Choosing the right pallet for your business

In the material handling industry, pallets are as common as they are varied. While all of them are designed for the same general purpose, they come in a wide variety of configurations. This can make selecting the correct one for your needs less than straight forward. However, doing so is a must. Here’s how to choose the right type of pallet for your business.


Pallets come in a variety of materials, and you’ll need to determine which ones meet your requirements. Here are some of the pros and cons of the most common types.

  • Wood is a strong and durable material that’s easy to handle, repair and recycle. On the other hand, wood has limits, as it’s heavy and prone to moisture damage. Plywood and pressed wood are lighter versions of traditional wood pallets, but they’re only suitable for lighter loads.

  • Plastic pallets are lighter than wood ones but strong. They’re resistant to corrosion and humidity and easy to clean. In general, plastic has a longer lifespan than wood ones. However, plastic pallets are complicated to repair and expensive to replace.

  • Metal pallets are usually made of aluminium. They’re much stronger than wood pallets and ideal for outside storage as they aren’t vulnerable to weather damage. However, they’re quite heavy and difficult to repair.

To determine which type of pallets you need, you should consider how frequently they’ll be handled, the type of materials you store, and other relevant details pertaining to their use.


There are two main types of pallet configuration: stringer pallets and block pallets.

Stringer pallets can only be lifted from two of their four sides, but are lighter than block pallets, which can be lifted from all four sides.

Block pallets tend to be more durable, but their weight can be an issue.

Both configurations come in many sub-types and sizes, so whatever your requirements, chances are you’ll be able to find your perfect fit.

Additional advice

The key to choosing the ideal pallet material and configuration for your business is to consider the application, in particular, the size and weight of the cargo, the mode of transport (forklift, pallet jack or other) and your pallet weighing procedures.

For example, if you’ll be using a forklift, see if the manufacturer recommends a specific type and weight of pallet. And if you relocate pallets frequently, consider which will be easiest to transport.

Additionally, if you have a lift truck or pallet jack scale (scales that integrate with your material handling equipment, thereby allowing you to weigh cargo during transport), choose a pallet type that facilitates accurate weighing. Ask a scale expert for recommendations.

Industrial and floor scales in Alberta

Whether you’re in Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton or Swift Current, you can rely on Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd. for a variety of sales, scale calibration, pre-planned scale maintenance and more. We can also certify your scales as legal-for-trade, so contact us today to make an appointment or to learn more about our services.

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