Long-time St. Louis warehouse operator FW Warehousing knows pallets – wood pallets, plastic pallets and metal pallets. Pallets play a vital role in the efficient storage and handling of an almost endless variety of products, including raw materials, components used in manufacturing and finished goods. Palletization is common place in the warehousing and transportation of general merchandise, hazardous chemicals, food and food-grade ingredients/additives, as well as temperature sensitive goods.
The proper care and usage of pallets within a supply chains and/or distribution channels can play a major role in you efforts to control operating costs, reduce product damage and contamination risks, while also improving safety.
FW Warehousing has identified the following five key benefits of increased pallet protection efforts:
- Lower operating costs – By minimizing pallet damage, companies can extend the life of their pallets and limit the number of units they need to buy or lease. Fewer pallet repairs also result in lower pallet repair costs.
- Reduced product damage – If/when a loaded pallet breaks, the product on that pallet may be damaged as a result. If goods are loaded onto an already damaged pallet, those goods may also be damaged during storage or transit through your supply chain/distribution channel. Fewer broken pallets means less product damage, less waste and fewer damage claims from customers receiving damaged goods.
- Decreased Risk of Contamination – Broken pallets (particularly wood pallets) generate splinters, dust, chips or other fragments as well as loose metal fasteners (nails) that can contaminate product, production facilities and warehouses.
- Improved Safety – Broken pallets are a safety hazard. Associates handling pallets with broken pieces or protruding nails can be cut or injured. If a loaded pallet fails, the goods stored on it may shift and fall, especially if stored in a rack or while being moved on a forklift.
- Improved Efficiency – Breaking down a damaged pallet and repalletizing it along with any other related clean up takes time and adds costs, no matter where the damage occurs in a supply chain or distribution channel. If automated equipment is involved in handling a product, a broken pallet can jam or damage that equipment. The downtime can impact productivity and efficiency, while equipment repairs increase costs.
Part Two of this two-part series will focus on the general pallet usage tips and forklift operator tips that can aid in pallet protection efforts.
FW Warehousing is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Midwest warehouse distribution centers in Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis totaling more than four million square feet. Founded in 1949 with a focus on food-grade storage, FW later broadened its services to include contract warehousing, dry storage, hazardous material and chemical storage, temperature-controlled storage, product distribution and B2B and B2C fulfillment.
FW Warehousing has more than 50 years of experience in third-party 3PL logistics and has been ranked in the top 100 Third Party Logistic Companies in the country by Inbound Logistics magazine.