Your questions answered on pallet distribution and delivery

Pallet distribution and delivery services are widely used by businesses around the world. However, many businesses have never used pallet distribution and delivery services before. If that includes you, you’ll no doubt have some questions. We’ve answered below some of the most common questions on pallet distribution and delivery.

Check out our guide on pallet distribution and delivery

What do warehouse and fulfilment services do?

Both warehouses and fulfilment services are used in pallet distribution and delivery. Whilst these terms may be used interchangeably, they are different and refer to different services.

Warehouse services are used for storing items over a long period of time. These are large facilities or spaces that are designed to safely store items in bulk. Many businesses, including e-commerce, will rent space for storing inventory.

Fulfilment services, or a fulfilment centre, form part of a supply chain and is the main hub in the logistics process. A fulfilment centre is used to receive and process orders and to ensure orders are fulfilled. Fulfilment centres are used to ensure delivery in a timely manner.

Do you have to use your own pallet when shipping a package?

Yes, you will need to use your own pallets when shipping a package. Pallets can be purchased brand new or second-hand. Care should be taken to ensure the quality of purchasing pallets second-hand.

What does it mean if my shipment is on hold?

If the status of your delivery is on hold, it means there is a delay. Shipments on hold will not be delivered by the estimated arrival time. Usually, a on hold status means distribution of the shipment has stopped due to a delay.

On hold delays of shipments can happen for several reasons outside of the logistics companies’ control:

  • Congestion at ports
  • Changes in delivery route
  • Insufficient information about the sender
  • Customs delays, such as shipment inspections
  • Weather disruptions
  • Incomplete documentation

What is pallet shipping?

Pallet shipping is the process of moving palletised goods through a distribution network to a delivery destination. Pallet shipping is different from normal courier services as items are sent using a pallet, usually to allow for the distribution of bulk shipments.

How many pallets are in a full truckload?

The number of pallets in a truckload will depend on the size of the vehicle and the size of a pallet shipment. For standard size pallets, a truckload can fit:

  • 16’ truck can fit 6 pallets.
  • 24’ truck can fit 12 pallets.
  • 26’ truck can fit 12-16 pallets.
  • 40’ truck can fit 23-34 pallets.

A full truck load can usually transport 26 standard pallets. However, the number can change depending on the size of the vehicle and the size of pallets.

What is a pallet racking system?

A pallet racking system is a storage system used to support the high stacking of palletised goods. Pallet racking systems can either be single or multi-level. These systems are usually made from metal, storing items in horizontal rows.

How to load a pallet on a truck

There are 3 methods that can be used for loading pallets onto a truck. These are:

  • Side-by-side, loading pallets next to one another with the shorter side (used for lifting with a forklift) of the pallet facing forwards. This is the quickest method of loading.
  • Turned, the opposite of side-by-side loading where trucks are loading with the long end of a pallet facing forwards. This method is more efficient for saving space.
  • Pinwheel, which combines side-by-side and turned loading with every other pallet loaded in a different direction.

What are the most important things to know about pallet racking?

Pallet racks provide a strong backbone for the storage and handling of pallet shipments. The right racking can make a difference in the efficiency of storage and fulfilment. There are several factors you should consider when choosing pallet racking:

  • Cost – the lowest price is not always the best quality.
  • Purpose – what type of items will be stored on the racking system?
  • Warehouse layout – The size and shape of a warehouse, including window and door positions, will affect the type of racking you’ll need.
  • Durability – consider the durability of the racking system, including the material and construction.
  • Loading considerations – how much will the racking system be able to hold before it becomes unsafe? How does loading the racks affect load sustainability?

What are the benefits of using pallets for storage?

Using pallets for storage can provide several benefits. These benefits include:

  • Pallets are cost-effective.
  • Prevents damage to products (providing the pallet is stacked correctly).
  • Allows for faster and more efficient distribution.
  • Pallets are much stronger compared to other shipping alternatives, such as boxes.
  • Reusable (providing they are undamaged).
  • Most pallets are made from recyclable materials.

Can you double stack pallets in a container?

Yes, pallets can be double stacked in a container. To fully utilise the container space available, pallets should be stacked between 1.10 and 1.15 meters high.

What are the effective ways to minimise supply chain costs?

If you to try and minimise supply chain costs, you can:

  • Manage inventory
  • Streamline order processes
  • Make more effective use of space
  • Monitor and act on customer demands
  • Measure performance

How do logistics companies track their trailers and containers?

Logistics companies usually track their trailers, containers and vehicles using Global Positioning System (GPS). This allows companies to track and monitor the location of vehicles in real time. IoT can also be used by fixing sensors to vehicles to monitor their locations.

What is meant by FOD in logistics?

FOD is an acronym used in the logistics industry, which stands for free of damage.

What is a logistics operator?

A logistics operator is a supplier of specialised supply chain processes, including the transport, distribution, or storage of items. Some logistics operators will specialise in one process, such as warehouse storage.

What is the difference between haulage and logistics?

Haulage is transporting commercial goods in bulk from a supplier to outlets, retailers, factories, or warehouses, and is a logistics process. Haulage of goods can happen by road or rail.

What is a centralised warehouse?

A centralised warehouse is where inventory is stored by a retailer in either a single location or across several locations that serve a dedicated area. Decentralised warehouses make use of multiple strategic storage locations to deliver goods much quicker.

How much does one pallet cost?

Pallets can be purchased brand new or second-hand. A brand-new wooden pallet can cost between £3.50 to £15.90. Second hand wooden pallets can cost between £4.50 and £10.90.

What characteristics affect logistics costs?

There are several characteristics that can affect logistics costs. These are:

  • Product size, including dimensions and weight
  • Number of items
  • Information
  • Insurance
  • Expertise
  • Transport infrastructure

What is BOM in logistics?

BOM is a logistics term, short for bill of materials. A bill of material is a document that identifies the necessary materials and steps required for assembling products for shipping.

Is there any difference between a pallet and a skid?

A pallet and skid are very similar, but there are distinct differences. Pallets have both a top and bottom deck whereas a skid does not. For that reason, skids are not as strong or durable as pallets.

How to test the quality of wooden pallets before purchasing?

There are several ways you can test the quality of wooden pallets:

  • No signs of mould or damage
  • No damage to the pallet
  • The pallet’s structure is intact
  • Check for any markings to show if the pallets have undergone treatment
  • Pest-free

What are the uses of pallets?

Pallets are a piece of equipment that provides a structural for stacking, storing, protecting, and transporting materials and goods in bulk. Using pallets also allows for easier handling and distribution of bulk items as well as more efficient pallet storage.

What are the different pallet sizes?

  • Quartet pallet – 120cm (length) x 100cm (width) x 80cm (height)
  • Half pallet – 120cm (length) x 100cm (width) x 100cm (height)
  • Full pallet – 120cm (length) x 100cm (width) x 120cm (height)

What is a standard pallet dimension?

In the UK, the stand pallet dimension is 1.2m long and 1m wide. European pallets are slightly smaller at 0.8m wide.

How to count boxes on a pallet?

You can count the boxes on a pallet quickly by multiplying the number of boxes per layer by the number of layers.

How to stack boxes properly on a pallet?

Pallets should be stacked so they are as close to the edge of the pallet as possible. No boxes or items should be hanging over or sticking out. Avoid stacking items in a pyramid formation. Stacking boxes on top of one another is much safer. Always make sure pallets are either strapped in or wrapped.

Find out more about the do’s and don’ts of pallet distribution

What makes heat treated pallets more efficient than fumigated?

Heat treated pallets are much safer as they haven’t become exposed to any harmful chemicals that could produce a health risk. Also, heat treated pallets do not pose a health risk to those handling or producing the pallets.

Do wooden pallets contain harmful chemicals?

Wooden pallets don’t contain any harmful chemicals. There may be cases where pallets have become exposed to harmful chemicals, either by leakages or treatment. Second-hand pallets can be treated with the harmful chemical methyl bromide and will be marked with MB on the pallet.

Many businesses and supply chains will rely upon pallet distribution and delivery for efficient and secure transportation of goods. If you are new to pallet distribution, hopefully our answers have addressed any unknowns.