.

Hope that helps! For help in figuring out which plastic pallet is the most cost effective solution for your unit load and material handling environment, contact our friendly Plastic Pallet Experts.

Got a suggestion or question? We’d love to hear from you – what challenges or solutions have you encountered during your material handling adventures?

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

FSMA Food Safety Modernization Act & Plastic Pallets

The FDA’s FSMA Ruling on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food is final.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011.

On April 6, 2016 the FDA finalized its ruling on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food.

This ruling establishes formal requirements for the sanitary transportation of food to eliminate, or at least reduce the incidence of, contamination.

This goal of this final ruling is top carry out further implementation of both the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 and the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011.

How does the FSMA Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food ruling make our world a better place?

The rule aims to prevent transportation practices that increase or create food safety risks, such as:

  • improper food refrigeration
  • inadequate vehicle cleaning between loads
  • improper food protection

Who does the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food ruling cover?

The ruling applies to these U.S. and foreign entities* involved with rail or motor food transportation within the U.S.:

  • Shippers
  • Receivers
  • Loaders

*Exporters shipping food through the U.S. to other destinations are exempt as long as the food doesn’t enter U.S. distribution.

FSMA and “One Way Solutions” have you covered!

What does this mean to the average business engaged in the food industry? In part, safety inspections will be both increased in number and in depth. As you may have already guessed, this will most assuredly bring additional costs and complexity to compliance of this act.

One of the main components of the act deals with sanitation in the handling and shipping of food products. Traditionally, the food industry has been dominated by the use of wood pallets in both storage and shipping due to their lower initial cost of purchase. Unfortunately, using wood pallets to handle food has inherent disadvantages that can b that plastic pallets do not.

Here are some of the main points of the Food Safety Modernization Act:

SEC. 103. HAZARD ANALYSIS AND RISK-BASED PREVENTIVE CONTROLS

“The owner, operator, or agent in charge of a facility shall, in accordance with this section, evaluate the hazards that could affect food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by such facility, identify and implement preventive controls to significantly minimize or prevent the occurrence of such hazards and provide assurances that such food is not adulterated under section 402 or misbranded under section 403(w).

SEC. 111. SANITARY TRANSPORTATION OF FOOD

“Food Transportation Study.–The Secretary, acting through the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, shall conduct a study of the transportation of food for consumption in the United States, including transportation by air, that includes an examination of the unique needs of rural and frontier areas with regard to the delivery of safe food.”

SEC. 303. AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE IMPORT CERTIFICATIONS FOR FOOD.

“With respect to an article of food, if importation of such food is subject to, but not compliant with, the requirement under subsection (q) that such food be accompanied by a certification or other assurance that the food meets applicable requirements of this Act, then such article shall be refused admission.”

While specific details are still hard to come by, in terms of the exact sanitary standards derived from the Food Safety Modernization Act, evidence can be found on how plastic pallets provide a clear advantage over wood pallets in complying with the act.

Wood Pallets have the uncanny ability to absorb pretty much every type of liquid or non-solid substance that is placed or spilled on them. While in other industries this may not seem like a big problem, absorbent wood pallets used within the food industry create a number of opportunities for food transported and stored on these pallets to become unsanitary and dangerous. This article on News-Medical.net describes a case of food poisoning caused by wood pallets.

FSMA Absorbent Wood Pallets Unfit for Food Handling

Photo by Shimla Hills, http://blog.shimlahills.com/

What is the compliance deadline date for the final FSMA Act Ruling?

Small Businesses

Small business (less than 500 employees and carriers with less than $27.5 million in annual revenue) get a break to ease the burden of compliance and have up to April 6, 2018 to meet compliance, two years after the April 6, 2016 Federal Register publication date.

Other Non-Exempt Businesses

All other non-exempt businesses must meet compliance standards as early as April 6 2017, one year from the the Federal Register April 6, 2016 publication date.

What should companies do about the new FSMA Act Ruling?

Obviously the new FSMA ruling takes a more solid stance on sanitary food transportation requirements to reduce the risk and incidence of food contamination due to improper material handling practices.

The FDA FSMA Food Safety Technical Assistance Network provides information to help businesses reach compliance.

For our pallet customers, we focus on the following advice:

Transportation equipment, such as pallets, must be adequately cleanable.

Luckily, there is a solution to this challenge. Plastic pallets are non-porous, and easily cleanable. Some of the plastic FDA pallets are even designed specifically with food safety in mind.

While this is a clear advantage over wood pallets, there additional reasons plastic pallets are a natural choice for handling and transporting food:

  • Plastic pallets come in a consistent format/shape/size that helps prevent any sharp edges or splinters that could otherwise cause food bags to rip or rupture and spill.
  • Metal nails are not a problem; custom molded plastic pallets don’t use them.
  • Finally, Plastic pallets are designed to be able to be cleaned/sanitized using extremely high water temperatures that help kill of bacteria, mold, viruses, and other pathogens.

Need A Second Opinion about Wood Pallets & Handling Food?

Here’s a positive Food Safety Magazine article that further details how plastic pallets are ideal for shipping and storing food: http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/index.cfm/signature-series/plastic-pallets-a-safe-play-for-food/

FSMA Broken Wood Pallets Unfit for Food Handling

Photo by Mdornseif – Creative Commons

Businesses, as a result, are switching to plastic pallets in record numbers as they try to meet these new requirements for food handling.

We’ve Got You Covered

To meet with the emergent demand from the Food industry, One Way Solutions, are leading the way in the sale of plastic pallets and FDA plastic pallets.

With 7+ FDA Pallets and containers to choose from, One Way Solutions has you covered.

To shop the full For more information about One Way Solutions and their plastic pallets, click on the following link: http://oneway-solutions.com

Looking For More Best Practices?

Check out our recent article on Listeria Bacteria & Plastic Pallets.

Thanks Palletizers! Please let me know what you think about plastic pallets, FSMA, or anything else on your mind.

About Robin Kiefer

Robin Spencer Kiefer connects customers with solutions and products. Robin is the Digital Marketing Manager of One Way Solutions.

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