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If you are in any type of industry that manufacturers or ships goods than you should be familiar with the EPAL. An EPAL or a Euro Pallet is the way goods travel around Europe and the globe. Pallets have been used since the 1940’s to easily ship goods from suppliers to retailers, other businesses, and end users.
Most every industry at one point or another in the supply chain rely on pallets to quickly and easily move goods from the warehouse to transport and ultimately to the end user. Oddly enough, while many businesses use EPAL’s everyday many users know very little about them.
How Big is a Euro Pallet?
The standard Euro pallet is 800 x 1200 x 144 mm. It complies with the UIC 435-2 and is only manufactured by license with the European Pallet Association (EPAL). Most users do not realize how much thought goes into EPALS and they do not realize that there are range of standards that wood pallets must meet to follow regulations.
The Euro pallet is designed to meet size specifications in Europe and around most of the globe. The euro pallet height, width and length are all crafted to ensure easy transportation. The standard euro pallet size follows the International Union of Railways standards.
Euro pallets size are designed to ensure an uninterrupted transportation flow. The EU pallet size ensures that goods can flow seamlessly from the warehouse to different transportation conveyances without an issue.
The Story Behind the Euro Pallet Size
Standard epal pallets are sized differently than the typical standard wooden pallet, by just a few mm. The back story of how the EPAL was born is an interesting story. It all came to pass in the 1960’s.
The Euro pallet came into existing to make it easier to transport goods by railway through out what was then the organization of the European Nations. The European Nations at the time were France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Holland and Luxembourg.
The design was triggered by the International Union of Railways. The union wanted to standardize pallets to make them easier to load and unload on to rail cars. The ideal measurement was 1200mm x 800mm, before too long the standard was adopted, and as they say the rest was history.
Today the EPAL is used throughout the EU, North America and Asia and is accepted by mot nations as a standard. Epal pallets are an important part of any business.
Are There Different Size of Euro Pallets?
Okay, now you know all about the standard size of Euro pallets, but what if the standard is not for you? What if you need a smaller size or a larger size? What if you need a custom size? That can all be worked out. Europallet size is not limited to just the standard size, although the standard size is the most popular.
Here are some more common sizes:
- 800 mm × 1,200 mm
- 50 in × 47.24 in
- 1,200 mm × 1,000 mm
- 24 in × 39.37 in
- 1,000 mm × 1,200 mm
- 37 in × 47.24 in
- 800 mm × 600 mm
Each size of the EPALS are given a number for example EUR 1, EUR 2, to help distinguish the size. When you order epal pallets you can order by the size of the euro pallet or by the number. There are a wide range of regulations and standards that apply to pallet manufacturers including:
- EN 13626 Packaging – Box pallets – General requirements
- EN 13382 Flat pallets for materials handling – Dimensions
- EN 13698-1 Production requirements
- EN 13698-1 Pallet construction standards
- EN 15512 Steel racking system requirements
- EN 15620 Adjustable racking systems
They are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many requirements that are relative to pallet production. There is a list of ISO regulations that also apply.
The simple pallet is not as simple as you thought it was.
Other Things You Should Know About Pallet Standards in the EU
Size is not the only thing that is standardized on pallets. The Epal must use a prescribed number of nails to secure the pallet. The number of nails is 78 and they must be nailed in a specific pattern. The weight of the euro pallet ranges from 20kg-25kg.
The structure of the pallet is not the only thing that is mandated. The type of the wood is also mandated. The wood must be dry to ensure the growth of mold is not a risk. Old pallets that have been repaired and reinserted into the supply chain will have a verification nail in the middle stringer to identify that the pallet has been repaired.
On the center leg of the pallet information about the producer is contained. The code of the manufacturer will be stamped. The last numbers of the code indicate the year the pallet was made. In some cases, the type of wood is also indicated in this area.
You will also find the EPAL logo on the corner leg to the right. All these steps are taking to ensure that the pallets that are in circulation are high-quality pallets, and that the businesses that buy them know they are buying from a trusted source.
Why Are So Many Precautions Taken with Pallets?
Euro-pallets are the backbone to any supply chain. They are charged with carrying millions of tonnes of products, equipment, supplies, and more across Europe and the greater globe. They are a vital key to the successful transport, storage and delivery of every single good that is used by consumers, businesses, and industry.
Ensuring that these work horses are up to the task at hand requires that they are standardized and crafted with quality in mind. Ensuring that industry, business, and end users can have pallets that are reliable, recyclable and can stay for years in the supply chain, helps to keep costs down.
Ultimately strong, durable, high quality pallets are good for the economy. Of course, they are also good for the environment. A well-built wooden pallet has a life span of about a decade. After it reaches the end of its useful life span in the supply chain, it can be recycled or repurposed.
Wooden pallets that are made to the EPAL standards can be easily repaired and reinserted into the supply chain. Of course, it is hard not to know that old pallets are being repurposed by consumers and turned into everything from shelving to furnishings for the garden and the home.
Keeping up the standards ensures that pallets remain an eco-friendly option for shipping, storing and even displaying of goods. Cutting corners when it comes to pallets is just a bad idea. Some businesses have found out the hard way that lowest price does not always mean best value.
Make sure your pallets are EPALs.
A lot of people do not realize what goes into making a pallet and all the regulations that pallet must meet. When buying pallets looking for the EPAL logo is a good place to start. When you ware wondering where to get wooden pallets, your first move should be to find a supplier that offers certified EPALS.
While it is estimated that there are billions of pallets in circulation around the globe when you search for wooden pallets near me, you may not be finding the supplier that has the certified EPAL that you can depend on.
Before you make a buying, decision makes sure you connect with a trusted supplier than ask:
- Are your pallet EPAL certified pallets?
- What sizes do you offer?
- Can you customize pallet sizes?
- Do you have a return program?
- Do you have a recycling or repair program?
Of course, pricing is always a consideration, but you do not want to shop by price alone. When you are searching for wooden pallets nearby consider shopping for value. For example, if you can connect with a supplier that does have the certified EPAL pallets that you want, and they offer a turn in program that would be a great value.
When you purchase high quality wooden pallets you can rest assured that they will be in your supply chain for many years and you will get the ROI that you want out of them. Value is a far better selling point when it comes to wooden pallets than is the lowest price.
Most pallet manufacturer hover in the same price point range. If you find a supplier that just seem way to low on their prices, you should beware. A fair market price combined with great service options is always the best route to take when it comes to buying wood pallets.
Your business depends heavily on having the right equipment. A trusted pallet manufacturing source is a key player in ensuring that your products can move seamlessly from the warehouse to the end user.