The pallet industry is estimated to be dominated by wood with 90% of the pallets in circulation. Plastic continues being the second option, with 6% market share; for this reason, it is still considered a niche market. However, the use of plastic pallets in different industries and/or applications shows a clear increase and thanks to their innumerable benefits, plastic pallets have become a clear present and future alternative for logistic applications.
Different plastic pallet models exist in our catalogue; they have been developed to fill the need of different applications. for this reason there is many different and efficient products for every kind of application. Every industrial use requires a different pallet depending on needs.
At Naeco, we have developed five different product ranges trying to respond to the different uses we have detected with our experience.
Lightweight pallets: very light pallets for applications with a low number of reuses and ideal for export. Pallets of this range tend to be foldable, with the option of assembling runners when necessary. They are the less costly plastic pallets and are usually manufactured with recycled materials.
Medium range: Mono-block pallets mostly manufactured in one single piece for normal re-use. These pallets are often the gateway for many companies wishing to replace their wood pallets with other of similar performance, but with all benefits derived from the material. These pallets are usually manufactured with recycled materials.
Heavy Duty range: Pallets for all uses and the highest resistance, for applications with the highest requirements, where durability is one of the most important parameters. The combination between durability and resistance give these pallets a competitive advantage, allowing them in many cases supporting loads that wood doesn't. These pallets can be found manufactured with new and also recycled material, depending on the use and/or application.
Hygienic range: These pallets are devoted to coexist with the highest and most demanding hygiene conditions, most of the time in Clean Rooms. For this purpose, totally plain and closed solutions are commonly used, both for the upper and the lower covers. This allows maximum cleaning and is at the same time a safe element in environments with the maximum phytosanitary specifications. These pallets are usually manufactured in virging materials and have the certificate for food contact.
Custom range: These pallets have been specifically developed for one customer and application and environment, in which the pallets shall be used during their whole life cycle. In certain occasions to fill a specific need, a new development is necessary with the aim of offering a customized product. The material chosen is part of the development and depends on the use and/or application.
This unique characteristic of plastic pallets, allowing to stored empty pallets to occupy less space for later use. Space in the most cases is very important parameter ; for this reason, it has to be optimized to accomplish the maximum benefit. So, fitting-in pallets can optimize both storing space and transporting one up to 70% thus reducing the logistical costs.
Insertable pallets have a design where there are a series of housings in the loading surface of the pallet, where the pallet blocks are placed immediately on top of a tower. Thanks to the fact that their plugs are conical, it is possible to partially insert one pallet into another (fit), thus reducing the space required for storage. Generally speaking, a manufacturer's pallets will not "fit" with another's pallets, which can also happen with different pallets models.
Nestable pallets are those pallets with enough lower surface conferring them the capacity of being stacked on top of another loaded pallet, supplying the necessary stability without deteriorating or marking in excess the merchandise of the lower pallet.
When a pallet is supporting a certain amount of load, this load will be transmitted to the surface on which it is placed; so that the smaller the contact surface is, the higher the stress concentration. Similarly, the greater the lower surface of the pallet is and the more the load is distributed, the more stability will have the tower of stacked units, and the lower the loads borne by the merchandise loaded on the lower pallet will be, thus reducing the possibility of marking or deteriorating the products transported. Therefore, a larger support surface will be recommended for stacking applications, which is achieved with a greater number of runners in the base.
Pallets for use on rack
There are numerous applications in which, once the pallet is loaded with its merchandise, the pallet is stored in a rack until it is shipped. These pallets are known as pallets to be used in a rack, and they are developed to support a certain flexion load in the specific conditions of conventional racks.
When a pallet is placed on a rack, the pallet is supported by its lateral sides and is therefore forced to work in flexion. For this reason, the flexion of the pallet has to be maintained within certain limits to ensure a safe storing. If a pallet is to be used in a rack, it is necessary that the pallet at least has a configuration of three runners and that the pallet not damaged. Three options for reinforcing a pallet with metallic reinforcements exist, allowing more load capacity and safety when storing the pallet on the rack.
Not all pallets can be used on racks, depending on the model, the load capacity shall vary.
Pallets for exportation
Plastic pallets are ideal for exporting all kind of products thanks to their properties. As they are waterproof and non-porous, they are immune to infections and/or parasites, and no chemical treatment is required to protect them. For this reason, plastic pallets comply with the NIMF-15 Norm without additional documents, making customs formalities simpler and avoiding the usual issues of wooden pallets.
Likewise, thanks to their lightness, they are of great interest for the air freight transport, where in addition there are specific products that help to reduce the transport costs performed through this means without the need to perform manual loads. Usually, the use of light pallets is recommended for this type of applications mainly due to its cost and efficiency.