New materials, plastics in particular, have come a long way in the last 10 years and a plastic pallet that addresses all the limitations of the obsolete wooden pallet already exists: light, strong, economic, safe, food grade and, to top it off, increases payload per bag and per container.
Standard wooden pallets, although widely available and proven, are far from being an optimal solution when considering their overall performance and final cost. They are required to be fumigated for food grade products, they are heavy and add a lot of dead weight in the container, are bulky to store, and unsafe for manual handling due to the potential for operator related injuries (heavy to lift, cause splinters, etc.).
In summary, big bag shippers are adding at least 350 kg of dead weight to each container with these decades-old wooden pallets, just because their upfront cost is low.
Meet the plastic pallet that can solve these issues!
It can increase payload in the bag, make the big bag safer to handle with a forklift, and all at a cost similar to that of standard wooden pallets. Why? Because it was specifically designed to handle big bags with a very innovative, mechanically cost-efficient, and patented design.
Other major benefits include:
- Lightweight: less than 5kg.
- Low profile: only 58mm H (2.28”)
- Strong enough to carry a dynamic load of 3.000 kgs
- Nestable: low storage space requirements and easy to handle
- 4-way forklift entry design
- Food grade: no fumigation required
- Fully recyclable to offset some of the cost: made with 100% HDPE
- Operator safe: light to lift and splinter-free
How much does it cost?
The pallet is patented and exclusively made in Australia. Depending on the volume and freight rates, its cost ranges from $13.50 to $15.50 each (includes delivery). However, since it is made with 100% virgin HDPE and, therefore, recyclable, the end user may recover an average $2.00 per pallet, assuming a $0.40/kg market rate for scrap HDPE.
How can it increase payload in a big bag?
It allows more product to be loaded in each bag in two ways:
- It leaves more space overhead in the container for a taller bag:
- The concavity on its top surface creates additional volume:
Given that door clearance in a 20’ container is 229H cm, this leaves about 223 cm open for loaded bags to fit through the door. If the bags are stacked, it will result in usable height space of 111.5 cm. If the typical bag is 110×110, then the payload volume per bag is about 1.35 m3 with a usable height of 111.5 cm. Look at the example below – a commodity with a 0.85 (53 lbs/ft3) bulk density that shows a 5% increase in payload volume.
|Size (cm)||Volume (m3)||Payload with Bulk Density 0.85 (kg)||Payload Difference||20FCL Payload (kg)||Increase 20FCL Payload (kg)||Increase 20FCL Payload (%)|
|Max Bag Size with Wooden Pallet||110x110x106||1.28||1090||-57||21804|
|Max Bag Size with Low Profilee Pallet||110x110x111.5||1.35||1147||57||22936||1131.350||5%|
The pallet’s top surface is not flat, as in traditional pallets. Instead, it has a concavity in the middle, where the bottom of the big bag sinks in.
How can it increase Safety?
The same centre concavity in the pallet doubles as a sink-in hole for the bottom of the big bag effectively anchoring itself to the pallet and greatly increasing its dynamic stability when moved around the warehouse with the forklift.
Key Specs and Benefits
- Dimensions: 110 W x 110 L x 5.85H cm
- Forklift Chutes: 18.4W x 5.5H cm
- Weight: 4.8 kg
- Max Load Rating: 3.000 kg dynamic load
- Max Crush Test: 14.000 kg
- Testing Conditions: 47 C with 3.000 kg for 27 days
- Nestable: 11 units tall (28cm)
4-Way entry pallet
Application Examples of its Extraordinary Performance
Double-stacked big bags on single low-profile plastic pallet
Chutes rigidity allows pallets to remain available for the forklift in this detail of the low-profile plastic pallet loaded with full big bags
Forklift slides into the chutes of the low-profile plastic pallet loaded with a full big bag
The plastic pallet remains strong and provides a stable base even when lifted in the air and loaded with the full weight of 2 stacked big bags
Standard wooden pallets are low on invoice cost but high for the supply chain costs. The true cost of a pallet should be determined, in addition to its purchasing price, by its handling cost, safety, and loss of opportunity to ship more cargo per container.
Container sea freight rates are always, in general, in an upward trend. Consider what is your cost as a shipper, every year, of the hundreds or thousands of tons of dead weight used by these obsolete pallets in your container shipments?
Stop this large waste of money in your supply chain and contact us for a more optimized shipment process with big bags that belongs in the 21st century.