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Crucial Considerations when Purchasing Recycled Pallets

25 May 2017

As with most items, when purchasing used wooden pallets it pays to be aware of potential issues. These days value for money is important, and when buying recycled wood pallets there are a few vital factors to keep in mind to ensure you get the right pallets to do the job. Not all pallets are created the same in terms of quality and performance, and noting some key differences – along with asking the right questions – could save you time and money.

What to Look For

Always examine what you are buying. Even those experienced in acquiring second hand pallets should investigate when going to a new supplier. Pallets of the GMA variety should measure 48 inches by 40 inches, but they can be made of softwood or hardwood and be configured differently. They may also have been repaired with plugs, companion stringers or steel plates.

Pallets can be classified according to quality. While the grading may provide a reasonable idea of the condition of the pallets, don’t take the vendor’s word for it. Grades for premium pallets can include Club Grade or AAA for pallets that are almost new. Grade A pallets tend to be in nearly new condition, with some change in colour and evidence of wear and possibly some stringer repair plates. Grade B pallets typically allow some plates, along with a specified number of plugs and companion stringers.

However, not everyone grades pallets in the same way, so your own evaluation will always be more reliable than what someone else thinks. Being very clear on the quality of the pallets and their defining features is essential.

Trusted Partnerships

It pays to build a relationship with someone you trust when purchasing used wooden pallets. Visiting the place the pallets are shipped from could provide valuable information when dealing with a new supplier. It is important to know how consistent your recycler is, how they handle a crisis, and who to speak to when something goes wrong. Even if you engage a recycler through a broker, it is still a good idea to examine where your pallets are coming from. Don’t forget to find out the processes used in recycling and the quality monitoring employed to guarantee a good result.

If your business could suffer due to pallet shortages or buying recycled wood pallets that are not up to standard, then it is even more important to know how and where your pallets are sourced. Service plays a role here too. In an ideal situation, procuring second hand pallets should be easy and without unpleasant surprises. Prompt delivery, certified quality and reliability of supply are all important factors in procuring second hand pallets for your business.

Custom Pallets

Pallets constructed to specific requirements from recycled pallets can also be a good option, as they are tailored to specific needs, eco-friendly and cost-effective. This can be an effective solution when smaller than average pallets are needed or a certain configuration is required to satisfy the design of unit load.

Stamps are another issue when purchasing used wooden pallets. Multiple stamps or markings can lead to confusion and shipments being detained in customs. For exporting goods, pallets may have to be of a certain standard, and neglecting this could be a costly error.

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