Annular Nail – Pallet nail with circular ring threads (called annular threads), rolled onto the shank to ensure secure fastening; also known as ring nail or ring shank nail.

Bin – (Also known as a box or container bin pallet) – Four-sided superstructure for mounting on a pallet base.

block pallet glossaryBlock Pallets – Type of pallet with blocks (rectangular, square or cylindrical deck spacer,)
between the pallet decks making it more durable. Block pallets utilize both parallel and perpendicular stringers to better facilitate efficient handling. Block pallets are stronger than stringer pallets and are recommended for heavier loads.

Buy/Sell Programs – Extended-use pallets are bought back from retailers, repaired and resold.

Chamfered Deck Board – pallet with two beveled edges to increase access for pallet jack wheels.

Closed “Loop” or Closed Distribution System – A shipping system that’s restricted to moving goods only between specified facilities.

Collar – Collapsible wooden container or bin used to change a pallet into a box.
Composite Pallets – Made from recycled plastic, ISPM compliant, durable and resistant to contamination.

Core Pallets –Pallet industry term for a used 48 X 40 wooden pallet, the size most commonly used in North America; most often purchased used.

Cost per Trip – Average cost of pallet or container use for a single one-way movement of the unit load.

Custom pallets – Designed for a customers’ specific needs often employing PDS software for the design.

Debarked Pallets (DB) – Debarked pallets are made from “debarked” wood, which has had the bark removed with a cutting tool, and the wood itself is left untreated. The IPPC originally required pallets to be identified with a DB stamp, but since most modern wood treatment requires debarking, the IPPC no longer requires this stamp. Pallets marked with the letters DB only are chemical-free and safe to use.

Deckboard – The boards in a pallet deck that are oriented perpendicular to the stringer or stringerboard.

Deflection – The amount of misshapement or bend in a pallet or pallet component under a load.

Double-Wing Pallet – A pallet with top and bottom deck boards that extend past the edges of the stringers or stringer boards .

Double–Face Pallet – A pallet comprised of an equal amount of top and bottom deck boards. Both sides of the pallet can be used.

Dwell Time Fee – Fee charged for the amount of time a customer has the pallet in their possession.

Economic Life – Output from the PDS program quantifying the number of trips a pallet is projected to make over its lifetime (assuming it is kept properly repaired) to maximize return on investment.

Exchange Pallet – (Commonly known as a pool pallet) A pallet designated for use between a specific group of shippers and receivers; pallet ownership is taken over with the ownership of the unit load.

Expendable Pallets – A pallet intended to be handled for a limited series of moves during a single unit load movement from shipper to receiver, after which it is discarded.

Fastener – A mechanical device used to join pallet components; fasteners could be nails, staples, bolts or screws.

Fastener Shear Index – Relative measure of the estimated shear resistance of a particular fastener relative to shear resistance of a high quality “base” nail.

Flush Pallet – A pallet in which the deckboards (boards perpendicular to the stringers or stringboards) are flush with the stringers, stringerboards or blocks along the sides of the pallet.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – regulation on sanitation and trace-ability in the food supply chain. Requires that transportation equipment be adequately cleanable for intended use to prevent food from becoming contaminated. The law’s record-keeping requirements are also expected to encourage pallet users to ask suppliers to provide more information about their manufacturing and delivery processes.

Fork Entry – The entry point between decks, beneath the top deck or beneath the stringer notch, to allow forks access.

Four-Way Block Pallet – A pallet in which openings at both ends and along the sides are sufficient to allow access for hand-pallet jacks; also known as a full four-way entry pallet.

Free Span – The distance between supports in a warehouse rack.

Half pallets – made of wood with metal brackets, offering merchandising opportunities to retailers and their product manufacturer suppliers. The half pallet makes sense in any heavily trafficked area.

Handling – Refers to pallet movement including a single pick-up, movement and set-down of a pallet, empty or loaded.

Hardwood – Any wood from broad-leaved species of trees.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) – guidelines regulating wooden pallet usage in food transport and storage to prevent contamination.

Heat Treatment – The wood in pallets that have been heat treated have been heated to a minimum core temperature of 133°F for softwoods and 140°C for hardwoods for a minimum of 30 minutes in a kiln.  HT pallets are not harmful to your health.

Some woods like cherry and oak release sap within the wood at these temperatures, coating the wood with a dark stain. Although the dark stain may make pallets appear old and worn, the pallets may be quite new. Heat treatment does not compromise the strength or durability of the wood or pallets.

heat treated pallet wheat stampISPM 15 – International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures Publication No. 15 – Guidelines for regulating wood packaging material in international trade. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) developed the ISPM 15 standard to prevent transporting and spreading disease and insects in international trade. The standard applies to wood packaging, such as pallets. The wood is heat treated or fumigated with heat, methyl bromide, debarked, or kiln dried. Heat treated pallets are stamped with a mark of compliance, sometimes referred to as the “wheat stamp”. Note that the stamp identifies the method used to treat the wood:

[HT] = Heat treatment / [MB] = Methyl Bromide / [DB] = Debarked / [KD] = Kiln Dried.

Kiln-Dried Pallets (KD) – Kiln-dried wood reduces the wood’s moisture content (19% or less) to control warping, fungal growth, and other quality features. Heated kiln-dried wood does not necessarily qualify as heat treated.  If however, the wood is also heated to a minimum core temperature of 133°F for softwoods and 140°C for hardwoods for a minimum of 30 minutes, the treatment code may reflect both Kiln-dried and Heat Treatment codes (i.e.  “KD-HT”).  KD pallets are not harmful to your health.

Leased Pallet Pooling Programs – Pallets are collected in a central location and leased to different parties. Programs outperform the buy/sell programs in terms of total cost and environmental impact.

Life to First Repair – The number of one-way trips of the pallet prior to requiring any repair.

Limited-Use Pallet – A pallet designed for an average of up to 9 trips with an average of 5 handlings per trip in an average environment.

Load Bearing Surface – The interface between the pallet top deck and the unit load supported by the pallet-interface between pallet bottom deck and pallet-supporting area.

Logistics – The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from point of origin or point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.

Metal Pallets – made from steel or aluminum. Used to transport heavy goods for air freight and at-sea storage. Used for heavy payloads, or for pallets that are rackable, fireproof, and/or sanitary.

Methyl Bromide Fumigated Pallets (MB) – Methyl bromide is a powerful pesticide that has been banned in Canada in the 1987 Montreal Protocol due to its link to human health problems and ozone layer depletion. Methyl Bromide fumigated pallets, identified by an MB marking may occasionally be received from Asia or Oceana. MB marked pallets should not be used for craft projects or firewood, and should be properly disposed of by a waste-removal company.

Multiple Use Pallet – A pallet designed for repeated uses for more than one unit load with an average minimum life-to-first repair of 10 trips or more with an average of 5 handlings per trip in an average handling environment.

Notch – The entry point for the fork lift; a cut in lower portion of the stringer, usually 22.86 cm, (9 in.) in length and 3.81 cm (.5 in.) in depth.
Notched Stringer: A stringer having two notches spaced to allow fork-tine access, (partial four-way entry).

NWCPA – The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association is a national association with the goal of promoting the design, manufacture, distribution, recycling, and sale of pallets, containers, and reels.

Pallet – A platform employed as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling, and transporting goods as a unit load; it is a portable, horizontal and rigid.

Pallet Cost – Varies based on material choice (wood, plastic, metal, composite), new versus used, pay per use (rental) versus purchase, pallet size and quality, availability etc.

Pallet Design System (PDS) – an engineering design software program by the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association that analyzes pallet performance, including strength, stiffness and durability. The PDS can design a pallet specifically for its intended use, so no material is wasted.

Pallet Life – The time period in which the pallet remains useful under given maintenance conditions calculated in units of time or in the number of one-way movements of the pallet.

Pallet Pools – responsible for retrieving, repairing and redistributing their pallets, or managing their own pool of recycled pallets.

Pallet Rental Companies – Pallets are rented to the user and are then returned to the company for repair and reuse.

Pallet Retrieval or Recovery Systems – used pallets are collected and refurbished for reuse.

Plastic Pallets – Plastic pallets are often made of new HDPE or recycled PET (drink bottles). They are much more expensive than wooden pallets.

Purpose of pallets – (1) help move and store materials quickly (2) reduce product damage and (3) minimize the risk of worker injury.

Racked Across Deckboards – A calculation where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the deckboards; the output from a PDS program describing the maximum load carrying capacity and the bend (deflection) of a pallet.

Racked Across Stringers – Output from the PDS© program describing the maximum load carrying capacity and deflection of a pallet where the rack frame supports the pallet only at the ends of the stringers or stringerboards.

Reclaimed Lumber – Wood that is retrieved from its original application for purposes of subsequent use. Most reclaimed lumber comes from decking rescued from reused pallets.

Recycled Pallet – A pallet, container or reel with more than one use, i.e. has been used, discarded, salvaged and repaired so it can be used again.

Remanufactured Pallets – Using reclaimed lumber to make a custom pallet from scratch.

Rental Pallet – A pallet rented from an owner, a third party, different from the actual pallet user.

Repaired Pallet – pallet with damaged components replaced with new or recycled components, in order to reuse it.

Returnable/Reusable Pallet – A pallet that can be used multiple times.

Reversible Pallet – A pallet in which the top and bottom decks are identical.

RFID Chips – read barcodes on each pallet used to locate and track pallets.

Shipping Pallet – A pallet that is used for a one-direction movement of the unit load from shipper to receiver. A one use pallet that is then recycled or disposed of.

Single Wing Pallet – A pallet where the top deck boards extend beyond the outer edges of the stringers or stringer boards; the bottom deck boards, if any, run flush with the outer edges. .

Skid – A single deck loading platform; i.e. it h no bottom deck.

Softwood – The type of wood found on coniferous or needle bearing species of trees.

Stringer – Used to support the parts of the deck – continuous, longitudinal, solid or notched beam-component of the pallet; often identified by its (the outside or center stringer.)

Stringer Pallets – a type of pallet with stringers between the deck boards or beneath the panel deck.

Transport Packaging – (1) stretch wrap (2) shrink wrap (3) banding

Trip –  The total number of times (4-6 handlings) a moved to complete moving a palletized unit load from the shipping point to the receiving point.

Unit Load – The goods on a pallet seen as a single entity; goods handled, moved, stored and stacked together.

Wing Pallets – Extension of deck board or deck end from the outer edge of the stringer used to increase unit-load area, to add pallet load-bearing capacity, to reduce deck board-end splitting by fasteners, or to facilitate the lifting of a pallet with bar slings hanging from a crane.