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Wood Pallets For Sale

Wood Pallets

Wood pallets are transport structures that typically consist of three or four stringers and deck boards on top. By simply lifting pallets with pallet jacks, forklifts, front loaders, and other jacking devices, commercial goods can be delivered and transported efficiently. Pallets

History of Pallets

Pallets are so ubiquitous now that they’re often overlooked, but they are a significant part of the supply chain that provides the products that our society needs to function. Before pallets were invented, a variety of containers were used to ship and store commercial goods, including boxes, barrels, and kegs. Skids, which are similar to pallets but lack a stabilizing bottom board, were used as well.

The invention of the forklift in 1917 called for a more stable design that could accommodate the prongs of the forklift and hold heavy loads. Around 1925, bottom boards were added to skids and allowed pallets to be stacked and hold more weight. Very shortly, pallets were used to stack and store products in almost every warehouse in the world.

Wooden Pallets Today

Even today wood pallets offer a great combination of weight, stiffness, durability, and cost. From the European Pallet Pool to independent brokers in the US and other countries, there is an extensive recycling infrastructure dedicated to the reuse and refurbishment of wooden pallets. The pallet’s simple design allows custom sizes to be easily built from readily available timber components.

Timber for Pallets

The three main factors that pallet manufacturers are looking for in materials are strength, supply, and cost. Pallets have to be strong enough to do their job, but cheap enough not to drastically increase the cost of business. Since so many pallets are needed in almost every industry, the materials to make them also need to be readily available. Although pallets can be made from any type of wood, in the US pine and oak are the most common.

Pine is popular because it’s a clean wood that can be kiln-dried without causing damage. Oak is much stronger, so thinner cuts can be used to achieve the same strength. However, the production costs of oak just to make pallets would be prohibitively expensive, so oak pallets are usually made with waste cuts from other products such as furniture.

Pallets Across the Globe

When referring to pallet specifications, the first number is the stringer length and the second number is the length of the deck boards. Some industries have standardized pallet sizes, such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association. However, there is no universal standard, which makes it important for you to check the measurements before you order pallets. There are several sizes that are frequently used.

ISO Pallets

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) creates standards to help businesses minimize waste and errors and increase productivity. They have published specifications for six pallet sizes, including:

  • 40 x 48 inches (1016 x 1219 mm) – GMA pallet
  • 39.37 × 47.24 inches (1000 x 1200 mm)
  • 45.9 × 45.9 inches (1165 x 1165 mm)
  • 42 x 42 inches (1067 x 1067 mm)
  • 43 x 43 inches (1100 x 1100 mm)
  • 31.50 × 47.24 (800 x 1200 mm)

North American Pallets

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) pallet, which is now known as the Consumer Brands Association (CBA), is the most frequently used pallet in North America, with a dimension of 40 x 48 inches. It’s also recognized by the ISO. There are a variety of other sizes used in North America in addition to the ISO sizes, such as:

  • 48 x 48 inches (1219 x 1219 mm)
  • 48 x 42 inches (1219 × 1067 mm)
  • 40 x 40 inches (1016 x 1016 mm)
  • 48 x 45 inches (1219 x 1143 mm)
  • 44 x 44 inches (1118 x 1118 mm)
  • 36 x 36 inches (914 x 914 mm)
  • 48 x 36 inches (1219 x 914 mm)

European Pallets

The European Pallet Association (EPAL) has set the standard for the EUR-pallet. In addition to providing a standard size for ease of use, pallets that conform to these dimensions are eligible for trade in the European Pallet Pool. EUR-pallets must be 31.50 × 47.24 inches (800 x 1200 mm) and must conform to other manufacturing specifications. This size is also one of the sizes approved by the ISO. EUR-pallets are designed to be reused and you may want to consider using them if you’re shipping to Europe.

Australian Standard Pallets

The most common size pallet used in Australia is 45.87 × 45.87 inches (1165 x 1165 mm). This size conforms to ISO guidelines as well. It was designed to work with the containers used in the Australian railway system.

Asian Pallets

There are two common pallet sizes used in Asia and both are ISO approved.

  • 43.30 × 43.30 inches (1100 x 1100 mm)
  • 39.37 × 47.24 inches (1200 x 1000 mm)

New vs Repaired

New pallets

These are made from fresh lumber and generally look nicer. They’re much more expensive, but offer you custom options that may not be available with used or recycled pallets. If you need extremely accurate dimensions or custom dimensions, you may be better off with new pallets. Manufacturers who plan to use pallets with a specific product that doesn’t conform to existing pallet sizes often need to have new pallets custom made. Additionally, you will need to have a wide lead time to purchase custom-made new pallets.


  • Very accurate dimensions
  • Can be custom made
  • Last for multiple uses
  • Cleaner, newer look
  • Guaranteed weight capacity
  • Typically higher quality


  • More expensive
  • Longer lead time


Used repaired pallets are usually significantly cheaper and perform as well as new pallets, depending on the condition they’re in when you buy them. Used pallet suppliers often list quality grades on their pallets as a guide for their condition. There is no standard quality assurance process; however, the grades can serve as a guide. Recycled pallets often perform as well as new with regards to weight capacity. They may not be as precise as new in their dimensions, but they are usually fairly accurate. If you need a standard-sized pallet, and you aren’t worried about the aesthetics, recycled or used pallets are probably a good option.


  • Cost savings of up to 60 percent
  • Weight capacity unaffected
  • Can be bought in different quality grades
  • Offered in standard dimensions
  • Shorter lead time


  • May not last as long
  • Dimensions may not be as accurate
  • Used appearance
  • Limited custom options

Types of Wood Pallets

Pallets are made with either stringers or blocks for support between the deck boards and the bottom boards. Stringer pallets are more common and cheaper to make. Block pallets are more durable and last longer. Depending on what you’re using it for, either may be the best option for you.

Block Pallets

Block pallets are made with nine, 4 x 4 inch wood blocks placed between the top and bottom boards for support. Because more wood is used in making them, they are sturdier and more expensive. They typically feature more and sturdier nails as well. Block pallets are significantly heavier than stringer pallets. Block pallets are a good choice if you’re shipping heavy goods. They are more capable of handling heavier weight. They’re also a good choice if there are multiple steps in your supply chain. Block pallets hold up better under repeated handling. If you have a method of bringing your pallets back to the production site, reusing block pallets can save money over repeatedly buying cheaper pallets.


  • Fewer rejected loads
  • Greater durability
  • Can be reused more times
  • More flexibility with four-way entry


  • Heavier weight, which can increase shipping costs
  • More expensive
  • Blocks can’t be repaired


Stringer pallets are made with three, 2 x 4 boards, one running down each side and one in the middle between the deck boards and bottom support boards. These are the stringers. They can be notched to allow for partial four-way entry. Stringer pallets are lightweight and usually designed to only be used once, necessitating a continuous supply. Stringer pallets are common and are often used because they are the cheaper option. If you’re shipping products that don’t need the extra support, stringer pallets may be the better option, particularly if you have no way to return them to the production site after use.


  • Lower purchase price
  • Lower cost to ship
  • Lighter weight


  • Not as durable
  • Greater chance of rejected loads due to damaged pallets
  • Many don’t have four-way entry
  • Increases waste in the supply chain

Entry Options

The difference between a two-way and a four-way pallet is that a forklift can only lift a two-way pallet from two sides, while a four-way can be lifted from any side. Additionally, a partial four-way can be accessed on all four sides by forklifts but not by a pallet jack. True four-way pallets are almost always block pallets.


Two-way pallets are more durable than partial four-way pallets. Their stringers are solid instead of notched so they’re less prone to breakage. They’re also cheaper and easier to manufacture than either partial or total four-way pallets. Because they limit access to two sides, two-way pallets have to be stored in a way that will allow access. This can decrease warehouse and transport efficiency and increase labor time and costs. If your main concern is price or you need more durability than a partial four-way can provide and warehouse space isn’t at a premium, a two-way pallet can be a good option.


  • More durable than partial four-way
  • Lower cost
  • Greater weight capacity than partial four-way


  • Requires more storage space due to limited entry access
  • Reduced load efficiency due to position requirements for transport
  • Increased labor cost due to additional time required to maneuver


Four-way pallets can be either true or partial. Both types allow forklifts to access them from all four sides. Partial four-way pallets can be accessed on all sides by a forklift but not a pallet jack. True four-way pallets can be accessed on all sides by either a pallet jack or a forklift. True four-way pallets are block pallets, while partial four-way pallets are stringer pallets that have been notched to allow forklift access. Partial four-way pallets are used when cost is more of a concern than durability and flexibility. As long as a forklift is being used to maneuver them, partial four-way pallets offer as much flexibility as true four-way for positioning. True four-way pallets are used when greater durability and flexibility in handling are needed.


  • Increased durability
  • Greater flexibility in access, which can decrease labor, transport, and storage costs
  • Highest weight capacity


  • Increased purchase price
  • Heavier weight, which can increase transport costs
  • Wasteful, since they’re made from slow-growing hardwoods that are difficult to replenish


Pallets are available in a variety of styles that serve different purposes. Understanding the styles available and their uses can help you decide which is best for you.


Reversible pallets are versatile and general purpose. They have the same arrangement of deck boards on the top and bottom, so they can be used with either side up. These are the most common types of pallets. They’re sturdy and stable when stacked. Reversible pallets are a great option for many uses. If you’re shipping different products and need a good all-purpose solution, reversible pallets can give you that flexibility.


  • General purpose
  • Durable
  • Stable when stacked
  • Can be loaded from top or bottom


  • Can’t be used with a pallet jack
  • May not be suitable for specific uses

Close Boarded, No Baseboard

Close boarded, no baseboard pallets are made with the deck boards spaced close together. This allows the pallet to carry a greater weight. It also stops small products from falling through the spaces in the deck boards. These pallets have no baseboard, only three stringer boards, one on each side and one in the middle. Close boarded, no baseboard pallets are used in situations where fragile or small products may fall through the deck boards or where a greater weight capacity is needed.


  • Greater stability
  • Greater weight capacity
  • Protection for delicate or small products
  • Less expensive than other close board pallets


  • Greater weight, which can increase shipping costs
  • Limited to two-way entry
  • More expensive than some open board options
  • Only cost-efficient for limited uses

Winged Pallet

A wing pallet is made so that the length of the deck boards is longer than the width of the pallet. This creates an overhang on each side, called wings. A winged pallet can be either single-winged or double-winged. Pallets with wings on only one face are single-winged, while pallets with wings on both faces are double-winged. Winged pallets are used by those who want a larger unit-load area. Companies who are working with specific automated systems that handle pallets by the wings also use them.


  • Higher weight capacity
  • Deck boards are less likely to split or crack
  • May be necessary with some automated machinery


  • More expensive to purchase
  • Not necessary for many applications

Close Boarded, 3 Base

A close boarded, 3 base pallet has decking boards that are close together, and it has a base board along three sides with one side left open. As with other types of close board pallets, the spacing can serve several functions. Close boards allow a pallet to support more weight. They’re also good for products that may be small and easily fall into the space between boards.


  • Able to support more weight
  • Increased stability
  • Versatility with regards to handling
  • Products can’t fall in between deck boards


  • Increased cost
  • Increased weight
  • Only good for specific use cases

Euro Pallet

The Euro pallet is standardized for use in Europe. Its dimensions are 31.50 × 47.24 inches (800 x 1200 mm). The Euro pallet also conforms to other manufacturing specifications. The moisture content can’t exceed 22%. All boards must come from a single piece of wood and meet quality standards regarding knots, decay, splits, and rot. No protruding nails are permitted in Euro pallets. Euro pallets are high-quality pallets and are eligible for exchange via the European Pallet Pool. They are mainly used in Europe.


  • Guaranteed quality
  • Can easily cross borders
  • Eligibile for exchange in the European Pallet Pool
  • Designed and manufactured for maximum occupational safety


  • Higher cost
  • Not as widely used outside of Europe
  • Dimensions may not be suitable for all uses

Perimeter Base

A perimeter base pallet has bottom boards that are oriented in both directions. The boards run all along the perimeter of the pallet. This allows automated machines to handle the pallets more efficiently, reducing costs. Perimeter pallets offer easy stacking in all directions. They are used in cases where versatility in stacking is important, such as when it will increase the productivity of automated equipment.


  • Increased stability
  • Can be handled and stacked in either direction
  • Supports heavier loads


  • More expensive
  • Increased waste if they can’t be reused

Open Boarded, 3 Base

Open boarded, 3 base pallets have deck boards that are spaced further apart and boards on three of the bottom edges. These pallets are used for lighter products and products that have a larger footprint. The base gives these pallets versatility in handling and transport, while the open deck boards make them cheaper to manufacture.


  • Cheaper than close board options
  • Four-way entry allows for ease of handling and transport
  • Lighter weight, so reduced shipping costs


  • Less weight capacity
  • Limited to lightweight products with a large footprint

Close Boarded, Perimeter Base

Close boarded, perimeter base pallets have deck boards that are placed close together, and they have boards in all directions along the perimeter. These pallets are stable, versatile, and can carry more weight than many other options. These are best for heavy products or products with a small footprint that may fall between the deck boards of open boarded pallets. These are also good pallets to use if versatility in handling during storage and transport is important.


  • Greater weight capacity
  • Sturdy construction
  • Protects small products from falling in between deck boards
  • Four-way entry allows forklifts and pallet jacks easy access
  • Easy handling by automated systems


  • Increased cost to purchase
  • Heavier weight, which can increase shipping costs
  • Not cost-effective for general uses

Heat Treated Pallets

Heat treating is a sanitizing process that’s required for all wooden pallets that will be used to ship products internationally. The purpose of heat treatment is to prevent the spread of diseases and pests through plant products. Because pallets are made from wood, they can contain pests that were originally in the trees. If these pests are shipped out of their natural environment, they can become invasive and cause environmental damage. The process of heat treatment involves heating the pallets to a core temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes. This ensures that any pests in the pallets are killed before they’re used for transport. Heat-treated pallets are used by anyone who is exporting products out of their country of origin.


Wood pallets are made from core trees. Manufacturers use a combination of hard and soft wood, usually oak and pine in the US. The individual components of the pallet are cut and shaped at the sawmill. If they’re being heat-treated, it will be done before assembly. The final step in the manufacturing process is assembling the pallets before they are shipped.

Depending on their type, pallets consist of some of the following components:

  • Stringer boards are the three support boards that run the length of the pallet sandwiched between the top and bottom faces of the pallet.
  • Deck boards are the components of the top and bottom of the faces of the pallet that run perpendicular to the stringers.
  • Base boards are the pallet boards on the bottom of a pallet.
  • Blocks are the rectangular supports placed between the top and bottom of a block pallet.
  • Notches are the openings in the side stringers that allow forklift access in partial four-way entry pallets.
  • Top lead boards are the two deck boards at either end of the top face. They may be wider than the other deck boards.
  • Bottom lead boards are the two deck boards at either end of the bottom face. They may also be wider than the other deck boards.
  • Inner deck boards are the deck boards other than the lead boards.
  • The chamfer is the entry way on the edges of the pallet between the stringers or blocks.

Dimensions and Weight-Bearing Capacity

The amount of weight a pallet can support depends on several factors, including the style of the pallet. Some pallet types can hold more weight than other types of the same design. However, the dimensions of a pallet are associated with how much weight the pallet can support. Some popular dimensions and the associated weight-bearing capacity are:

  • 48 x 40 inch GMA pallet: These general-use pallets can support up to 4600 pounds and weigh about 30 pounds.
  • 48 x 48 inch pallet: These pallets can support up to 3700 pounds and weigh about 40 pounds. They often have a double stringer in the middle for extra support since they’re so large.
  • 42 x 42 inch pallet: These square pallets can support up to 3700 pounds and weigh about 37 pounds.
  • 36 x 36 inch pallet: These smaller pallets can still support up to 4700 pounds and weigh about 30 pounds. These pallets are designed to be sturdy because they’re primarily used to transport beverages, which are heavy.

Wood, Plastic, Cardboard & Metal


Wooden pallets are much cheaper than plastic pallets. They are also stronger since plastic pallets generally top out at loads of about 1500 pounds while wood pallets can support loads in excess of 4000 pounds. Wood pallets are also more environmentally friendly than plastic pallets. They can be reused and recycled and ultimately break down much faster than plastic.


While cardboard may seem like an eco-conscious choice, it actually takes more chemicals to produce cardboard pallets than it does to produce wood pallets. Wood pallets are much stronger than cardboard and can be stacked and racked while many cardboard pallets can’t. Wood pallets are more versatile than cardboard and can stand up to environmental conditions that would destroy cardboard.


Metal pallets are much more expensive than wood pallets, not only in upfront costs but also in shipping and handling costs. Metal pallets are heavier, so they’re more expensive to ship. Wood pallets are ideal for stacking and the equipment used throughout supply chain logistics is already optimized for handling wooden pallets. Wood is also more environmentally friendly than metal. When they’ve been reused, recycled, and repurposed repeatedly, wood pallets will break down and decompose faster than metal.

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