Pallets have been used to transport goods for many years, but only came into their own in the middle of the last century with the development of the forklift and containerisation. They are now used around the world in the logistics industry moving finished goods and raw materials around the world.
It is estimated that there will be 1 billion pallets in circulation in the UK by 2017, and the vast majority of these pallets will be made of wood. There are other materials used for pallet manufacture such as plastic, metal and even cardboard, but wood is by far the most popular.
It is not surprising that wooden pallets are the most popular as wood is sustainable and, although the price is increasing due to a worldwide shortage, economical as well. Pallets made from timber are easily repaired and when they reach the end of their life the can be used for things like heating or woodchip.
Taking steps to extend the longevity of your pallets are worth taking, and one of the most obvious is ensuring they are stored correctly.
Keeping pallets safe from the elements
One thing to ensure a long life for your pallets is to keep them dry and free from mould. The important thing is ventilation, just covering the pallets with a waterproof sheet is not enough. Far more effective is a basic canopy building structure that is built directly on to existing hard standing. This simple type of cover can be open sided or have 2 or 3 enclosed sides for added protection.
For a more sophisticated solution, the canopy can be attached to an existing building. These canopies are available in widths of 5m to 30m with a wall height of between 3m to 6m and unlimited length. For additional protection the front bay can have PVC curtain doors which give more insulation without impeding access.
These structures are constructed using a durable aluminium frame and a choice of wall type, including insulation if required, to ensure the best protection result. All that is needed for installation is hard standing, no other foundations are required, and it can be carried out in a matter of days meaning minimal downtime and disruption. For added flexibility these buildings can be hired as well as purchased outright, which means you only have to pay for the time you need it.
Wooden pallets have many things to recommend them, they are sustainable, cost effective and strong. Keeping them and the goods they transport looked after is good business practice so it is worth giving them some tlc, it pays for itself in the end. See more about canopy buildings here.