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What Is a Pallet?

Pallets are flat structures that serve as the basis for unifying goods in the supply chain. Pallets are used for stacking, storing, protecting and moving material when handling material handling equipment such as forklifts, pallet lifters, or conveyor belts that are stored in racks or inventory, or stored in transport vehicles.

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Pallets are the most common single loading base that includes pallets and items stacked on top of them, usually secured with tension, bandages, shrink wrap, glue, pallet collars, or other stabilizing tools, including reusable packaging.

Apart from pallet processing, pallets are one of the most important logistics instruments of the 20th century. Pallets appeared and evolved during the last century, which contributed to the development of modern logistics.

Today, the importance of pallets for supply chain applications and allows a drastic increase in the efficiency of handling and transporting individual loads compared to loosely stacking them. During the Second World War, pallet design and management were further improved.

If pallets are reusable, they will have lower travel costs and lower environmental impact than pallets that can only be used once, given the reverse logistics costs. For reusable pallet applications, investing in higher quality pallets usually takes longer, resulting in lower cost of ownership compared to cheaper alternatives.