The supply chain that connects growers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in the food and beverage industry is incredibly complex, yet this entire infrastructure rests on one simple component: pallets.
Without the pallet, the ability to transport large quantities of food and beverage items along this supply chain would be greatly hindered, maybe even impossible.
Too often, this warehouse workhorse is overlooked. Here’s why pallets are so critical in the safe, secure and economical transportation of food and beverage goods, and why wooden pallets, in particular, are so beneficial to those in this industry.
Advantages of Using Pallets in Food and Beverage Supply Chains
An effective pallet system can transform a supply chain, and the benefits of using such a system for companies in the food and beverage industry are vast.
- Easier, faster transportation
- Reduces manual labor requirements
- Increases operational efficiency
- Increases transportation efficiency
- Reduces risk of product damage
- Reduces risk of worker injury
- More efficient warehouse storage
- Provides adequate circulation & drainage
8 Benefits of Wooden Pallets in Transporting Food and Beverage
Wood is by far the most common material used in pallet construction for the food and beverage industry. In weighing your choice between wooden, plastic and aluminum pallets, here are eight benefits of wooden pallets to consider when transporting food and beverage items.
Pallets constructed out of wood are significantly cheaper than plastic or aluminum pallets. Although this is one of the smaller costs associated with a food and beverage supply chain, over time, reducing your pallet costs can help you realize tremendous overall savings in your transportation chain.
2. Retained Value
While wooden pallets are significantly less expensive than their plastic or aluminum counterparts, they still retain their value well over time. The potential resale value can help your business recoup some of its investment if your transportation needs change in the future.
3. Strength and Durability
Food and beverage shipments can be quite heavy. Wooden pallets are naturally stronger and capable of holding significantly more weight than the alternatives. These can typically bare as much as 3,000 pounds, while plastic pallets are generally capable of holding just half the weight.
Another advantage of a wooden pallets superior strength is in their durability. The strong and sturdy construction of wooden pallets mean that they are less likely to be damaged, helping reduce replacement costs and keeping your supply chain flowing.
4. Ease of Repair
Despite the strength and durability of wooden pallets, any pallet can become damaged when used in a food and beverage supply chain. However, wooden pallets are much easier than plastic or aluminum to repair and return to service.
Plastic and aluminum pallets typically cannot be repaired. Replacement costs for these are high. On the other hand, wooden pallets can quickly and inexpensively be replaced if damage occurs.
5. Natural Antimicrobial Properties
Wood contains antimicrobial properties that are not present in plastic or aluminum. The use of wooden pallets can help cut down on the spread of dangerous bacteria, as long as your company (and those within your supply chain) take time to regularly inspect them for contamination.
6. Reduced Cross-Contamination Risk
When shipping food and beverage goods, one of the biggest concerns is limiting the spread of dangerous bacteria and reducing the risk of cross-contamination. Well-cleaned and maintained wooden pallets help limit the spread of bacteria greatly.
In the case bacteria does come in contact with a wooden pallet from contaminated food, wood’s natural tendency to absorb bacteria helps limit its spread. With plastic, any bacteria from contaminated food simply sits on the surface of the pallet, allowing it to be easily transferred between food and beverage items.
Once a plastic pallet becomes nicked or scratched, they easily become a host for bacteria to multiply and proliferate.
7. Overall Environmental Impact
As a natural product, wooden pallets have the potential to be recycled once they’ve reached the end of their life. If a wooden pallet ever becomes too damaged to repair, it can be shredded and used as mulch. Plastic pallets, in particular, cannot be recycled, greatly increasing a business’ carbon footprint.
8. Potential Use in International Shipping
Wooden pallets are often the only suitable option if your business transports goods internationally. Current federal code requires the use of appropriately-treated wooden pallets when exporting and importing food and beverage goods from outside the United States.
Using Wooden Pallets for Food & Beverage Shipping
Wooden pallets make it possible to transport food and beverage goods with ease and confidence. If your business is choosing between wooden, plastic and aluminum pallets for your food and beverage shipments, the benefits of wooden pallets within the industry are as clear as they are abundant.
Take advantage of wooden pallets for your food and beverage needs with our special wooden pallet services.