By: Nick Wenner Pallet Service Corporation

All too often, we have new customers call us up and say one of two things: “I need a price on a pallet” or “How much for a 48×40 pallet?” We use the analogy that this would be like walking into the local Ford dealer and saying “I need a price on a vehicle” or “How much for an SUV?” Similar to almost any other industry, there is a lot more that goes into the making (and pricing) of the right pallet for an application than what most people think. Granted, while some people need just any “Pallet” to get their product from point A to point B, just like some people similarly need any “vehicle” to get them around, most customers have a specific set of needs for both. This is where we believe that it is crucial for us as a pallet supplier to partner with the customer and take the time to learn and understand each application so that we can provide the right solution for the customer at the best price.

At Pallet Service Corporation, we start by looking at a few key pieces of information that can help us match (or design) the right pallet for the customer’s unique unit load:

  • Weight of the load being placed on the Pallet
  • Type of load being placed on the pallet (Boxes, Bags, Pales, etc.)
  • Storage configuration (Floor storage, Floor Stack, Rack, etc.)
  • Handling Requirements (2 way or 4-way entry)
  • Plans for International Shipment (requires ISPM-15 Compliance)
  • Sanitary Requirements (Sensitivity to mold, dust, bugs, dirt, moisture, etc.)
  • Aesthetic Requirements (usually impacts Species, Grade, and condition of wood – new or used)
  • Budget (how much are you looking to pay per pallet)
  • Anticipated order volume
A diagram of a stringer design wood pallet

We use all of this information to either design a custom pallet using a piece of software called Pallet Design System (PDS) that meets or exceeds your requirements or provide “stock” pallet options that can meet these same requirements, but usually at a lower cost to the customer. This software was developed by the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) and allows us to provide the customer with an actual “spec” which allows us to analyze everything about the pallet to tell us things like:

  • Safe load capacity in common storage configurations (Floor stack, rack, etc.)
  • Dimensions, Grades, and species of all of the wood components
  • Help us remove waste from the pallet design to reduce cost for the customer.
  • Exact spec on the fasteners being used (nails, screws, etc)
  • Predicted life cycle analysis
  • Estimated pallet weight
  • Optimized Unit Load configuration (how to stack boxes, pales, bags, etc. to maximize the capacity of the pallet while protecting the product as much as possible)

While we use this information to help us provide the best solution for the customer, once identified, the customer can use this information to use as a benchmark when getting competitive bids on their pallet orders. This can help the customer be sure that they are not trying to compare a “Honda Civic” pallet to a “Cadillac Escalade” pallet.

Pallet Service Corporation is a family-owned business that has been around for more than 45 years. With 3 plants servicing the Midwest, we specialize in meeting all of our customers’ wood packaging needs. We are also active members of our industry’s association (NWPCA) because we believe that it is part of our job to not only provide the right solution for the customer but also to help educate them so that they understand how their needs affect the design of the packaging they choose. We hope that this allows them to make more informed decisions when it comes to their wood packaging needs. Please contact Pallet Service Corporation with any or all of your pallet needs.

Below is one of several pages from the software which shows the overall design and layout of the pallet. More information can be found on the subsequent pages of the pallet analysis report. Image provided by NWPCA:

an order form detailing the design specs of a wooden pallet

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908