In the case of Europe, two standard dimensions exist: 1200x800 mm and 1200x1000 mm. The first one is the most common in commercial distribution and the second one is the most usual in industry applications. It is generally considered that these dimensions correspond with the standard load units for most applications. However, during recent years, logistics has become increasingly professionalized, and new dimensions have been launched as the consequence of survey and analysis; these new dimensions have prooved that they are able to generate important efficiencies and have been very well received in some industries. These dimensions are usually tractions of the standard dimensions.
Other pallet parameters, like height or number of entry holes, etc. may vary among the different models, but the external dimensions are pretty much standardized.
Quarter pallet, 600x400 mm: Both the dimensions and the name are referred to the Euro-Pallet. This is a modular unit of one quarter of the standard load unit. This are considered as display pallets, and are usually placed at the PoS outside storing racks in the aisles, promoting the product.
Half pallet, 800x600 mm: Like quarter pallet, half pallets. They have exactly half of the standard load unit. Its use is limited to fast moving consumer goods, and the pallets allow exhibiting double the number of items in the same space. Likewise, they allow exhibiting products directly on the store rack.
Euro-Pallet, 1200x800 mm: They represent the standard load unit in the European market, and its dimensions are standardized since 1961, when the UIC introduced the wood pallet under the name palletEUR, usually known as Euro Pallet.
Industry pallet, 1200x1000 mm: Like the Euro Pallet, the 1200x1000 pallet, known as American pallet, is also a European standard. It is widely used in industrial applications, trying to maximize the amount of merchandise transported on each pallet.
Other dimensions: 1000x1000 mm, 1200x1200 mm, 1300x1100 mm: other dimensions exist. Although they are not standardized, they have their scope in closed circuits, where they have proven their efficacy.
During the design and development of a new product, Nortpalet performs load simulations and calculations to ensure the safety of the transported goods as well as its handlings in different environment and scenarios. Tests are later performed on the product in accordance with the UNE EN ISO 8611 Norm, defining the loads to be supported by the product during use. Finally, thanks to our test area, Nortpalet employs a quality system on the final product allowing us giving the warranty that all our products comply with the defined specifications.
Thus, the load capacity of our plastic pallets is described by means of the different load types described below:
Static load: We consider that a pallet is statically loaded when the pallet is placed on a fully plain and horizontal surface. In general, this is the highest load value of a pallet, giving us an idea of the pallet´s resistance to compression.
Dynamic load: Dynamic load is the load supported by a pallet when it is handled in a conventional manner. In general, this load is less restrictive than the static load, because the main function of a pallet is the transportation of goods. This is the most important value to consider.
Rack load: Rack load is the weight a pallet can support when placed on a standard rack only on the runners of the short side. The pallets destined to this use pass a flexion test to ensure optimum performance.
The weight of a plastic pallet is one of the most important elements due to its impact on most of the characteristics of the product, from its price to its load capacity. As a general rule, the higher the weight, the higher the resistance, the longer the durability, the higher the load on the rack, the higher the price ... The weight of the pallet is the property that defines the range, except for cases such as pallets Custom or Hygienic that are characterized by other types of properties.
However, it is important taking into account the optimization of the different designs available in the market, because this rule is not applicable to similar products with very little weight variation. At Nortpalet, thanks to the most sophisticated design programs and our extensive know-how, we manufacture optimized products with as little material as possible, matching or surpassing other products with slightly more weight.
Pallet resistance is the pallet´s capacity absorbing impacts or accidental handlings. It is therefore a feature of special importance with regard to durability. Generally speaking, the resistance of a pallet is strongly related with its weight and its range, and not with its load capacity. So, Heavy Duty will be more resistant than pallets of the Medium range, and these are less resistant than Lightweight pallets.
Likewise, the design of the equipment and material used for manufacturing plays an important role. Design is usually a constant; once the model has been defined, the choice of the material is the only variable of the equation. From all materials available, HDPE or High Density Polyethylene is the material with the best properties to resist impacts, but is also more elastic. Next in the range are the pallets manufactured in PP or Polypropylene, and those produced with ECO materials are the less resistant. Resistance is strongly dependant with the cost of the equipment. For this reason, choosing the optimum level is important to find the highest cost efficiency.