Shipping with pallets.

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Pallets are used in freight shipping to protect your goods. Also for carriers, pallet shipping makes freight handling more efficient and helps maximize trailer space. While they can be custom made, there are some pallet sizes considered standard within the freight shipping industry.

Pallet dimensions.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) influences the consumer packaged goods industry around the globe. They suggest standard pallet dimensions to be 48" x 40". Pallets of that size are commonly referred to as GMA pallets.

More than 30% of pallets produced in the U.S. each year are GMA pallets. The next most common pallet dimensions are 42” x 42” and 48” x 48” respectively.

Standard pallet sizes.
48" X 40"
42" X 42"
48" X 48"

Types of pallets.

Pallet names stem from their construction. Stringer pallets are built with 2" X 4" wood, plastic or metal stringers. Block pallets are typically sturdier, made with both parallel and perpendicular stringers.

Below are five of the most common pallets seen in shipping, and a brief description of what separates them from one another

Stringer Pallets – Stringer pallets are a type of pallet with boards known as "stringers" that run between the top and bottom deck boards to add increased load support. These pallets can come in either a "two-way" or "four-way" design. Two-way pallets allow for forklifts to enter from two sides, and are sometimes referred to as "unnotched." Four-way pallets allow forklifts to enter the pallet from any side. Block Pallets – Block pallets are a four-way pallet that uses cylindrical posts to stabilize the top deck. These pallets can vary significantly. There are a variety of configurations that exist for block pallets. Models are available either with or without top or bottom boards. Solid Deck Pallet – These pallets have a single solid sheet of wood with no spaces on its top surface, instead of a series of planks. These pallets are easy to clean and transport. They are particularly useful for transporting and storing small items that could slip between the boards on a more standard pallet. Double Face Pallet – Double face pallets have decks on both the top and bottom of the pallet. The addition of a bottom deck strengthens the pallet by more evenly distributing the weight of its load. These pallets come in both reversible and non-reversible models. Reversible models can hold a load on either side. To tell the difference between a reversible and non-reversible pallet, check the density of the board placement on each side. Non-reversible pallets should have one Double Wing Pallet – These pallets have top and bottom deck boards that extend beyond the stringers, giving the appearance of "wings" when looking at the pallet directly.

Pallet examples.

Stringer pallet.

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Block pallet.

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Pallet FAQs.

What is a standard pallet size? A standard pallet size is 48" X 40" with each deck board being 3 ½" wide 5/16" thick. How tall is a standard pallet?A standard pallet is 6 ½” tall. How much weight can a standard pallet hold?A standard pallet can hold up to 4,600 lbs. How much does a standard pallet weigh?Pallet weight may vary but in generals, standard pallets weigh between 30-48 lbs.

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