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In many instances, standard wooden pallets do not necessarily meet the need of a product or industry. Many businesses have discovered a viable solution in custom wooden pallets.
There are several key reasons that having custom pallets built is the ideal solution. Learning more about this option can help you to make the decision that will improve your shipping, storage and packaging needs.
Having the right pallets can improve the workflow in the warehouse, save on costs and offer greater protection for your goods.
Of course, the cost of custom wooden pallets is always a concern for businesses that are trying to wrangle in the cost of their operation but the cost difference can easily be justified by the other savings that is experienced when you have the storage/shipping/packaging the reduces risk and that can keep costs down for the same.
In today’s busy warehouse environments, it is more important than ever to have the custom options that will enhance the workflow and make the job easier for the labor force inside the warehouse.
Custom options can be the easiest way to reduce overall risk, improve productivity and keep transport costs down.
To stay competitive in today’s economy you must stay faster, more responsive and able to compete on a global level.
The right storage/shipping containers helps your business to keep the pace and stay competitive.
Some Pallet Facts
Pallets are still the choice of storage, transport and packaging for over 90% of the time. With that being said, you should know that because pallets are so universal and the choice of so many industries in so many settings, they are not built for unique products.
They are built to satisfy the majority of users, which is fine, unless your products are unique or your needs are unique.
The one size fits all approach does not work for many businesses. As a matter of fact, some businesses have had to modify their product line to make it work with the pallets!
Of course, that is an extreme scenario but it plays out more than most people realize. The importance of pallets in any warehousing scenario is critical. It is the universal packaging choice so it is chosen often to standardize shipping.
For many shipping concerns it is regulated that items be palletized or they don’t ship for some manufacturers that are not aware of how easy customized wooden pallets can be to have made, they choose to modify their products instead!
The use of pallets is on the rise; it is predicted to rise by 3.5% which may not seem like a lot more pallets being circulated but when you keep in perspective that there are billions already in circulation.
While most statistics do not consider the increase in custom options a good bet would be that a nice chunk of that 3.5% will in fact be in the custom pallet market.
It is very difficult to dispute that pallets are becoming more popular with time much to the chagrin of those businesses that are struggling with standard pallets.
The good news is that the struggle does not have to continue there are other options that can easily meet the need of just about any industry that does not fit neatly into the one size fits all category!
You can read more about the pallet trends here! Other facts you may want to know about pallets include:
“No need to worry about the effect that pallets have trees there is 119 percent more hardwood trees in 2007 than in 1953, with the growth-to-removal ratio of 2.00 (two new trees for every one removed). Want more good news? Each year 1.7 billion trees are planted in the United States – more than five trees for every man, woman and child in America – an average of 4.8 million seedlings each day. (From the U.S. Forest Service.)
U.S. industry harvests just 42% of the annual growth in hardwood timber that is biologically available to harvest. This is like using 42% of the interest/dividends you receive on your investments in any given year, without touching the principal. In fact, every year more trees die and rot in the woods than are removed by the industry.
Wood continues to outpace the demand for other materials in the pallet market. Per the most recent pallet user survey conducted by Modern Materials Handling, wood continues to dominate with 95 percent of respondents reporting that they use wooden pallets at their facility. Since their previous survey, 32 percent of respondents say they have acquired more used wooden pallets, and that same number has plans to acquire more used wooden pallets for their operation. Only 17 percent report an expectation of using fewer used wooden pallets in the next two years.
Per the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) there are more than three billion wood pallets in circulation within the European Union, 1 billion units of lightweight packaging and several billion units of industrial wood packaging every year – and many more being used internationally. Alongside boxes, crates and other packaging, these are essential to the smooth movement of goods around the world. It is truly packaging from nature.” Taken from The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association.
Do keep in mind that while all the pallet facts and statistics are interesting, pallets are made for the masses they are not made to meet your specific needs which can be detrimental.
On the other hand, with a few modifications, custom pallets are created and can suit your specific need ideally!
Custom Pallet Options
Standard pallets when fitted with collars are made for big items, heavy loads and standard shaped items.
They are square in shape which means that if your products are not necessarily squared or with corners you could be losing quite a bit of space capacity with a standard sized pallet.
To break it down even further if you consider that in a warehouse or transport scenario, unused space equates to wasted money.
In conditions where the products are not conducive to fitting in a standard pallet arrangement switching to a custom option can improve how money is spent for shipping and transportation.
Thinking about your warehousing from the ground up and considering how effective the use of the standard pallet is in handling your products can prove to be very enlightening.
A quick audit of the amount of wasted space that each standard pallet contains and looking at the packaging exceptions that you must make can help you to get a handle on whether a custom option is going to be the better option for your business.
In some cases, you will find that it is not only the shape that custom options apply too. Pallets are built to handle standard load weights but they can be customized to handle larger weight loads as needed.
If your products are exceptionally bulky or heavy the standard options may not be right. If your warehouse is having to break up orders to meet the gross weight load for a standard pallet, you are paying more than you need to for material handling.
It may be possible to combine the shipment on a custom option instead of breaking it down into separate skids.
Knowing your business and what is required to make shipping, storing and packaging more affordable is your first step in finding a better solution.
Do the audit and look at the numbers you may be surprised to see that your warehousing costs can benefit from custom options.
Customized pallets of wood are on the upswing as more businesses are realizing that they could be getting more out of their pallets if they were customized.
For the most part pallets can be customized to accommodate oversized shipping and undersized loads as well. They can be made longer, shorter, stronger with just a simple request.
The beauty of customized pallets is that they are still offer the universal ability to ship, store and be moved around as a standard pallet is which of course means no interruption in logistics.
A Look at the Costs
The wooden pallet has long been held as one of the, if not the most popular, universal choice for shipping, packaging and storage.
A quick look at what makes a wooden pallet the universal choice:
Durability factor-pallets have been in circulation since about the 1940’s, they were designed to resist wear and tear and to keep goods safe during the second world war.
They have evolved some but not too much since that point because they were designed well from the start. There have been few other options that have could stand up as well as pallets.
Cost effectiveness- pallets are one of the most cost effective options when it comes to packaging. The material is readily available worldwide so it does not have to be manufactured elsewhere and then imported which of course shaves some of the costs off.
There are literally billions of pallets in circulation on the global scale at any given time which makes finding them easy.
They do not use any materials that require long processing times. The abundance of pallets that are available drive down the cost.
Customizing is a lot less expensive than most people believe.
Keep in mind that pallets are already a very low cost option, making some changes so they meet your needs is not by any means expensive.
Making custom pallets more affordable comes down to choosing a provider that is willing to work with you on the costs and keep it affordable.
Other factors that are going to affect the costs of your custom pallets are:
Volume – more is less being the general rule when it comes to custom pallets. The higher the volume the less cost per piece.
It is a reasonable equation that is common in most business to business transaction.
If you call a provider for 10 custom pallets you will pay more overall per piece than if you call for 100 custom options.
It is easier for the provider to make them all at once than it is for the provider to make 10 now and 10 six months for now. Consider the savings that you will earn if you order more at one time.
The grade of the wood-wood pallets is made from different grades of wood. When you are weighing, your options keep in mind that you must consider the overall value of the product.
It may be tempting to save by ordering from the lower grades of pallet wood, but in the end, it may not be as durable, last as long or give you the return that you are hoping to get on your investment.
Consider the ROI – when you are considering the cost of custom options you need to look down the road a bit to determine what type of ROI you will get out of the customized wooden pallets.
Will they make the job easier for labor in the warehouse? If you order custom will you be able to order less pallets because of the larger load bearing? Will it reduce transportation costs now and in the future?
Looking at the big picture can help you to see where the ROI lies and how you can recoup the costs of going with custom wood options.
Getting a handle on costs is always a feature that businesses must worry about. Sometimes you must spend a little more to get more in return.
Overall the difference between custom pallets and standard pallets is not that much different and the cost can be mitigated by the savings that is realized when you are not wasting space.
The balance is that custom can mean that you are saving on shipping costs, making better use of your warehouse space and reducing the need for extra pallets.
Custom wood pallets can be the opportunity that you need to get costs under control.
How Does It Work?
After reading a bit about the potential benefits of having an easy to use custom option, the next question would be how do they customize pallets without impeding on the structural reliability.
Ultimately pallets are nothing more than boards of wood and stringers fastened together to create a skid that can be moved around via a forklift or pallet jack.
It is a very easy to modify design when you have the skill set, tools and materials.
Of course, it is not quite as simple and just moving some boards around but the right expert can easily craft a custom pallet that does not lose its integrity or its strength.
You must use a trusted source for your customization. There are a couple of factors that are going to play a critical role in whether going custom is going to work for you.
A trusted supplier will offer:
- Fast turnaround times
- Easy delivery terms
- Reliable delivery options
- Make your pallets to your specs
There is no use in ordering the custom options you need and then having to wait for weeks or longer to get them delivered.
Yes, there will be a little longer wait with custom options but you should not have to wait for too much longer.
The right provider will understand that need to move quickly and ensure you a fast turnaround on your custom pallets.
Of course, not every provider can meet the demand for a quick turnaround. It takes experience, dedication and a commitment to the client to get things moving along.
Choose the vendor that has the experience to meet your needs and you will be satisfied with the turnaround time.
Easy delivery terms are also something that you need to keep an eye out for. Asking for customized options does NOT mean that you should have to deal with extraordinary terms to have them quickly delivered.
The right vendor will easily be able to accommodate your needs without much fanfare or additional costs.
For this to work out well you will need to be assured of the reliability of the vendor. It is a big step to change your warehouse from standard options to custom options and you do not want to get caught short on pallets in the process.
Keep your regular pallets on board until you get your new pallets and can gauge how reliable the supplier is.
The right vendor will make your pallets (as long it is possible) to your exact specifications. A good rule of thumb is to discuss with an expert what exactly those specifications should be.
A little expert advice about how to customize the wooden pallets to suit your specific needs can go a long way in ensuring that you get practical direction in making your determination.
Making the Choice
After learning about custom pallets, it may still be difficult for you to make this business decision on your own.
Speaking with an expert about your options can help to clarify your choice.
Discussing your options with an authority in the field will not only help you to make the choice that is right but can help you to decide which custom options are going to work best for your business and give you the return on the investment that you are hoping for.
It is time that you break away from the pack and get the packaging solution that is personalized to your business and its needs.
Pallets are a fact of life in so many industries but why not shake off the one size fits all models and get something that is literally built for your needs?
Sometimes buying off the shelf is just a waste of money and the right advice is to have something crafted that meet the need.
Customizing pallets is an easy solution for any company that is not getting the use that they need out of standard options.
Custom pallets will be the next big trend in warehousing!