Pallets – Plastic Vs. Wood

There are now a few varieties of pallets that businesses can use nowadays, with the majority of pallets in circulation being manufactured from either plastic or from wood.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both pallet types, some of which will be discussed here in this short article that looks at the pros and cons of each pallet type.

If you have need of pallets in your line of business, for example an import-export business, then the following benefits will likely prove food for thought for you.


With regards to price, wood nearly always emerges as the victor. Wood pallets are generally, though not always, much cheaper than plastic pallets, but you have to be careful when buying secondhand wood pallets as they are often damaged and don’t always represent an ideal investment, quite unlike using a reputable but cheap pallet delivery service to deliver your pallets on your behalf.

However, wood pallets are very easily repaired in most cases – you can simply replace a broken or missing slat – which is certainly something to take into account.


As pallets are prone to getting damaged when transporting heavy loads, it’s important to be able to repair damaged pallets so as to protect the investment that you have made in them. In this regard, wood pallets once again emerge victorious as they’re so much easier to repair than plastic pallets, which usually aren’t repairable at all.

This is because you can’t replace a single slat, as you can with a wood pallet, which means that the entire pallet will need to be replaced if it’s damaged.


Plastic pallets are the clear victor here as they’re much easier to clean than wood pallets. This is why you never see wood pallets being used to transport food stuffs anymore, as they’re just not easily cleaned like plastic pallets are.

To clean a plastic pallet, you can use a variety of techniques, with a high-power pressure spray the method of choice among most business owners that require clean, often hygienic, pallets to transport food stuffs.

Heat treatment

 A similar consideration to the point made above. Timber pallets that are used to transport good across international borders need to be heat treated, which is one of many things that you needn’t worry about when using plastic pallets.

A notable disadvantage to using wood pallets when transporting goods internationally is the time it takes at each border crossing to check whether the pallets have been heat treated.

This is why most export-import businesses exclusively use plastic pallets, to avoid the downtime that using wood pallets is often found to incur at border crossings.


Both pallet types – plastic and wood pallets – have their advantages and disadvantages to offer business organisations reliant upon expedient logistics and quality materials.

However, it must be said that plastic pallets appear to offer more advantages for business owners in the long-term, making them a more suitable investment for most businesses, especially those that import or export goods across international borders.

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