In an increasingly globalised world, the need for safe and efficient shipping methods has continued to become more important as consumers and businesses alike look for the best way to transport goods from A to B. Interestingly, the humble pallet has proven to play a critical role in the modern logistics landscape.
Today, of course, pallets have near countless uses that extend far beyond shipping applications. As the leading supplier of wooden pallets in Perth, we’re always intrigued and inspired to see how our customers are using pallets in all sorts of innovative ways. Read on to learn more about the history of pallets, their role in the logistics industry and how people are tapping into their creative spirit to repurpose second hand pallets in Perth.
When Were Pallets First Used?
Pallets have been around in one form or another for thousands of years, with historians noting that ancient Egyptians used rudimentary skips to transport heavy materials. Despite our long history with pallets, the use of pallets as we know them today didn’t really take off until the early 20th century thanks to the invention of the forklift, which suddenly made it possible to hoist and move incredibly heavy loads.
The logistical demands of World War II resulted in further refinements being made to the design of pallets. Pallet collars were introduced to provide greater functionality and allow for fragile materials to be stacked without risk of damage, while reusing and recycling pallets steadily became a more accepted practice. Pallet jacks also became more advanced around this time.
Pallets in the Modern Logistics Industry
As touched on, the wooden pallet is one of the most important tools of the modern logistics industry.
It all boils down to efficiency. Pallets can be stacked easily, allowing companies to make use of every available square inch of space within a shipping container. Palletising cargo also enables logistics staff to load and unload goods en masse, making handling operations exponentially faster than if the materials were packed loose.
Pallets also offer another vital benefit: Safety. By creating a solid layer of protection between the cargo and the hard surfaces of the shipping container, pallets reduce the risk of damage while in transit.
A final and often overlooked benefit of using pallets in shipping is that they have an excellent structural foundation. This allows cargo to be distributed evenly throughout containers and the ship, creating a strong handling base and maximising container stability out at sea.
What are the Advantages of Wooden Pallets?
While pallets can be manufactured using a range of materials, the most common type by far is the wooden pallet. There are a few very good reasons for this widespread popularity:
- Simplicity: One of the key advantages of wooden pallets lies in its simplicity. Thanks to their uncomplicated yet ingenious design, new wooden pallets are very easy to manufacture and take apart.
- Affordability: Due to their basic design, wooden pallets are very affordable – particularly if you keep an eye out for second hand pallets for sale in Perth.
- Tough: Despite the straightforward design, wooden pallets are tough enough to withstand the day to day challenges of the logistics industry.
- Eco friendly: As the need for sustainable practices continues to grow here in Australia and around the world, people are constantly searching for ways to reduce their environmental impact. Wooden pallets shine here due to the fact you can easily recycle the timber or transform the pallet into something new entirely.
What are the Advantages of Plastic Pallets?
Wood might reign supreme in the world of pallets, but plastic pallets are a worthy alternative in some circumstances and offer a couple of unique advantages over their wooden counterparts. Some of the benefits of plastic pallets include:
- Lightweight: Plastic pallets are approximately 30 percent lighter in weight than wooden pallets, which can help keep transport costs down.
- Durable: Plastic pallets are wonderfully durable and are unlikely to break or splinter with regular use. In addition, they’re also resistant to chemicals, which can be very useful when transporting certain goods.
- Safe: There are no nails, splinters or sharp pieces of metal to be found in a plastic pallet, which helps maintain staff safety during handling.
- Eco friendly: You might be surprised to know that plastic pallets can be broken down and recycled with 100 percent efficiency, making them a reasonably eco friendly option.
Getting Creative With Pallets
From bed bases to bookshelves, flower pots to coffee tables, it’s fair to say that the pallet furniture revolution is one of the most innovative design trends in recent times. The innate industrial look of wooden pallets lends itself well to both contemporary and traditional homes, giving homeowners the freedom to explore the upcycled aesthetic without fear of contradicting the property’s existing style.
Looking beyond appearance, there a few practical reasons why so many people are embracing the pallet furniture aesthetic. Firstly, wooden pallets are incredibly easy to disassemble, making it possible for DIYers of all skill levels to work with the material and create something beautiful. Secondly, wooden pallets are extremely affordable and offer an expensive source of quality timber that be upcycled into just about anything you can think of – all you need is a bit of creativity!
Be sure to check out our extensive range of fantastic pallet furniture in Perth if you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to incorporate chic and industrial elements into your home.
Where to buy Pallets in Perth
Established back in 2000, PALLETWEST has extensive experience across just about all aspects of the pallet industry. We’re proud to offer an enormous range of products to suit your storage, transportation and DIY needs at a price point that won’t break the bank. Brand new or second hand, plastic or wooden, we have the quality pallets you need to get the job done.
For more information or to discuss your options, contact the friendly PALLET WEST team today and find out we’re Perth’s preferred pallet supplier.