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Types of Pallets and Their Uses


A pallet is a a rigid frame and support to stack the loads or products or items onto it. The pallets are moved from one location to the other in the warehouse typically using forklifts or pallet trucks.

Types of Pallets

Pallets are classified according to their sizes or material composition. The types of pallets according to their sizes are:


The measurements of the Europallet (EPAL) is 1200 x 800 mm. A Europallet weighs around 25 kg and can handle weights up to 1.5 tons.

Main characteristics:

  • Measurements: Length 800 mm Width 1200 mm.
  • Materials: Wooden boards.
  • Weight: Approximately 25 kg.
  • Safe Workload While Moving: 1500 kg.
  • Static Load: If the load is not moving, the maximum load should not exceed more than 5500 kg.

American Pallet

The measurements of the American Pallet is 1200 mm x 1000 mm. It is also called the universal pallet or isopallet.

Main characteristics:

  • Measurements: Length 1000 mm Width 1200 mm.
  • Weight: Approximately 25 kg.
  • Safe Workload While Moving: 1500 kg.
  • Static Load: If the load is not moving, the maximum load should not exceed more than 6000 kg.

The types of pallets according to their material composition are:

Wooden Pallets

The wooden pallets are the most widely used since they are reliable, resistant and easy to repair. The disadvantage of the wooden pallets is that they are susceptible to forklift damage. They also need to be disinfected and they are difficult to clean.

Plastic Pallet

The plastic pallet is lighter than wooden pallets and easier to clean and disinfect. They are also friendlier to the environment as they are 100% recyclable. The disadvantage of the plastic pallets is that they are more expensive than the wooden pallets and can be susceptible to deformation under heavy loads. The resistance and durability of the plastic pallet will vary depending on the type of plastic that is being used.

Metal Pallet

The metal pallet is the most resistant of the wooden and plastic pallets and the heaviest. They have a long useful life and can support very heavy loads. They are also easy to clean and disinfect. However, the cost of transport is higher for the metal pallets since they are heavier than their wooden or plastic counterparts.

Cardboard Pallet

The cardboard pallets are used for light loads. They are inexpensive and easy to handle. However, they have a short life cycle since they have limited use.

Recommendation While Loading Products on Pallets

The below are some recommendations to consider while loading products on pallets:

  • The load must not exceed the allowed weight limitation of the pallet (e.g. 1.5 tons)
  • The load should not exceed the dimensions of the pallet and when it does the load should be shrink wrapped.
  • Know the height and weight of the load in order to calculate how many pallets can be transported onto trucks or stored in the warehouse.
  • Limit the gaps between pallets when placing them next to each other in order to avoid unbalanced stacking.
  • The products should be placed onto the pallet in a manner that makes it easier for the forklift to handle the pallet.