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  • Writer's pictureKeith D Goodfellow (SARI)

What type of pallet can I use in my racking? Perimeter based pallets v non perimeter based pallets.

There are literally hundreds of shapes, and sizes, and qualities of pallets available. These characteristics are dictated by such factors as the country of origin, industry, and intended use. In the UK we typically use the 1,200 x 1,000mm perimeter based pallet unsurprisingly referred to as the 'UK pallet' whereas on the continent the Europallet is most common and is a 1,200mm x 800mm non-perimeter based pallet. And you will inevitably receive your goods from suppliers on a surprising variety of pallets of varying quality, not all of them ideal, unless you clearly dictate your requirements so its's essential to understand the differences and which are safe to use on your racks!

The key differences are not only size but construction. The UK perimeter based pallet can be stacked on suitably sized racks with either the 1,200mm or 1,000mm dimension across the beams (i.e. front to back) since it has bottom deck boards on both orientations, whereas since the Europallet is a non-perimeter based pallet it can only be stored with the 1,2000mm dimension across the beams. A Europallet cannot be stored with the 800mm dimension across an open pair of beams since its method of construction means it doesn’t have bottom deck boards on the 800mm dimension so lacks the strength. If you need to store a Europallet with the 800mm dimension across the beams additional support such as decking or support bars are needed.

There is also a huge variation in the specifications of pallets dictated by the quality of construction and material used so its vital to check that the specification of your pallets is correct. Lightweight shipper or one trip pallets for example are designed to minimise weight and are merely a method of moving goods and not normally suitable for use in storage racks. They are often made of poor grade timber or even compressed paper or cardboard – so don’t let them get wet!

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