Freight shipping often involves using pallets. They help to protect your shipment, improve efficiency and maximize trailer space. While pallets can be custom made, there is a standard pallet size and weight. Knowing this information can help you ship your items as well as get a quote. So, what is standard pallet size and weight? Discover the facts below.
There are three common pallet sizes:
- 48” x 40”
- 42” x 42”
- 48” x 48”
Using standard, universal pallet sizes makes for smoother loading and unloading procedures. Stacking palletized shipments on top of other palletized shipments of the same size helps carriers optimize trailer space. Consolidating multiple shipments onto one pallet also streamlines your shipping strategy and allows you to move more freight faster, so it’s worth asking yourself what size pallet works best for your shipping needs.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) influences the consumer-packaged goods industry globally. The GMA recommends a pallet with the dimensions of 48” x 40”. Pallets of this size are sometimes referred to as GMA pallets. About 30 percent of pallets produced in the United States each year are GMA pallets.
Pallet weight varies depending upon the size and materials used. Generally, a pallet will typically weigh anywhere from 30 to 48 pounds. This means that the weight of the pallet increases the total weight of your shipment and ultimately what your shipping cost will be. Shippers often don’t include the dimensions and weight of a pallet when filling out an LTL shipping quote. Not including the weight of the pallet in the total freight weight will cost you in the end.
LTL shipping carriers confirm weight and dimensions of every shipment that comes through and will issue billing adjustments on invoices whenever there are discrepancies. Bottom line, include the pallet’s weight and dimensions when getting a shipping quote to avoid these billing adjustments.
Types of Pallets
Pallets make it easy to move freight using a forklift. They help to reduce forklift damage as well as damage to shipments during loading and unloading. Pallets can be made of various materials, such as wood, plastic or metal. Additionally, they have different entry locations for forklifts. Pallet names stem from the way that they are constructed. Below are some common names for pallet types.
Most Common Pallet Types:
- Two-way pallets: Have forklift openings on two ends. They are also referred to as “unnotched.”
- Partial four-way pallets: Have standard forklift openings on two ends, and smaller openings on the other two.
- Four-way pallets: Have forklift openings on all four sides.
- Stringer pallets: Built using 2” x 4” wood, plastic or metal. They have two-way forklift openings.
- Block pallets: Tend to be sturdier because they are made with both parallel and perpendicular stringers. They consist of nine blocks, usually either 4” x 4” or 4” x 6”. These have a four-way forklift entry.
It’s important to know some of the common FAQs about pallets, so you can spend less time figuring out how to best ship your freight and more time running your business. Below are some of the most common pallet FAQs.
What Is a Standard Pallet Size?
The standard pallet size is 48” x 40”, with each deck board (board on top of pallet) being 3 ½” wide and 5/16” thick.
When referring to pallet dimensions, always refer to the length first, and then the width.
What Is Pallet Strength?
Pallet strength refers to a pallet’s breaking point. In other words, it refers to how much weight a pallet can hold before collapsing. Generally, a pallet is assigned a strength that is two and a half times less than its average breaking point. This is for safety reasons. For example, if a specific pallet breaks at 6,000 pounds, its strength capacity would be 2,400 pounds.
Why Are There Slots in the Sides of Pallets?
The slots in the sides of pallets allow the forklift to lift them. This makes loading and unloading easier and safer.
What Does the ISPM-15 Stamp Mean?
The ISPM-15 stamp means that the pallet meets international shipping standards. These pallets have been treated to prevent the spread of disease and insects. This reduces the chances for causing damage to plants or ecosystems.
Is It Worth Repairing a Pallet?
The cost to repair a pallet will depend upon the extent of the damage. Standard repairs generally cost anywhere between $2.00 to $4.00.
How Do I Ship a Pallet?
For more on how to ship pallets, refer to our post: How to Ship a Pallet.
Now that you know the pallet basics, let’s get shipping! Load up your pallet, shrink wrap it and get a quote from FreightCenter. Compare rates and book your shipment within minutes using our easy quote tool.