OSB and Plywood in Materials Handling Applications

Solid-Deck Engineered Wood Pallets

Solid-Deck Engineered Wood Pallets

  • An extended lifecycle makes engineered wood pallets the cost-effective choice for the long run
  • Strong and relatively lightweight, engineered wood pallets offer numerous advantages over solid wood and plastic pallets
  • Engineered wood pallets can be configured in a variety of ways to best suit the end-use

Built for the Long Run

Solid-deck engineered wood pallets for materials handling applicationsMore than thirty years of on-the-job experience have proven solid-deck engineered wood pallets to be longer lasting, making them more cost-effective over time than traditional board-deck wood pallets or expensive plastic pallets.

Studies show that solid-deck engineered wood pallets sustain less damage and require fewer repairs than other pallets. With an average life span of seven years or more, engineered wood pallets have earned a reputation for performing consistently without downtime, without significant standby replacements and without wasted resources. The benefits of longer life and greater productivity more than offset the initial product cost and, in doing so, reduce the actual cost-per-use. Additional cost savings are realized by decreased waste disposal and repair fees for damaged pallets.

Engineered Wood Pallets Stack Up to the Competition
Solid-deck engineered wood pallets offer numerous advantages when compared to solid wood or plastic pallets.

Advantages Engineered Wood Pallets Lumber Pallets Plastic Pallets
Low initial cost X X -
Low life cycle cost X - -
Long life X - some
Flexible configuration X X -
Able to consistently withstand damage X - -
Easy to repair X X -
Compatible with automated materials handling systems X - X
Dimensionally stable to reduce automated system downtime X - X
Able to consistently protect product X - X
Low disposal cost X X -
Appropriate for closed loop/captive materials handling systems X - X
Made with dry, "engineered" wood that won't shrink and weaken the pallet X - -

Common Solid-Deck Pallet Configurations

While solid-deck engineered wood pallets can be configured many ways, their components are simple and few: one solid-deck piece, blocks or stringers, and fasteners. The final design ultimately depends on the pallet's intended end-use, how the pallet will be handled, moved or stored, and what equipment will be used with the pallet. In general, pallets are available with either two-way or four-way entry (each style has multiple variations). Common solid-deck engineered wood pallet configurations include the following:


Plywood block palletPlywood Block Pallet

Plywood top and bottom deck allows for high racking capability. High impact-resistant laminated engineered wood blocks can also be used to minimize fork penetration damage. Perhaps the best pallet for use in highly automated materials handling systems. This increasingly popular pallet design does not require stringer boards when a solid plywood deck is used, lowering the overall height of the pallet and reducing pallet weight.

Plywood stringer palletPlywood Stringer Pallet

Plywood top deck and lumber bottom deck with partial four-way entry. Very high racking capability. This is a standard stringer pallet that provides superior protection to goods, reducing product damage and extending pallet life. It simultaneously maintains its shape for use in automated pallet handling systems.

Plywood block pallet with unidirectional plywood bottomPlywood Block Pallet With Uni-directional Plywood Bottom

Racks 2,000 pounds; carries 3,000 pounds when flat-stacked. Unique design and type of structured plywood used yields a 44-lb, 48”x40” pallet - the most lightweight, high-performance plywood pallet in the industry. Uses no lumber and is therefore perfect for international shipping (exempt from ISPM 15 and phytosanitary regulations).

OSB pallet with full four-way entryOriented Stand Board (OSB) Pallet With Full Four-Way Entry

An excellent one-way shipping pallet. A cost-effective alternative to traditional export pallets. The solid deck provides superior product protection and maintains its shape in rough handling environments.

Automated Handling Systems & Engineered Wood Pallets

In finely tuned automated handling systems, every component must perform seamlessly, and engineered wood pallets boast a remarkable track record for rising to this challenge. Wood structural panels enable the pallet to conserve space, retain a consistent size and shape, reduce nail popping (a problem that cuses system malfunctions and costly downtime), flow smoothly over any type of conveyor, and meet the modern demands of increasingly automated materials handling systems.

Additional Links

Pallet Links
National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA)
Canadian Wood Pallet and Container Association
Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, Virginia Tech
Pallet Enterprise Magazine

APA Pallet Links
Pallet Facts
Storage & Retrieval
Design & Specifications
Engineered Wood Pallets