Different Types of Pallets

Standard Wooden Pallet Styles

Stringer Pallets

Stringer pallets use three parallel pieces of timber (called stringers). The top deckboards are then affixed to the stringers to create the pallet structure. Forklifts can lift a stringer pallet from all four directions, though lifting by the stringers is more secure.

  • Double Face Reversible Pallets
  • Double Face Non-Reversible Pallets
  • Single Face Pallets

Block Pallets (Designed for greater pallet-moving accessibility)

Block pallets (also referred to as Manoj pallets) are typically stronger than stringer pallets. Block pallets utilize both parallel and perpendicular stringers to better facilitate efficient handling.

Standard Wooden Pallet Deck Styles

  • Flush
  • Double Wing
  • Single Wing

Standard Wooden Pallet Entry Types

  • 2-Way

A pallet with un-notched solid stringers, allowing forklift entry only from the two opposite pallet ends.

  • 4-Way

A pallet with notched solid stringers, allowing forklift entry from both ends and both sides.

Standard Pallet Construction Materials

The cheapest pallets are made of softwood and are often considered expendable, to be discarded as trash along with other wrapping elements at the end of the trip. These pallets are simple stringer pallets, and lift-able from two sides. Slightly more complex hardwood block pallets and plastic pallets can be lifted from all four sides. These heavier-duty pallets are often color coded according to the loads they can bear.

Wooden pallet construction specifications can depend on the pallet’s intended use: General, FDA, storage, chemical, export; the expected load weight; type of wood desired: recycled, hard, soft, kiln Dried or combo (new & recycle); and even the type of fasteners desired to hold the pallet together: staples or nails.

Plastic pallets are often made of new HDPE or recycled PET (drink bottles). They are usually extremely durable, lasting for a hundred trips or more, and resist weathering, rot, chemicals, corrosion and bacterial contamination. They often stack (nestable). Plastic pallets are exempt by inspection for biosafety concerns, and easily sanitize for international shipping. HDPE is impervious to most acids and toxic chemicals, and relatively easy to clean. Some plastic pallets can collapse from plastic creep if used to store heavy loads for long periods. Plastic pallets cannot easily be repaired, and can be ten times as expensive as hardwood, so they are often used by logistics service providers who can profit from their durability and stackability.