5 Things to Consider When Switching to Recycled Pallets

5 Things to Consider When Switching to Recycled Pallets

When companies have actually got to move and deliver large levels of merchandise they’ll complete a great deal of product packaging materials to get their consignments securely and easily to their location.

A vast array of these materials might essentially be used as soon as possible and then disposed of when the crates reach their destination however this is certainly a real waste. Ecologically focussed businesses would rather choose to use recycled pallets so that they can reuse them several times for all of their packaging products.

When compared to standard wood pallets which can frequently be disposed of as soon as they have been utilized, recycled pallets guarantee that the wood used at first to produce the product packaging is recycled and utilized again for product packaging functions.

Pallets and crates that have been produced from recycled wood are just as robust, sturdy, and easy to use as basic shipping crates and pallets and so the sole distinction is that you are doing your bit for the environment by choosing these items.

Another manner in which companies can recycle their wooden crates and pallets and not needing to recycle them is to brand them so that they can easily be recognized. This will enable the business to recover the product packaging products as soon as the goods have been transported for them to use them again to ship more items. Branding with logo designs, names, as well as colors, can be efficient on the wood pallets.

If businesses are not sure how to go about recycling pallets the best thing to do would be to talk to their product packaging supplier who will recommend them the best kind of pallets and packing crates to suit their requirements.

As an example, you’ll discover off-the-shelf pallet sizes and designs to pick from or businesses can choose to have custom packaging solutions to permit large items or those of an awkward shape or delicate nature.

The most essential thing when dealing with wooden packaging is to guarantee it is sustainable, eco-friendly and to think about recycling pallets anywhere possible to decrease waste.

With lumber costs at record highs and no end in sight, we have actually been talking about ways to reduce your company’s pallet costs. If you desire instant gratification, switch to recycled pallets, a move that can cut as much as half from your pallet investment.

But like any crucial decision, you do not want to jump in feet first. There are literally numerous suppliers of recycled pallets and much like snowflakes, every one is different. The right provider is based on your needs and how well the supplier’s abilities line up. Here are 5 things you should know when selecting a recycled pallet supplier.

1) Does The Potential Provider Have The Know-How and Resources to Examine Your Pallet Requirements?

Changing from new to recycled pallets provides you the opportunity to examine the pallets you’re presently using and figure out if they’re the right ones for the job. This is especially handy if there have been modifications in your operation such as automation, brand-new line of product, or retail client requirements.

Ask your potential provider to visit your center to evaluate your current pallets and then suggest the best-recycled pallet specification( s) for you. An expert service must be done to guarantee you get the optimum pallets and prices.

2) How Skilled is The Supplier With Retail Requirements?

Pallets play an important role in the supply chain. Sellers– particularly bigger gamers– are particular about pallets. Ensure a prospective provider understands the subtleties of an individual merchant’s requirements and is prepared to respond with suitable pallets.

3) How Carefully Do The Supplier’s Recycled Pallet Specifications Line Up With What You Presently Use?

Recycled pallet specifications for recycled pallet providers goes hand-in-hand with number one. Specifications differ from one pallet provider to the next. This is particularly true of recycled pallets.

A Premium A grade to one company might be a requirement A grade to another. Make certain you get a supplier’s specs in writing to ensure positioning in regards to the size, quality, and performance you need.

If your company is nationwide or regional, ask prospective providers how they ensure their pallet grades correspond from one location to the next. Some suppliers– like Pasadena Skid & Pallets– have actually published specifications and formal quality programs in place to make sure constant specifications despite where the pallets originate.

4) Does The Supplier Have The Capability to Keep You Provided?

The majority of recycled pallet providers are regional or local companies. Some will use nationwide coverage through alliances with other providers.

If your company is nationwide, a provider with nationwide capabilities is more effective as it simplifies your pallet management and ultimately decreases the time and expense of working.

Our Quality control Program ensures the best pallet– every time! We take pride in our long-term relationship with many of our customers. We arrange our production to meet their requirements and pursue on-time shipment– each time! Our policy is to please our client– each time!

5) How Does The Provider Manage Order Positioning, Tracking, Verification, and Billing?

Recycled pallet services and order fulfillment much of the pallet industry, new and recycled, is paper-based, a system that does not line up well with consumers that are well supported by functional IT or procedures that have actually moved beyond paper and telephones. Too, paper-based systems include the cost to a company’s supply chain. I’m discussing order precision and time invested in tracking, validating, and billing pallet orders.

Undoubtedly, the much better a recycled pallet provider’s digital abilities, the much better off you will be, even if it’s something as easy as electronic bills of lading.

At Pasadena Skid & Pallet, we’re lucky that our leadership team is obsessed with being early adopters of all manner of service-enhancing supply chain technology. We utilize PDS, a computer-aided design software, which helps us to manufacture pallets to our client’s requirements for their exact load needs. We likewise use additional services such as pallet management, recycling, pallet disposal, products managing assessments, vendor-managed stock, and much more.

The Power of Pallets

The Power of Pallets

Over the years pallets have become a significant part of our global economy. Without really thinking about it pallets are a major part of our everyday lives. The furniture we have, the food we buy, has all been transported on pallets. That is unless you make your own furniture or grow your own food.

So imagine a world without pallets. The cost of canned foods would probably be significantly more just because employees would have to transport 3 to 4 cans at a time. Even orders you make online would have to be handled individually. Without pallets, the cost would be higher, labor would be increased, and products would take longer to arrive at your doorstep.

Pallets make this whole process more convenient and I mean who doesn’t want that. However, pallets were not just made convenient for the consumers or for entertainment. No, pallets were fueled by war.

Pallets Fueled By War

During WWII, the need to supply troops stationed from Europe to the pacific was indeed a challenge. The United States military had to transport everything the soldiers needed, from toilet paper to tanks, to any other necessities had to be transported over longer distances than ever before.

The U.S. military encountered obstacles along the way. Canned produce was transported overseas in the open. By the time the goods reached their destination, the goods were corroded or damaged and with a loss rate of about 40%.

In April of 1942, a large number of Filipino and U.S troops were forced to surrender due to disease and malnutrition. The supply chain had broken down, canned foods were becoming damaged or corroded once the goods arrived at their destination so the troops were left without food and other supplies they needed in order to fight.

A Navy Supply Corps officer named Norman Cahners invented the four-way pallet. This invention featured notches cut in the side of pallets so that forklifts could pick up pallets with ease and from any direction. Forklift trucks eliminated workers from lining up and loading the pallets onto the forklift.

Then came the invention of block pallets that were an improvement from the four-way pallets used during WWII. The pallet deck boards rest on sturdy blocks rather than on cross boards which make it even easier for forklift trucks and pallet jacks to lift pallets from any angle.

However, not every company uses this new approach. Block pallets cost more to build than long cross-board pallets. The use of block pallets is only used in Europe. The U.S. argues that it does not make sense for rental companies to get into that business because the supply chain between raw materials and workers takes too much time and the volumes tend to be smaller.

Pallets Fuel The World

The defeat in the Pacific made the military realize the importance of supplying the troops. The modernization of pallets started with wooden pallets and the forklift. The use of the forklift and wooden pallets was the most significant and revolutionary storage development of the war. No more damaged goods and supplies were transported with ease.

So why are pallets such a significant part of our global economy? Well for starters, pallets are efficient and:

  • The perfect partner for forklifts
  • Shippers can combine different products into one pallet
  • Unloading pallets is a lot faster than unloading individual items
  • Efficient packaging led to efficiencies on the receiving end.

Pallets were designed to work together with the forklift. The arms of a forklift can be inserted on each side of the pallets eliminating the need for workers to turn around and line them up. Forklift trucks allowed products to be moved, stacked and stored with immense speed and versatility.

Online shoppers are profitable now because they are able to combine small items into one package instead of handling each item individually. Now consumers are able to receive their items in as little as a day.

In 1931, workers took three days to unload a boxcar filled with 13,000 cases of goods. When pallets were introduced, it only took the workers 4 hours to complete.

Warehouses were able to standardize their processes for using forklifts to unload pallets and deliver them with ease to their designated areas around the warehouse.

Pallets are everywhere. As much as 80% of all U.S. commerce is transported on pallets. They are a widespread use and more than 46% are used in U.S. hardwood lumber production.

So you see, pallets have fueled not only the war but the entire world. Pallets are efficient and can greatly reduce shipping costs. Many companies like Ikea have been able to ship more supplies in a single pallet, this reduced their shipping cost by 60%.

The Future of Pallets

The future of pallets is bright just like the past and present. In fact, statistics show:

  • More than two billion pallets are in circulation in the U.S.
  • Approximately 94% of U.S products travel on pallets
  • More than 46% of U.S. lumber production is used to build pallets
  • Wooden pallets have a recycling rate of 95%, that’s more than any other packaging product.
  • The production and transportation of wooden pallets make up a $31 billion industry and create 173,000 U.S. jobs.

So it’s clear that pallets won’t become extinct anytime soon. As a matter of fact, recycled pallets are actually in high demand at companies with strong sustainability programs and cost reduction strategies. Companies like the Pasadena Skid & Pallet are constantly innovating and recycling pallets every day.

Wooden pallets are sustainable over a long period of time if taken good care of. Wood is the only renewable source that we have available. Wooden pallets are eco-friendly and durable to beat loading and unloading platforms as well as transporting from one place to another with ease.

Wooden pallets use a minimal amount of energy, water, and other resources are needed to convert wood into usable wooden pallets. Moreover, wooden pallets consume low-grade lumber and trees. Pasadena Skid & Pallet can provide an SFI or FSC Certified Wooden pallets at additional charges.

Pallets are one of the best inventions of the world along with others that have fueled and grown our economy to what it is today. Pallets have sustained longevity by supplying our needs and reducing costs while also increasing efficiency. Pallets will be the main global trade in our economy for a long time.

How To Safely Work With Pallets

How To Safely Work With Pallets

Pallets are used worldwide and are one of the most important tools. However, they can be dangerous if you do not handle them safely. Pallets that are used in supply chain operations can lead to punctured wounds, sprained ankles, broken toes, or more severe life-threatening injuries. If pallets are used for purposes such as a man lift, the results could be tragic. With over billions of pallets circulating in the United States, warehouse employees should take precautionary steps to avoid injury.

Never Man Lift Pallets

Pallets should never be handled by a man lift. Only use approved engineering platforms like a forklift after having enough training and receiving a certificate. Pallets may be designed to hold 2,800 pounds or more so these heavy loads should be used by a machine not by a man lift.

Make Sure Employees Are Properly Trained

Monitor the worker’s performance to ensure that workers are using safety guidelines and not taking shortcuts.

Furthermore, proper training for handling powerful tools should be implemented to prevent untrained employees from injuring themselves or others and possibly damaging the mechanical equipment.

Never Leave Pallets Standing

Empty pallets standing on end are unstable and cause injury to your foot or leg if they tip over.

Wear Protective Clothing

Always wear gloves when handling pallets and protective shoes so that a pallet does not fall and injure your foot or get splinters from not wearing gloves. Be sure to always wear personal protective equipment to prevent common injuries such as hand, foot, and back injuries.

Some facilities authorize a soft landing for pallets that are placed on the floor to avoid the noise from damaging the employee’s ears. DO NOT drop or bang pallets.

Do Not Use Damaged Pallets

If pallets are damaged or not appropriate for the job, they should be immediately removed from the workplace. Set aside damaged or substandard pallets for use in repair or recycling. If damaged or substandard pallets end up being used, they could cause serious injuries especially when placed on a high shelf with a heavy load.

Furthermore, inspect the pallets for any defects such as loose nails, splinters, or cracks. Discard or put damaged pallets aside for recycling or repair.

Always Clean Up Debris From Pallets

Broken or damaged pallets can cause slip and fall hazards and instability for handling material equipment. Debris in pallets can cause damage to the wheels of equipment. Always keep the warehouse clean to prevent dangerous accidents from happening.

Be Extremely Cautious When Standing On Pallets

Warehouse workers standing on a pallet could be injured if the deck board breaks or if the worker’s foot gets caught between the deck boards. Depending on the design of the pallets, some nine leg design pallets may be prone to tipping over when empty.

Use a Pick Hook

To avoid getting injured while stepping on a pallet, use a pick hook to reach the back of a pallet. This tool prevents a pallet from tipping over from a weight imbalance.

Be Careful When Stepping in Between Pallets

Some warehouses store their pallets side by side in storage racks so workers may step between or on pallets when accessing pallets. If the workers are not careful they can potentially get injured on the knees or ankles if they lose balance while stepping between pallets.

Manage The Risk When Manually Lifting Pallets

Pallets vary greatly in weight and size. Lightweight pallets can be lifted by one employee but heavier pallets are more common in the workplace and can be a hazard if they are not lifted safely.

If the warehouse does not have a forklift employees should be encouraged to work together and lift the pallet to prevent an injury from occurring.

Also, make sure that pallets are loaded with even weight distribution and do not exceed the maximum weight capacity when loading or stacking manually.

Don’t Stack Pallets Too High

The workers should not stack the pallets too high if they are stacking or unstacking pallets manually. Pallets should be stacked by a maximum of 4 feet to make handling a pallet easier and avoid potential injuries.

Also, have a forklift separate full stacks of pallets in half. Moreover, ensure the pallets are stacked flat and in stable piles when not in use.

Make Sure That Pallets Slide Freely

Ensure that pallets slide freely when tipping the pallet slightly to make sure that the pallet does not get snagged on a protruding nail.

It is better to have a co-worker assist you when manually moving a wood pallet off a stack.

Use Mechanized Equipment When Available

Forklifts and automated pallet dispensers are powerful tools of equipment designed to handle the weight of pallets with ease. It is better to use these powerful tools of equipment to avoid the risk of injury.

Be Cautious When Lifting a Pallet

When you lift a pallet, keep it vertical and close to your torso to maintain a close center of balance. DO NOT hold a pallet out from your body, you could end up getting injured.

Handle With Care When Entering The Facility With Pallets

When using a power jack to enter with pallets, make sure the stability of a load of merchandise by entering squarely. Be aware that when entering you may be pushing the pallet forward and potentially into another worker. Some facilities, however, implement a warning honk to alert other workers before entering with a new load of pallets.

Do not leave pallets on areas that need to be accessed, such as doorways, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, switch boxes, and emergency equipment.

Conclusion

Handling pallets is a daily task in many warehouses. Additionally, working with pallets can present hazards to workers and people that handle pallets daily. Workers can potentially suffer from cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from damaged pallets. Moreover, workers can also suffer injuries from broken pallets, and dropping pallets can cause potential damage to the equipment and workers.

Safely handling pallets in workplaces ensure a safe environment. Whether you’re the owner of the workplace, an employee, or someone that uses pallets regularly, you should ensure safety procedures are implemented and taught.

Are Wooden Pallets Safe For Transporting Food?

Are Wooden Pallets Safe For Transporting Food?

Pallets are extremely important. They are used to ship food and beverage products or any other goods.

The requirements for shipping pallets are unique and many manufacturers demand that pallets are of high quality for packaging and transportation.

Using wooden pallets for the food industry has come under scrutiny for some years from consumers and from the supply decision-makers.

Wood or Plastic?

It has also been refuted that the coarse surfaces of wooden pallets are more susceptible to microbial contamination.

However, there has been evidence to show that wear on plastic pallets which are a common feature of re-used plastic pallets are ideal for bacterial growth.

Therefore, wood has certain hygienic properties that in turn prevent micro-organisms from spreading.

When used properly, wooden pallets have an antibacterial property that is thirteen times more than plastic pallets.

It is, therefore, safe to conclude that the use of wooden pallets for raw materials, or any other products are suitable for use in food processing and transport.

However, the use of pallets for transport on raw materials and other food products requires strict adherence to the hygiene regulations and standards that apply to the transport, production, and storage of food materials. This includes continuous control of pallet quality and regular cleaning.

Whether or not you decide to use wooden pallets for your supply chain, there is a couple of safety concerns to consider.

If you do decide to use wooden pallets for your food industry then find out how to safely manage their handling to ensure that there are no contaminants.

Can The Use of Wooden Pallets Cause Food Contamination?

There has not been any evidence related to the use of wood pallets causing food-borne illnesses.

Research suggests that wood pallets are safer than plastic or any other alternatives because non-absorbent material pallets leave contaminants on the surface of the pallet posing a greater risk of cross-contamination than contaminants being absorbed into wooden pallets.

How Can Wooden Pallets Be Contaminated?

Wet wooden pallets that have reached the fiber saturation point will not be absorbed. They will also be vulnerable to mold.

There was a pallet company from a couple of years ago that analyzed their wood pallets and found evidence of Listeria, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants. This had sparked a chord with the media and the public which had a fear of potential food contamination.

Therefore, if the wooden pallets had not been properly stored, they will run a greater risk of contamination.

How to Eliminate Splinters in Wood Pallets

It may not be possible for a lot of food companies to eliminate wooden pallets in their production site. So control measures are implemented to avoid contamination of the finished product and raw materials.

The most common measures to control splinters from wooden pallets include:

  • Rotating regularly
  • Inspecting & removing damaged wooden pallets.
  • Keeping Wooden pallets dry at all times
  • Sanitizing wooden pallets
  • Putting a robust barrier layer between the wooden pallet and food product or raw material.

Ensure that your wooden pallets are safe to use by regularly reviewing, assessing, and practicing daily, weekly, or monthly checks to ensure that it is safe to use on raw materials or any products it comes in contact with.

Should Food Be in Direct Contact With Wooden Pallets?

The safety of having food products in direct contact with wooden pallets has been debated. There has also been a successful use of frozen bar sticks, wood cutting boards, wooden spoons, and more. There has also been a debate that wood is porous so it will be harder to sanitize.

To ensure any contaminants, food works best when its packaged inside a box rather than in direct contact with food.

When Food safety auditors are not concerned with food, they are most interested in pallets that are dry, clean, and in good repair so that the pallet will not puncture or protrude any nail heads or splinters.

The Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food Safety Modernization Act requires that all pallets should not contaminate food. However, this does not imply to pallets that are not in direct contact or are sanitized.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials state:

  • All pallets shall be checked for damage and contaminants.
  • All Unacceptable pallets shall be discarded.
  • Any wooden pallet that comes into contact with finished products or raw materials will be discarded and not allowed to contaminate the product.
  • Wooden pallets shall be sound, dry clean, and free from damage and contamination.

The FSMA requires that the vehicle transporting food is designed to not cause any contamination or for the food to become unsafe for consumption.

Temperature controls and procedures to prevent cross-contamination of food must be implemented, developed, and followed. Contamination between ready to eat food and raw food is to be prevented. Food that is a potential allergen must not be transported in the same load as the food that is manufactured to be free of that allergen.

Employee training and carrier training should have training in sanitary transport practices. This training applies to when the carrier and shipper agree that the carrier is responsible for the safety of the food.

The FSMA implements sanitary practices to both the food carriers, manufacturers, and processors.

The FSMA states that Procedures, agreements, and training should be documented and records should be maintained. The length of time will vary depending on the record and when the activity occurred.

Pallet suppliers are now developing processes to ensure that pallets are kept clean and dry until they are delivered to the customer. They are also advised to follow a process just to ensure that the wooden pallets are safe and undergo handling and inspection.

Alternatives to Wooden Pallets

Customers are concerned with wooden pallets contaminating their food supply and are looking for a lower risk of contamination. Some are looking for high-quality plastic or non-wood pallets just to make sure their food supply does not come into any contaminants.

However, wooden pallets have not had any evidence of food contamination and are safer to use in contact with food than any other non-wooden pallet.

Wood Pellet Market Expands To Minimize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Wood Pellet Market Expands To Minimize Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The demand for wood pellets is getting a boost. As global warming awareness reaches new heights and greenhouse gas emissions are minimized, governments the world over are moving to lower their climate change impact.

To encourage the adoption of renewable resources, tax incentive programs are being offered all across the globe. These incentives include state sales tax exemption, corporate income tax deduction, local property tax exemption, and state income tax credit, to name a few.

It’s no surprise then that wood pellets are increasing in popularity for their heating applications. Since this process takes us away from dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels, heating applications of wood pellets are good for the environment and the wood pellet market.

By using biomass for heating applications in both residential and industrial establishments, the pellet fuel global market is expanded and boosted.

What Is Biomass?

Biomass energy refers to energy produced by a material that is living or was recently alive. Wood is one such material. The use of biomass as an energy source is encouraged because it minimizes our dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels. The use of wood pellets as a biomass energy source is a sustainable and beneficial act that adheres to responsible agriculture and forestry practices.

When it comes to considering a carbon footprint, biomass energy is ideal because it creates something called a “closed carbon cycle.” A closed carbon cycle occurs because biomass material takes carbon as it grows but returns the carbon when it’s burned. Thus, a closed cycle.

Wood pellets are just one example of biomass energy that contributes to and encourage environmentally-friendly practices.

Use Of Wood Pellets Incentivized

Talk of climate change, carbon footprints, and sustainability are ubiquitous. In response, governments are offering both support and incentives to non-profits, businesses, and organizations that engage in responsible operating practices.

This support comes not only in the form of tax incentives, but also from subsidies,  grants, funding programs, and the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS).

These incentives and programs are giving the wood pellets market a boost. Such a heavy focus on renewable energy sources and environmental responsibility will only benefit the global wood pellets market in the months and years to come.

Noteworthy Developments In Wood Pellets Market

Below are some further developments in the global wood pellet market:

  • U.S.-based pallet manufacturer PalletOne, Inc. acquired North East Texas Pallet, improving both the customer service experience and efficiency.
  • South Alabama-based Westervelt Company expanded its lumber manufacturing capacity and is set to produce 250 million feet of lumber per year.
  • AAR won an order from USAF worth $27.5 million for cargo pallets.

The global wood pellets market is expected to be valued at around $14.5 billion by 2027. Wide use in heating applications and the current popularity of pellet fuel as an ethical, environmentally-friendly practice should continue to drive the market.

Although solar and wind energy has received a lot of attention in recent years, biomass energy is still less capital-intensive and therefore more appealing in many sectors.

Wooden Pallets: An Eco-Friendly Alternative To Plastic

Wooden Pallets: An Eco-Friendly Alternative To Plastic

At any given time, there are an estimated 4 billion pallets circulating in the United States. With these numbers in mind, the environmental impact is significant. But there is a long-standing debate over whether plastic or wood pallets are more eco-friendly.

To get to the bottom of this mystery, Penn State researchers conducted an in-depth study of comparisons between the two materials. As a result, they have determined that wood pallets are more sustainable and eco-friendly than pallets made from plastic.

The Study

The Penn State study involved a “life-cycle assessment” for both plastic and wood pallets. Some of the factors taken into consideration were the environmental impact of resources consumed and released emissions. To further gauge environmental impact, Penn State researchers considered the following factors: aquatic ecotoxicity, non-renewable energy, global warming, and influence on ozone layer depletion.

Their findings were published in the Journal Of Industrial Technology and established that wooden pallets create a slightly lower carbon footprint than plastic pallets. One important consideration is how wooden pallets are treated. For example, heat-treated wooden pallets have a carbon footprint 20-30% smaller than those treated with methyl bromide fumigation.

Although plastic pallets tend to have a longer life cycle than wooden pallets, the sources they are derived from make their carbon imprint significant. Although the wooden and plastic pallet industries have conducted their own sustainability studies in the past, the Penn State study was intended to provide an unbiased alternative.

The Big Picture

As the globe moves toward more environmentally sustainable practices and considers carbon footprints, studies like the one by Penn State are necessary and beneficial. With millions of pallets circulating at any given time, understanding the environmental impacts of these items is important.

Although the superior sustainability of wooden pallets is labeled as “slight” by the Penn State study, experts remind us that taking small, deliberate steps in the right direction is far more effective than doing nothing at all. 

Wooden pallets are used in a wide variety of ways and are in integral aspect of the transportation of necessary goods in the supply chain. Pallet reuse is common, and durable, high-quality wooden pallets can effectively last a long time. 

Wood: An Eco-Friendly Choice

It’s no secret that wood is one of the most eco-friendly materials on the planet. Wood can be recycled into any number of things and grows naturally. Even if a wooden pallet has reached the end of the line in terms of shipping, it can be repurposed in any number of useful ways. 

It’s also quite simple to refurbish a worn-out wooden pallet. This makes wooden pallets a cost-effective choice with a lot of potential for longevity and sustainability. When synthetic material is rejected in favor of wood, carbon emissions are impacted in a positive way. 

Wood is not only less expensive and more durable than plastic, its carbon footprint makes it the clear eco-friendly option. By reducing costs and carbon emissions, wooden pallets help impact an organization’s carbon footprint, and the environment, in a positive way.

Pallets In A Pandemic

Pallets In A Pandemic

We all know that hospital staff, grocers, and first-responders are essential workers. But the pallet industry is extremely important in this, and every time. Pallet factory workers are indeed unsung (and mostly unseen) heroes. But why exactly do we need pallets in a pandemic?

Pallets Make The World Go Round

While pallets might not actually cause the Earth to spin on its axis, they certainly help humanity and all its necessities run a whole lot smoother. Supply chains depend on pallets and factory workers to keep our grocery stores and cupboards full of all the necessities.

Items like toilet paper, medical supplies, and just about anything else you can think of coming to us courtesy of pallets. Pallet factory workers help keep supply chains in working order, getting necessary items and critical supplies where they’re needed when they’re needed.

Pallets In A Pandemic: Going The Extra Mile

Sometimes, a single pallet factory might be responsible for items as diverse as food packaging, poultry, and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment like masks, shields, and gloves.)

Deliveries that arrive on time are perhaps more critical now than ever, and the pallet workers behind the operation are doing amazing work in these trying times. Naturally, they too are required to amend their practices and procedures, committing to high safety and sanitation standards as they continue to do their jobs.

Pallet factories have had to shift their priorities, too. In the age of Covid-19, some pallet workers place special emphasis on protective gear, medical supplies, sanitizers, and soap. Other factories oversee grocery store distribution. They are tasked with the incredibly important task of ensuring that the American people get their necessities.

For some pallet factories, this current season has outdone even the holidays in terms of volume and demand. An important aspect of this increased activity is educating all employees to make sure they remain safe and healthy while providing their essential services to the public.

Pallets In A Pandemic: Rising To The Challenge

In addition to the additional safety measures, gloves, masks, and sanitation efforts, many pallet factories have gone to great lengths to buoy their hardworking staff. Some of these measures include:

  • Increase in hourly pay for workers
  • Making hand sanitizer available to all staff, even when in high-demand
  • Setting up health screenings upon entry to the factories
  • Providing masks to all staff
  • Offering bonuses to management
  • Given gift certificates and lunches to staff to boost morale
  • Personally thanking workers and expressing gratitude
  • Ensuring all workers are taken care of through emergency leave

In this difficult time, there are countless industries whose staff work tirelessly to keep Americans safe and sufficiently-supplied.

Pallet factories and their workers are no exception. Their dedication and commitment in this stressful time are what help keep America going strong in uncertain seasons like these.

Five Reasons to Choose Custom Packaging for Your Business

If you run a business that packs and ships items, you’re already familiar with the need for
custom packaging. When it comes to packaging your products, one size does not fit all.
Having a variety of packaging material, shapes and sizes at your disposal is important so you
can avoid waste and escalated shipping costs. If you’ve considered personalized packaging
but worry that it will strain your budget, you’ll be thrilled to know that custom packaging can
actually help you save money. Here are five ways custom packaging can benefit your business.

1) It’s Ideal For Fragile Items

Fragile items require custom packaging. You never want to take short-cuts when packing and
shipping a fragile item, so sturdiness and durability are key factors to consider. Many custom
packages are made from wood, a superb option when sending valuable and fragile items.
Using wood packaging for these kinds of products ensures that they will reach their destination
whole and in pristine condition. Items damaged in transit as a result of improper packing
methods can be a nightmare for both you and the buyer – one you want to avoid at all costs.

2) It Can Save You Money

The options with standard packaging are limited. If you’ve been shipping small or lightweight
items using standard packaging, it’s quite possible you’ve been wasting money. With custom
packaging, your options increase considerably. With more packaging choices, you can find just
the right materials to suit a specific item. Custom packaging can also qualify you for
discounted rates at both the post office and other shipping companies.

3) You’ll Get Customized Packing Materials

The protective materials you use are just as important as the package itself. When shipping
products to a customer, you want to be sure those products arrive in perfect condition and are
presented in an appealing, responsible manner. Your customer’s first impression won’t be the
item itself – it will be the care and thought that went into the package and the packing
materials. The right custom packaging and protection items send a clear message to the
customer that your company is meticulous, instilling further confidence in your product and
reputation.

4) You Can Promote Your Logo

With custom packaging, you can incorporate your company logo into the mix. Whether you
opted for corrugated cardboard or wood, if packaging is being created specifically for your
company, your logo can easily be assigned to your order. Along with the quality of packaging
and protective materials, having your logo on the package indicates to your customers that
they are receiving a quality item from a professional, thoughtful source.

5) It’s Perfect For Heavy Or Unusually-Shaped Items

Standard packaging won’t always meet the quality requirements you need to protect very
heavy or oddly-shaped items. If you have a product that fits one of these descriptions, your
most efficient, effective option is custom packaging and custom protective materials. Your
customer will greatly appreciate the extra thought and precision that went into guaranteeing
the safety of their item.

How to Stay Safe Around a Loading Dock: Top Eight Loading Dock Safety Tips

Loading docks, regardless of the setting, are dangerous because they’re typically busy most of the time.

In fact, the # 1 cause of ¼ of all warehouse injuries results from a busy loading dock area combined with human error. For this reason, it’s extremely important to practice safety protocol when working on or near a busy loading dock.

Here are 8 crucial loading dock safety tips to follow to ensure your safety as well as others around you.

Top Eight Loading Dock Safety Tips

#1. Properly train employees

It all starts with properly trained employees. If all employees are properly trained, it cuts back on accidents due to a lack of knowledge. Training employees on the proper use of PPE and other safety procedures is the best way to reduce work-related injuries that could otherwise occur when not properly trained.

#2. Wear your PPE at all times

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a basic protocol. It’s often inconvenient to employees but is extremely important since it reduces the risk of injury. PPE includes protective eyewear (safety glasses), high visibility vests, gloves, hardhats, and other protective equipment.

#3. ALWAYS keep area clean and dry

A dry and clean area is vital for a safe work environment since slip and falls are often caused by a dirty or wet work environment. When there is nothing to slip or trip over, it reduces the chances of work-related injuries on or near loading docs.

#4. Inspect equipment regularly

Regularly scheduled inspections on equipment are important to ensure there are no malfunctions or problems with working equipment. If not properly maintained, equipment such as pallet jacks, forklifts, and other loading equipment could seriously injure or kill workers. That’s why this is one of the most important precautions to take.

#5. Follow standard procedure

It’s important to make sure you and everyone on your team is practicing proper safety procedures because this reduces the chance of unnecessary accidents that could have been prevented.

#6. Turn off vehicles, not in use

Gas emissions are a huge, invisible risk to workers which can be easily avoided by simply turning the vehicle off when not in use.

#7. Establish safety zones

Marking off safety zones with high visibility tape is the best way to establish safety zones for hazardous areas. This shows everyone where not to go or where to be especially careful to ensure safety. Places that should be marked include blind spots where collisions are likely, as well as electrical panels.

#8. Use dock plates and levelers correctly

You should always check load plates for wear and corrosion prior to use each time. When doing so, make sure the plates being used are suitable for the combined weight of the cargo, lifting machine, and workers so there are no unforeseen problems. Proper use of the dock plates which fill the gap and the levelers that smooth out the lift is crucial for dock safety.

Stay Safe!

As you can see, the most important thing to remember while working near a busy loading dock area is to stay safe. If you follow these safety tips and you shouldn’t have any problems following through with that.

Why Wood Packaging is Best for Shipping Fruits and Vegetables

If you’re looking for the best way to ship your fresh fruits and vegetables, wood packaging is your best bet.

Wood packaging has been used for centuries in the preparation, packaging, storage, and transportation of food.

This is mostly due to all the awesome benefits wood packaging entails like low-costs, helping the environment, as well as ease of use.

Benefits of using wood packaging for shipping fruits and vegetables

Wood packaging has some really awesome benefits! Some of those benefits include:

  • Stronger, sturdier material which means it’s able to endure high levels of stress. Wood packaging is designed to handle heavy mechanical stress which is commonly experienced during transportation and storage.
  • Best for heavy products. 
  • Moisture and erosion resistant so they typically aren’t damaged by moisture and products stay dry.
  • Saves space since most wood packaging can be stacked.
  • It’s cost-effective. Wood packaging is cheaper when compared with plastic or other shipping material.
  • It’s recyclable so, in a way, you are helping the environment when you choose wood packaging over other materials.
  • Doesn’t rust

Different types of wood packaging options

There are now more than 1,500 different sizes and styles of wood produce packaging material to satisfy your packaging and shipping needs. Here is a list of some of the most popular types of wood packaging that works perfectly for safely shipping your fruits and veggies depending on what you’re shipping:

1. Wooden crates

Wooden trays work perfectly for the transportation of tomatoes, while large wooden crates are a great option for watermelon and other types of melon as well as other large fruits and vegetables. 

Wooden crates are an awesome option for shipping fruits and vegetables because they offer many perks like a higher efficiency for large fruits and they are recyclable.

2. Wire-bound Crates

Most often used for sweet corn, snap beans, and other produce that requires hydro cooling (crucial for the ripening of produce) although they can be used for a variety of fruits and vegetables. They are sturdy and easily stackable which effectively saves on space.

The great thing about these crates is that they come in a variety of sizes — from a half bushel to standard pallet bin size and have enough space to allow proper ventilation and cooling.

The down-side to using wire-bound crates is that they are not usually reused.

3. Wood pallets

The produce industry uses approximately 190 of the 700 million pallets produced every year in the US and depending on the size of the produce package, one pallet can hold between 20 and 100 individual packages of produce.

Plastic film is typically used to secure produce, which severely restricts proper ventilation to your produce. Luckily, there is an awesome alternative that properly secures the load and offers sufficient ventilation — plastic netting.

4. Pallet Bins

Pallet bins are typically used to move produce from field to packing location. Capacities range from 12 to over 50 bushels.

When stored outside, they last approximately 5 years. When properly stored they can last more than 10 years and be reused multiple times.

5. Corrugated Fiberboard

Corrugated fiberboard is commonly mistaken for cardboard. It comes in all weights and styles and is low cost compared to other wood shipping materials. For this reason, it’s the most popular choice for shipping produce and will probably remain so in the future since strength and features are continuously being improved.

This is the best option if you’re looking for low cost and ease of use.

One drawback is that cold and hot temperatures can reduce the durability and strength unless specifically treated.

Requirements for shipping fruits and vegetables in wood packaging

Wood packaging for your fruits and vegetables should offer:

  1. Protection- Must protect produce from poor environmental conditions as well as mechanical damage during handling and distribution. Your packaging of choice should be sturdy enough to resist damage throughout the packaging, storing, and shipping process.
  2. Identification- Must indicate what the product is on the packaging. For example; name, brand, size, grade, variety, weight, grower, shipper, and country of origin may be required depending on where you are shipping to or from.
  3. Containment- The packaging must completely enclose the product without wasting space and should be packed in convenient units for handling and distribution. As a general rule, packages of produce exclusively handled by hand should be no heavier than 50 lbs. For produce that will be moved by forklift, weight shouldn’t exceed 1200 lbs.

Why you should use wood packaging over another packaging material

As you can see, wood packaging has some amazing benefits, but what’s stopping you from choosing another type of packaging material?

The answer’s easy, wood packaging has many noteworthy advantages over materials like plastic and metal (rust resistance, cost, and capacity).

Good manufacturing quality, handling practices, and proper sanitation treatment makes wood a highly suitable option for transportation and storage of fruits and vegetables