When shopping for the cheapest pallet, any one of the standard size pallets may appear to be the most economical. However, if your merchandise or freight are not sized according to standardized pallet dimensions, it may actually be costing a good deal more money to use standard pallets instead of custom pallets.
Custom pallets are sized to meet the specific dimensions and weight requirements of the freight to be transported. If the freight package is smaller than the closest fitting standard pallet dimension, the shipper risks losing too much space on the truck. With fewer pallets per truckload, the shipper faces the expense of extra trucks or runs to meet their shipping quotas.
Recently, Greenway Products & Services was asked to evaluate the entire shipping program for a ceramic tile manufacturer. The manufacturer delivered heavy boxes of ceramic tiles in box trucks to distributors and customers in Brooklyn on a daily basis. As anyone in the business knows, delivery trucks in Brooklyn is an expensive proposition. Delivery runs can be time consuming and expensive with perpetual road congestion, tolls, and high cost of fuel.
Boxes of ceramic tiles were being stacked on the standard 36 x 36 wooden pallets. At this size pallet, the manufacturer was able to load the trucks with 10 pallets worth of heavy freight.
Greenway Products & Services evaluated the manufacturer’s shipping, and determined that the shipper could increase the truck capacity from 10 pallets per truck to 12 pallets per truck, if they switched from standard 36 x 36 pallets, to custom sized 30 x 36 pallets.
Although the custom pallets cost slightly more than standard sized pallets, the savings in delivery runs saved significantly more in trucking and transportation expenses. Less delivery runs saved on driver expenses, gasoline, tolls, and equipment wear and tear. Faster deliveries to the distribution centers and ultimately to the customer was also a boom to the bottom line, as the manufacturer could deliver greater quantities in less time, keeping his customers happy and coming back for more.
When pallets are properly sized to the dimensions and weight of the freight being delivered, shippers can fit more product on tractor trailers or box trucks. The manufacturer discovered, with the help of Greenway Products & Services shipping consultants, three significant benefits of custom pallets for their business:
- Reduced shipping costs
- Faster deliveries
- Improved customer satisfaction
We recommend shippers check in with Greenway Products & Services every quarter to make sure that they are optimizing their shipping operations. Greenway’s Pallet Consulting Services will evaluate the merchandise being shipped and recommend the pallet construction and size that provides the most economical total cost of shipping.
Examples of Greenway analyses include:
- Can the cost of the packaging cardboard be reduced by shipping with stronger pallets?
Manufacturers may be able to reduce their packaging costs by going from 3-layer cardboard boxes to 2 layer cardboard boxes when the appropriate pallets are used.
- Can the truck capacity for merchandise be increased by using better-fitted custom pallets?
Are you experiencing excess breakage? By adding a fourth stringer to a pallets to handle higher weight loads you can increase the weight held an additional 2000 pounds. If you do not need an additional 2,000 pound capacity you can also create a wing pallets which will give you the same weight distribution throughout the pallet by moving the stringers in a couple of inches.
- By providing a top or bottom deck, or both, that are larger than the outside stringers, winged pallets can carry greater weight loads, without another stringer board.
Wood pallets are easy to customize to maximize trucking capacity while protecting the merchandise they carry. We don’t expect our customers to be experts in pallet design, which is why Greenway provides its Pallet Consulting Services to match the most efficient warehousing and shipping solutions given your racking, and durability requirements.
Pressure on to reduce warehousing and shipping costs in 2017? Call Greenway to request their Pallet Consulting Service at 516-437-6300 to find better solutions for your warehousing and logistics needs.