Let’s Compare: Plastic and Timber Pallets

The benefits of plastic or timber pallets will vary for everyone, depending on their application.

2 way entry plastic pallet
standard wooden pallet

Timber Versus Plastic

The last decade has seen a substantial interest in plastic pallets due to their durability and ability to be cleaned and reused endlessly. Most of our customers have known us to be timber manufacturers (and we have been for over 40 years) but, that doesn’t mean we’ll steer you towards thinking that timber is better. From our point of view, it’s about choosing the right packaging solution where you can reap more benefits from. So… What’s better for you, then – plastic or timber pallets?

Base Your Choice on Your Needs

Sending Goods Locally Versus Exporting Overseas

When you’re exporting timber pallets, you’ll need to ensure that they are ISPM 15 certified which isn’t a big deal however, if you’re fussed about the paperwork – plastic pallets are the way to go as they’re ready to be exported as they are. 

Need to minimise freight costs?

If your freight will be charged by weight, plastic pallets should be your choice as they are significantly lighter than timber. 

Standard Versus Custom-Made

If you need a specific size or the standard size won’t suffice – choose timber pallets. Plastic pallets have set, standard sizes and can’t be modified unless there’s significant volume required. Timber pallets, on the other hand, can be custom-made to any size and manufactured within a few days.  

Need to reuse?

Timber pallets can be reused overtime but can’t be cleaned properly. So, if you need to reuse the pallets or replace them for cleaner ones, then plastic would be the better choice. This prevents more waste being created by the disposal of timber pallets after only a few uses. Plastic pallets also even last for a decade or more if they’re handled and cared for correctly. 

Pallet Strength

Some heavy-duty plastic pallets can hold up to 2 tonnes whereas a timber pallet can be custom-made to carry any weight you need. Whether it’s a lightweight 300kg or a heavy 30-tonne load – timber pallets can hold the most flexible range of weight. 

Do you want to pay less upfront?

The initial, up-front cost of a timber pallet is likely to be cheaper than a plastic pallet. Think about how your investment will serve you in the long run. 

Another question you could take into consideration is the demand that your customers are asking for. Again, the Plastic Versus Timber Pallet Debate really comes down to what works best for you. This is something that our team are here to help you with so, don’t hesitate emailing or calling to get some help!