Why would anyone ship goods on a plastic pallet if they can’t get that pallet back? Not so long ago, this was the thinking when it came to “One-Way Shipping” or “Single Trip” logistics. This logic was based on the fact that plastic pallets were expensive and it took several weeks to get them due to slow and infrequent production schedules.
Today, it’s a new frontier. There are many affordable, readily available plastic pallets that are fulfilling a demographic for single use, plastic pallets.
There are many reasons for sending products on a plastic pallet. The most common is the need to comply with ISPM-15 Export Regulations. Other benefits include absence of mold and ease of use in wood-free production facilities.
If you need to send a plastic pallet on a single trip, consider these tips to ensure a successful one-way ship.
- Maximize your unit load to optimize the pallet.
Properly fit the pallet to the size and weight of the unit load so you can get the most out of both.
- Once you know the details of the load, shop around for the best pallet.
Consider a used plastic pallet. You may be able to get more pallets for less money!
- Allow a few extra days for delivery.
Even though many plastic pallet manufacturers are producing more export pallets on a regular basis, allow an extra 7-10 days for delivery time, just in case.
- Explain the change to your drivers.
If you are switching from wood to plastic, be sure to explain the change to your fork lift drivers. They need to understand that they may not be able to handle a “one-way” plastic pallet the same way they handle a wood pallet.
- Utilize a supplier with several locations.
If you are using LTL quantities and you don’t have the space for a lot of pallet storage, utilize a supplier with several locations. The Nelson Company can deliver plastic pallets from at least 10 locations around the US.
- Don’t go TOO cheap!
Everyone is looking for a good deal, but you should be careful not to automatically buy the cheapest plastic pallet that you find. Why? Just because it’s the CHEAPEST plastic pallet out there doesn’t mean it’s the correct pallet for your unit load. An incorrectly specified pallet may break and compromise your valuable cargo. Consult with a pallet expert for help in choosing the correct pallet for your needs and always test a sample before buying.
Always consider if there is a way to get them back or - at the very least - get them into the hands of somebody who can use them. A closed loop isn’t always possible. Tell Nelson Company where your one-way pallets will end up. It’s possible that we may have someone on the other end that is willing to pay to send those plastic pallets on another trip!
Post by: Mike Cunneen, Director of Sales and Marketing