Pallets come in many different sizes to meet a wide range of need. The right pallet size can help to reduce waste and conserve space. Of course, the right pallet size can also help you to keep your costs down and keep you from having to pay to ship air.
Half pallets are a small pallet size that can be the right solution for your shipping and storage needs. There are benefits to half pallets that you will want to learn about before you decide about which pallet is the right size for your operation.
What Are Half Pallets?
When you are talking about pallets (EPALS) you are likely thinking of full-size standard pallets which measure 1,200 mm × 800 mm × 144 mm. Many people do not realize that you have size options when it comes to pallets.
The standard size pallet is the most widely used, but half pallets are starting to catch up in popularity. Small pallet dimensions can range in size. The half pallet in Europe typically is 800×600 mm. Pallets can be crafted in any size to meet custom needs.
Half pallets as the name implies are half the size of full-size standard pallets. They can be the ideal solution to your shipping and warehousing needs.
What are the Advantages of Half Pallets?
In the right application a half pallet can deliver quite a few advantages over the full pallet size. Whether you choose plastic half pallets or wooden half pallets you can enjoy a wide range of benefits.
A small pallet can mean shipping and loading in smaller quantities. Which can help save on labor costs and offer the benefit of less “hands on” or “touch” during shipping. The less your products must be touched the better off your products are. For example, let’s say you have electronics you are shipping, and are using a full-sized pallet. You may have to use a single pallet that will have to be divided up at some point during the process for some products to go to one location while others go to a different location. This can be risky.
If you used a half pallet system in the scenario above, there would be less “hands on” your product during shipping which can reduce the risk of damage and theft.
The smaller footprint of the half pallets can mean easier display options for the end user, and less stocking work. Using half pallets for display purposes can also add a boost to sales for the retail location. It can also make it easier for retailers to manage SKU’s and reduce the amount of inventory that they must keep on hand.
Historically half pallets have found their real audience with retail locations. They simplify the unloading of goods, free up room on the shelves by doubling as a display and reduce labor costs. Small pallet dimensions are typically ample enough to manage a nice sized amount of inventory without having to sacrifice the floor space that you do with other types of pallets. Small pallet displays are becoming more and more popular because of the added value to retailers. Switching pallet sizes to half pallets when applicable can help to endear your business to retailers.
Retailers have long heralded the use of half size pallets to cut costs on their end. They do not have to pay labor to stock shelves, and they do not have to leave pallets of inventory sitting in their storage waiting to be offloaded on to the shelves.
Half pallets also give retailers more buying options. Perhaps a retail location simply cannot support a full pallet of goods because space is limited, or they are not sure about the demand for your products. A half pallet order can be just the option that they need to make decisions about offering your products at their retail locations. Half pallets are a small factor but it can be a very persuasive factor.
Small pallet size takes up less of a footprint in the warehouse and in the retail outlet. Space saving properties can be a tremendous cost savings. They also offer a better more uniform system and can be highly efficient in moving your goods from one place to the next.
How Will You Get Your Products Through the Door?
Another clear benefit of the half pallets is their ability to get through narrow doors and loading bays. They can move seamlessly through narrow doorways, the back of walk in coolers, and through the retail locations.
Unlike their full-size pallet counterparts, they do not fight their way through congested retail aisles. They simplify both loading and unloading. Retailers are very fond of this pallet size because it makes their life easier and ensures that they can get the products that they need for their retail location when the property is not accommodating to full size pallets. This means that you can service more end user retail locations than ever before. When you remove the obstacle of how a retail outlet except delivery will you are opening your business to being able to serve more retailers.
Not every retail location is well-equipped to manage full sized pallets but that does not mean that you cannot do business with them. It means you must find a way to accommodate these locations to ensure that you can meet their needs. Having half pallets as an option can be a great way to expand your customer base.
Let’s Talk About Wasted Pallet Space
A full-size pallet is not always the best option for certain products. Half pallets can be better suited to fit the size of your products and your load needs. When the pallet fits the job, you can eliminate under hang.
You can also increase trailer utilization and find some cost savings. Half pallets can take up that wasted space that transporters must deal with and charge for. Your half pallets can help transportation companies fill voids in their shipping containers and trailers. You may find that you are rewarded with shipping cost savings and other rewards from the transportation company.
Of course, there is also the fact that you can ship more in less space using half pallets if you optimize your shipments. You do not have to pay to ship full sized pallets that are only half full. It can cut down on some of the waste in your supply chain.
Optimizing Your Supply Chain
If you have not audited your supply chain recently to see how you can optimize, you are not alone. There are plenty of organizations that keep doing what they do simply because it is always how they did business.
While moving completely over to half pallets may not be the best option, you may want to check with your supply chain to see if there is some room for improvement with one of those improvements being adding in some half pallets into the mix.
You may be wasting money that you do not need to waste by using the mind set that the only right pallet is a standard full-sized pallet. You may be also gobbling up more space than you need to in the warehouse and through out the supply chain.
Half pallets may not change the way you do business but that is not what optimization is about anyway. Optimization is about getting more bang for your buck and improving on how you are doing things. In every warehouse and supply chain there is always room for improvement.
An inspection and an audit of the material that you are using and whether you can benefit from something else is always a good idea. Half pallets can be easily incorporated into your current supply chain and they can open opportunities that you may not have realized your firm has been missing.
They can also help you to reduce clutter, save space, reduce shipping costs, labor costs, and overall reduce risk. Anything that can do that certainly deserves a second look. Evaluate your warehouse and supply chain and there is a good chance you are going to find some room for half pallets.
What Else Do You Need to Know About Half Pallets?
Well, we talked about all the positives but there are some negatives you should be aware of like:
- They can be less efficient than full sized pallets because, they only hold half the load. Of course, efficiency is highly dependent on the type of products you are shipping. In many cases, you get the most efficiency from half pallets because of product size.
- The initial outlay of costs can be higher for half pallets then they are for full size pallets. Full size pallets are constructed to a standard size. While half pallets require less material to produce, they require extra work at the manufacturer to craft. Most manufacturers are set up to efficiently create full sized pallets.
Ultimately, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to certain applications.