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    What are pallets made of?

    At Rotomshop UK there is a pallet for every logistical challenge. Pallets come in different shapes, sizes and sometimes colours. But what are pallets actually made of? We are happy to explain it to you in this blog.

    Wooden pallet

    Wooden pallets

    The most popular pallet is still a wooden pallet.
    These pallets can be made from different types of wood. Think of Central European spruce and Northern European spruce. There are also differences in these types of wood, such as freshly sawn or dried planed. Northern European spruce, for example, has a finer structure with narrower growth rings, which gives it a higher quality and makes it easy to work with.
    There is also a difference in the type of wood used for the type of pallet. Different types of wood are used for Euro pallets than, for example, for disposable pallets.

    Presswood pallets

    Wood Fibre Pallet

    A pallet that is extremely suitable for (air) export is the presswood pallet, also known as wood fibre pallets. These pallets are made from shredded wood fibres that are mixed with synthetic resin. Wood fibre pallets are also known as glued or pressed pallets. Because the material is literally pressed into a pallet under high pressure at a high temperature, the pallet is immediately treated in ISPM 15.

    Plastic pallets


    The plastic pallet has become an increasingly popular concept among load carriers. This is mainly due to the fact that the timber market was very unstable from the end of 2021 to mid-2022 and that timber prices then showed sharp increases. In general, plastic pallets last longer and the weight is lower than a standard wooden pallet.
    The big advantage of wooden pallets has always been the price.
    Wooden pallets were generally cheaper than a plastic pallet and the plastic pallet could often handle a larger load with a lower weight.
    Nowadays, the difference in price is a lot smaller, which has increased the popularity of the plastic pallet.

    Just like in wooden pallets, there are many types of material that the pallet is made of. Below we would like to explain the different materials of plastic pallets:


    The abbreviation PO stands for Polyolefins. This plastic is made from recycled materials and is therefore better for the environment. Because the material is reused from this type of plastic, it is not suitable for wet or humid environments. It is therefore better not to store pallets made of this type of plastic in the open air.


    Another type of plastic is PP. This abbreviation comes from Polypropylene. This type of plastic is fairly strong and can take a beating. Unlike PO, PP plastic is suitable for outdoor storage.


    Polyethylene, abbreviated PE, is also a particular type of plastic. This material often contains carbon and hydrogen and is the most commonly used type of plastic. One-third of all plastic packaging is made from it. This type of plastic can be stored both indoors and outdoors. In addition to ordinary PE plastic, there is also PE recyclate. This is the recycled version of the regular PE variant. Within the type of Polyethylene plastic, there is also a difference between LDPE and HDPE. The difference in these types is that the plastic has a low (low density) or high (high density) density. HDPE plastic is made with low pressure, which preserves the hardness of the plastic. With LDPE plastic, the plastic becomes more flexible and softer due to the high pressure. There is also a Virgin variant of HDPE plastic. This Virgin is non-toxic and does not stain. This type offers excellent impact resistance, light weight and low moisture absorption. This makes the pallet perfect for use in the food industry and they are marked with a HACCP quality mark.

    Aluminium pallets

    For some logistical challenges, both wooden pallets and plastic pallets are not the best solution. This is possible, for example, when working with hazardous liquids. A good solution could be an aluminium pallet.

    Metal pallets

    Steel pallets, or metal pallets, are very strong, but just like aluminium pallets, they are not often used. Metal pallets are often only used for special applications in the automotive and metal industries.

    Cardboard pallets


    The name of these pallets says it all.
    These pallets are made of cardboard. Maybe you'll think how a pallet made of cardboard can be sturdy enough.
    But nothing could be further from the truth. Cardboard pallets are very sturdy pallets that are lightweight. In addition, the pallets are also environmentally friendly, because they are 100% recyclable.
    So no trees have to be cut down for these pallets.
    Finally, you won't be bothered by splinters or anything like that, so you don't have to wear gloves for protection.

    Styrofoam pallets

    These pallets are made of polystyrene, also known as extruded polystyrene (EPS). These pallets have a bit of the same idea as our wood fibre pallets. They are incredibly low in their own weight, but still extremely strong in their load capacity. These pallets are therefore also ideal for air transport, just like the wood fibre pallets.

    Buy pallets at Rotomshop

    Found the right material for the pallet you're looking for? Or did you just learn from this blog? Super! If you have any questions after this blog, please email us at [email protected] or call us on 01777 322100.

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