Whether it is your first time looking to buy wood pallets or you are a pallet procurement professional working for a large national company, it is important to know the most important factors of pallet buying before making a decision.
As the industry-leading experts in pallets, we have wood pallets for sale of all sizes and varieties and have over 45 years of experience in manufacturing and distribution of these products. Over the course of these 45 years, we have helped companies in almost every possible industry find the perfect pallet solution.
We have compiled this experience into the guide for buying pallets, titled “The Ultimate Guide to Pallet Procurement”.
This guide contains all the important factors in regard to sourcing pallets. By the end of the guide, you will know exactly what kind of pallet will work best for you and what company you should buy your pallets from.
- What Size Should You Buy?
- What Style Should You Buy?
- New or Recycled?
- Location, Location, Location
- Order Volume & Consistency
- Should You Consider Pallet Management Programs?
- Support Systems Are Important
- Remember to Audit Regularly
- WATCH VIDEO
What Size of The Wood Pallet Should You Buy?
Pallet size is an extremely important aspect of a pallet. It determines how much weight the pallet can support and what products it can support. Certain industries are rather easy to source for as they have standard pallet size outlines.
The industries that have these standard pallet size outlines include: grocery, telecommunications, paint, drum transport, beverage, and automotive.
Figure 1.1 Standard Pallet Size Chart
However, if you are shipping products that are over-sized, over-weight, or have to adhere to special shipping regulations – we recommend contacting our custom pallet design experts.
What Style of The Wood Pallet Should You Buy?
Optimal pallet styles are usually determined by your warehousing, supply chain, and shipping circumstances – and not so much by the actual product you are shipping. While traditionally block pallets have been known to have better support, technological and engineering advancements have made stringer pallets just as strong.
The stringer pallet is the most commonly used pallet in the United States.
This is because they are fully customizable and are easy to repair and recycle. A solid, or notched, runner (often referred to as a “2×4”) is used to support the top and bottom deckboard. As mentioned previously, stringer pallets can support a wide range of products. Because of this, depending on the product being shipped, a stringer pallet can have anywhere from 2 to 5 stringers per pallet.
The four-way entry that a notched stringer pallet provides is also great for warehouses where space is tight and entry from all angles is needed.
A block pallet is a wooden pallet with a rectangular, square, or cylindrical spacers between the top and bottom decks. A block pallet has traditionally been considered a stronger pallet than a stringer pallet.
A skid is a wooden platform with no bottom decking.
Its platform sits on stringers attached to the deck. They are usually two-way and are almost exclusively used for storing heavy objects. They are commonly used in steel and paper industries.
A EURO pallet’s design is strictly regulated by the European Pallet Association (EPAL). Its design is similar to the traditional block pallet – but differs in that it must be heat-treated. We recommend EURO Pallets for special import and export purposes with the European Union.
Should You Buy New or Recycled Wood Pallets?
The decision whether to purchase new or recycled pallets most of the time is determined by what products you are shipping and who the end receiver is.
New pallets are recommended for industries that have strict regulations on what kind of environment your product can sit on and whether your products have first and secondary packaging.
Buying recycled pallets is the far more environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution – if you are able to do so. Certain industries and circumstances may require you to buy new wood pallets instead.
In fact, a recent EPD published by the NWPCA and certified by UL in 2020 has confirmed that recycled wooden pallets have the potential to be a carbon-neutral product – if recycled properly. This is incredible news for those organizations with sustainability and carbon neutrality goals for the future.
It is also important to mention that certain used pallets also have resale value. This can be means that you can further off-set your pallet costs by investing time and resources in participating in a pallet buy-back program with your pallet supplier.
Location, Location, Location
When sourcing pallets, location is extremely important.
Working with multiple pallet companies for national shipping programs can result in disrupted supply chains, inconsistent pricing, and pallet program “blind-spots”.
If you are purchasing pallets for a single location business, quality of service, response time, and history of the pallet company takes precedent over the actual location. However, working with a national pallet company while having only one location does enable your business to scale much easier and more efficiently in the future.
In order to provide the best quality of service and products on a large scale, in 2015 Kamps introduced our Pallet Network. Currently, our network sets at over 150 locations. These locations are made up of Kamps owned and operated locations, along with other premier pallet companies. These pallet companies all follow the same Standards and Practices that are enforced in all Kamps plants nationwide.
Our Kamps Plants:
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Kalamazoo, MI
- Niles, MI
- Lansing, MI
- Detroit, MI
- Taylor, MI
- Indianapolis, IN
- Louisville, KY
- Erlanger, KY / Cincinnati, OH
- Atlanta, GA
- Charlotte, NC
- Columbus, OH
- Versailles, OH
Our Top Pallet Partner States:
Order Volume and Consistency
The amount of pallets you order at a single time can affect your entire purchasing strategy.
Vendors and pricing are the two factors that are most affected by your order volume. Certain vendors have MOQ (minimum order quantities) and will require an order of at least X amount of pallets; while others specialize in lower volume orders.
At Kamps, our specialization in high volumes and bulk pallet sales means that we require at least 1 truck load (roughly 400 – 500 pallets) per order for delivery. However, if you are a small business located near one of our 150 nationwide locations, our minimum order quantity for pick-up orders is significantly lower.
We also specialize in customized pallet management programs. Our pallet management programs are developed for those businesses that are purchasing high volume of pallets on a consistent basis. These programs often offer the best pricing per pallet and provide industry leading support that ensures your pallet supply is optimized at all times.
If you are looking to buy lower volumes of pallets (1 to 25 at a time) we recommend using the following vendors and websites to help narrow your search:
Should You Consider Pallet Management Programs?
As mentioned previously, pallet programs are recommended for businesses that are consistently ordering truckload quantities. They are the absolute best route to go and offer the highest level of consistency, service, and assurance.
As a best-in-class pallet company, our programs at Kamps are custom-built for your business and take into account all aspects of your shipping operations. Our experts analyze your products, supply chain, and shipping and receiving locations to build an optimized tailor-made pallet program. We then integrate our systems with yours, offer regular reports, and analyze the program on a consistent basis to ensure continuous improvement of your program.
At Kamps Pallets, we offer the following programs:
- Pallet Recycling Programs
- Pallet Buy-Back Programs
- Custom Pallet Design Programs
- Pallet Management Programs
- On-Site Pallet Programs
Support Systems are Important
Finally, when you have reached the tail-end of your pallet buying journey, it is important to look at a few factors that are not directly tied to the actual pallet.
This is because a pallet company’s support systems are the foundation which the success of your entire pallet supply and shipping operations stands on.
At Kamps, we have created best-in-class support systems by taking the “customer-first” approach in all aspects of our business.
Our Core Support Systems
We are Your Pallet Consultants
Our pallet consultants are not your traditional pallet sales team. They are solutions experts that operate as your pallet consultants and work in your best interest.
Customer Service Oriented
Our customer service support teams ensure that the success of your pallet program is always a priority.
Our customer service representatives react rapidly to your needs and communicate effectively.
Data and Reporting Systems
Our data and reporting systems are industry leading in terms of accuracy and transparency.
Reports such as load reports and pallets sold by Kamps are available within 48 hours of completion and can be accessed via multiple platforms.
Proprietary I.T. Systems
Our In-house I.T. staff ensures that our portals & data systems are readily accessible and secure.
Remember To Audit Regularly
If you are buying pallets on a consistent basis for your shipping operations, it is absolutely imperative that you audit your pallet supplier regularly. Over time objectives and expectations can change on both sides and it is important to check on potential changes in objectives and expectations on a regular basis.