A Guide To Presswood Pallets
12 Jun 2019
In recent years, global warming and climate change have been the subject of much debate and controversy.
It has often been thought of as a problem of the future.
But as the science has become clearer and a consensus across the globe grows impossible to ignore, the debate has shifted towards solutions.
In response, the international community has developed and introduced a range of new laws, policies and goals. The aim of these new measures has been to call on all stakeholders to play their part.
Sustainability is now one of the main focuses for consumers and businesses alike.
Whilst wooden pallets continue to dominate the market, there is growing demand for new, sustainable alternatives.
Generally, plastic pallets have tended to fill this void.
That is until the presswood pallet!
Over the next seven chapters we’ll be looking into the unique benefits of this revolutionary wooden pallet design, including how it compares to plastic pallets.
So without any further ado – let’s begin!
Businesses and manufacturers are constantly looking for better quality pallets, to help them increase efficiency through lower transport times and costs.
Presswood pallets, also known as molded wooden pallets, are made of wood byproducts such as waste pallets, raw wood shavings, wood waste, saw-dust and any other material containing wooden fibre.
Their unique design means that they can hold substantial load capacities, whilst also being relatively lightweight. They are also both stackable and nestable, helping to reduce storage space and freight costs during shipment.
Generally they are made from ‘resinous’ trees (pine, fir, etc.), the chips come directly from logging and sawmills or from the wood recycling industry. This makes this particular type of pallet extremely eco-friendly.
Compressed wooden pallets are manufactured in the same way as particle board. This manufacturing process involves mixing wood particles or flakes together with a resin before molding into sheets.
In order to separate the wooden chips into smaller pieces, they are first passed through a small hammer mill. Using a small sieve, they are then separated according to size.
The chips are then dried at temperatures as high as 65°C. This is to extract as much moisture as possible to a level of less than 10%.
Once dry, these chips can then be molded using a compression molding process using a similar binder to particle boards.
The pressure and temperatures involved can reach as high as 85kg/cm2 and 150°C, respectively.
This hot compression molding process is used to kill all living plant pests. The high density of this type of pallet, as high as 1.3 g/cm3, means it is resistant to all wood boring insects and infestations.
Businesses and manufacturers are always looking for new innovations to make the use of pallets easier and more efficient, and presswood pallets have achieved just that.
Whilst still a relatively new manufacturing process, engineered molded wooden pallets provide a wide range of advantages that make them the ideal match for certain businesses.
Below, we look at some of the key advantages and limitations of this new pallet design.
One of the main advantages of molded presswood is its versatility.
As already mentioned, presswood pallets are both nestable and stackable.
This versatility means that they can be stored in smaller stacks, freeing up valuable warehouse space for businesses and manufacturers.
This also allows businesses to store more pallets on site, maximising the space available to store products, equipment, machinery etc.
Easy To Export
The high temperatures used to make molded wood pallets mean that they are considered as a processed wood. This means that they are exempt from the IPPC’s ISPM15 export packaging regulations.
They are a low cost, hassle free way of exporting goods around the world. Because of the high-heat treatment, they are also free from any unwanted pests and contaminates.
This can help businesses save both time and money.
With the pallets already prepared for export, customers don’t have all the hassle or worry about additional certification requirements.
Presswood pallets can also help business cut freight and storage costs in the mid to long-term. By maximising their storage space, businesses can also cut storage and freight costs even further.
Presswood pallets are a very eco-friendly way of producing pallets.
Old pallets which are no longer usable can be easily shredded and reglued to make new presswood pallets. They are also made using recycled wood, all of which can significantly reduce a company’s carbon footprint and save money.
Whilst there are many advantages to using presswood pallets, there are also some limitations.
The first of which is water damage. Generally, presswood pallets are fairly water resistant and would easily be able to cope with a light shower.
However, if they are left in damp, cold conditions then they are prone to water damage. If you were to purchase these pallets, it is important to first consider where they are going to be stored.
This leads into their second limitation.
Currently, not many warehouses are set-up to store these types of pallets, so movements between warehouses can be very limited.
Compressed wood pallets offer customers a number of additional advantages over traditional wood pallets, including lower handling and storage costs and ergonomic benefits.
Traditionally, plastic pallets have been the perfect product handling solution in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage market.
The non-porous surface on plastic pallets make them extremely easy to be hot washed, steam cleaned, or chemically sanitized. This means any harmful bacteria or mold can be quickly and efficiently removed.
Wooden pallets are known for attracting termites, bacteria and fungi which can be very harmful to many pharmaceutical, food and beverage products. Therefore, wooden pallets are often not the right choice for the high hygiene requirements demanded by many different industries.
However, as we have already discussed presswood pallets offer many of the same benefits of plastic pallets in terms of resistance to parasites and bacteria. Often, they are also much cheaper and lighter, saving businesses a huge amount of money on shipping costs.
For this reason, presswood pallets can be a great choice for companies within the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industry.
Due to their lightweight, they are also a great choice for any businesses that consistently uses airfreight as a method of shipping.
One of the most popular misconceptions in the logistics world is that plastic pallets are inherently superior to their wooden alternatives, thanks to a number of natural characteristics.
Many claims, especially surrounding the environment, tend to hold true when comparing plastic pallets with traditional wooden pallets.
But, the picture becomes a little murkier when presswood pallets enter the equation.
A number of unique design features make presswood pallets a true alternative to their plastic counterparts. These features mirror many of those found in plastic pallets, and include:
As mentioned, presswood pallets are nestable, offering a space saving ratio of 4-1 over traditional wooden types. They can also be easily separated from a stack with a fork lift.
ISPM 15 Exemption
Like plastic pallets, presswood pallets are not regulated by IPPC- ISPM 15 and are ready to export to most parts of the world.
Presswood pallets are 100% recyclable. They are also made using recycled wooden byproducts.
Like plastic pallets, presswood pallets are also highly durable.
Generally, they tend to be much stiffer than other nestable plastic pallets. Pallet stiffness has a direct correlation to decreasing packaging and product damage during shipping and handling.
Understandably, many of the features of plastic pallets are very desirable for business. But these features come at a cost. Presswood pallets can offer the ideal blend of good storage and durability at the right price point.
There you have it.
Everything you’ll ever need to know about the humble presswood pallet.
How presswood pallets can offer all of the benefits of plastic pallets at a reduced cost.
We’ve also looked at how they are produced and what industries they are best suited to.
If you have any further questions about this type of any other type of pallet, then please feel free to contact a member of our team for more information.
In the meantime, try checking out our blog.