Block Pallets For Sale

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A block pallet is a flat transport structure that is reinforced with four to twelve blocks, typically made of solid wood, plywood, or plastic. Block pallets are used to transport, store and display a wide variety of consumer goods.

About Block Pallets

The two most common types of wood pallet used today are the wood block pallet and the stringer pallet; both have their own advantages and specifications. The block pallet meets a logistics demand for strength, durability, and stackability. Block pallets were invented in America in 1943. Their four-way entry design changed the way supplies could be transported making it quicker and easier to be accessed by forklifts or pallet jacks.

Despite their higher cost, block pallets are becoming more popular than ever. Block pallets reappeared in the American market in the early 90s and grew steadily up until 2010. Over the last decade, the production of block pallets has doubled and will likely continue to grow. As most big box stores have switched over to block pallets, the infrastructure for repair and reuse has excelled simultaneously, with pallet yards starting to become equipped for block pallet repair something not done prior to now. 

Block pallets are often viewed as inferior to stringer pallets but that is not the case, on drop testing and compression testing, block pallets score significantly higher in condition and maximum weight held. Block pallets are a universal logistics tool that can serve a wide variety of needs.

Wood‌ Block Pallets Options

Wood block pallets can be recycled to keep them shipping in circuit for years and years, with general repairs being made along the way to keep the pallet strong. 

Using wood block pallets second-hand is no problem, as long as you check the quality. IPPC stamps on the side of the blocks will tell you how the wood was treated; some pallets may be unmarked and in that case there’s no guarantee that the wood is safe to use. 

The recycled block pallets are generally said to be new, repaired, remanufactured or used.

  • A new pallet is exactly that, brand new. They are more expensive, but they also tend to have a longer shelf-life than second-hand purchases.                                                                                                       
  • Repaired pallets are pallets that have been processed in a pallet yard; although the pallet is already doing the rounds, any damage has been repaired and it’s ready to go
  • Used, some pallets can have multiple uses with ease without having to be repaired. If the pallet is in no way damaged it is safe to use again. If food grade product is going on the pallet however, used pallets will not work and new pallets will be needed.
  • When a wood block pallet is at the end of the road, the parts are reused to construct a remanufactured pallet, which are almost identical to brand new pallets but also far cheaper than brand new pallets.

The most notable benefit of using upcycled wood block pallets is the massive cost-efficiency. Repaired and used pallets can reduce the money spent on shipping solutions dramatically, saving time and money, all while aiding green initiatives.

Repaired and Used pallets also decrease shipping time because of how easily and readily available they are; there is often very little turnaround time because there is no need to construct fresh pallets before every trip. 

Wood‌ Block Pallets Applications

Wood block pallets are key to the functionality of the supply chain. They are what keep the products in place during shipment and transit; they absorb stress and shock, cushion impact, and help prevent damage to the goods. 

The industry that utilizes wood block pallets in transportation the most is the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry because the durability of the pallets as well as the four-way design make wood block pallets perfect for sustaining many journeys in a short space of time. 

CHEP and PECO

Block pallets are sometimes blue and red. If that is the case, those are CHEP and PECO pallets, which are owned by those companies and are their property, therefore any sale, trade or secondary usage of these pallets is strictly prohibited.

Wood block pallet size options

It is assumed that the standard pallet size in North America is 48″ x 40″, this is the  CBA-standard pallet but it is more commonly referred to as GMA (Grocery Manufacturers of America) pallet.

For ease of international communications and transactions, there are now two different standard wood block pallet size scales, one from the GMA, and one from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Anything going overseas uses ISO sizes, while pallets traveling domestically will use GMA standardization. 

Common GMA standard sizes:

  •  48″ X 40″
  •  42″ X 42″
  •  48″ X 48″

Common ISO Sizes

  • 1000 × 1200mm
  • 1067 × 1067mm
  • 1100 × 1100mm

Standard pallets are very useful for speed and practicality, but they are not the perfect fit for every shipment. Although these are the most common sizes for block pallets there are specialized designs created depending on the size and weight of the load the pallet will have to carry.

Wood Block Construction

Blocks

The nine blocks that are used are the most important component of a properly functioning wood block pallet. These blocks are 5.5”W x 3.75”L and have a thickness of 3.5”, which in turn increases the maximum compressive load the pallet can with stand significantly. In a dynamic load capacity test a block pallet can withstand almost double the amount of weight a stringer pallet can. 

Stringer boards 

 The constant, solid board that extends the full length of the pallet perpendicular to the deckboards, and is positioned between them and the blocks so that the deckboards or blocks are supported. These are different from the stringers themselves but these stringerboards keep the overall structure of the pallet in place.

Deck boards

Deck boards orient themselves perpendicularly to the stringer or rather the stringerboard and may have spaces between them. The top deck boards are what the load will rest on during transit, and the bottom deck boards serve as a base.

Lead or edge boards

These boards run the length of the pallet, parallel to the deck boards. They are at either end of the pallet and are generally wider than the deck boards they bookend. 

Notches

These are the openings cut into the stringers for forklift access. There are two notches on each stringer, and as we are talking about block pallets specifically, there will be notches on each side for four-way access.

Chamfers

Deckboards with beveled edges, either throughout or between the blocks, to facilitate the entry of pallet-jack wheels and forklift tines

Wood block pallet specifications

The following specifications are for GMA Block Pallets 48×40”:

Tare weight: 65 to 75 lbs.

Tare weight is the weight of the unit before it holds any goods. Block pallets are significantly heavier than their stringer counterparts (which weigh in at approximately 33 to 48 lbs.), which is due to the amount of wood (and nails) used to construct the pallet. 

Maximum load: 5,500 lbs. 

Wood block pallets can handle a static load of 5,500lbs, while stringer pallets can handle a static load of 2,500lbs. Block pallets can hold almost effectively double the weight compared to stringer.

Edge rackable load: 2,800 lbs.

The edge rackable load is dictated by how much the block pallet can support while it’s stored in a pallet racking or storage system. With stringer pallets, this capacity differs from pallet to pallet, but with block pallets the main factor affecting this number is the strength of the stacking system in the warehouse that will be holding the wood block pallets. Aside from the warehouse factor, the edge rackable load of a block pallet is consistent.

Lifetime trips: approximately 20

The increased weight of block pallets in comparison to pallets using just stringers does mean that the transportation is more expensive, but it also means you’re paying for sure quality. The more robust block structures have a longer shelf-life than traditional stringer pallets because they won’t get damaged as easily.

Materials used: hardwood

Block pallets are usually made from hard woods from deciduous trees, with oak being the most common. Hard wood is more dense than the soft (frequently pine) alternative, so it can handle harsher conditions more easily and has a higher dynamic load capacity. 

Forklift entry: four-way

The innovative design of the wood block pallets means that there is total four-way entrance for the forklifts and other jacking tools.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Strength and Reliability

Block pallets are extremely sturdy, albeit not as strong as plastic pallets, and they can generally hold 5,500 pounds. As well well, block pallets can mostly be stacked far more efficiently than stringer pallets, taking up less space in storage and reducing labor costs

Cost and Repair

Since block pallets contain more raw material, they are more expensive than their stringer pallet counterparts. The U.S. also has less infrastructure in place when it comes to block pallet repair, since most pallet repair yards are only equipped to deal with stringer pallet repair. Due to this reason, stringer pallets have a larger market for reuse and are therefore more common.

Continuity

Block pallets can be uniform in all but size, stringer pallets have many different types and ways of entry that can affect a multitude of factors when it comes to handling the load, while block pallets can come in different sizes, they will have the same four way entry on every pallet.

Weight and Freight

Block pallets weigh between 65 to 75 pounds almost double of what a single stringer pallet weighs. This means that there will be a higher level of overall fuel consumption in order to transport the pallets due to the increased weight, which in turn could make freight more challenging and costly. 

Durability and Lifetime use

The amount of trips made by a wood block pallet is affected by the condition of the pallet is and the strength of the wood used, but the total lifetime use of a block pallet is significantly higher than stringer pallets.

Environmentally-friendly

An upside of using a natural material is that the pallets can be easily and quickly recycled, either for further use in the shipment industry or made into paper and mulch for use elsewhere. The original sourced material can also be recycled goods, so there is far less waste of resources.

The use of wood block pallets isn’t widespread in North America yet, with stringer pallets still preferred for transporting goods. However, block pallets are rapidly becoming a part of the U.S. infrastructure. It is likely that block pallets will become an immensely popular way of transporting goods if they continue to grow at their current rate.

A wood block pallet makes life easier for laborers and saves both time and money in the long run. Despite not being the best choice for every journey, wood block pallets are some of the most versatile pallets.