What is a pallet and where does it come from?

When we enter a company’s stock it is almost inevitable to come across certain structures such as wooden platforms.

These are pallets that, over the years, have come to play an important role in the industry.

With this solution, it is possible to use forklifts or pallet trucks to transport heavier loads, and thus be an ally of productivity by facilitating logistics.

Pallets can be made of wood, plastic, or metal.

But do you know the origin of this important accessory? Check it out with us below!

The history of pallets

There is no precise historical record of the beginning of the use of pallets. We do know, however, that they have always been present in commercial activities.

Its modern form dates back to the first half of the 20th century, coinciding with the invention of the forklift.

They were widely used in maritime transport, to assist the loading and unloading of products.

Their invention is then attributed to George Raymond and Bill House, who had a pallet patent granted on November 7, 1939, along with the forklift patent, on behalf of Lyon Iron Works, which later became Raymond Corp.

Years earlier, in 1920, George was at the head of Lyon Iron, a foundry that made iron castings, tools, and farm implements.

When he identified a change in the market that would lead to the disappearance of his activities, George promoted a change in the company’s activities.

From then on, the company was dedicated to material handling equipment, especially skids. Thus, George and Bill developed what was to become the forklift truck.

Pallets were a consequence of this new invention, being a solution that allowed the equipment to transport cargo more easily.

The forks of the forklift fitted into the openings of the pallets, allowing the load on top to be lifted.

This solution became popular during the Second World War when the American army used it to the full.

It is worth noting that Raymond and House have not claimed any royalties on the wooden pallets since the patent was granted.

After the conflict, the wooden structure started to be adopted in Europe, especially by the railway companies.

In 1964, in the United States of America, an intensive standardisation programme began, in order to satisfy most of the economic activities.


As they are a suitable environment for the appearance of bacteria, pallets require adequate treatment. When manufactured in wood, they demand care with fungus, mainly if they were in rubbish or dumps. Always keep them very dry and protected from humidity.


In addition to the practical function of stacking, pallets have gained new uses and have migrated into the homes not only of British people but also of other nationalities.

Coffee tables, sofas or beds, headboards, organizational boxes, bathroom or kitchen shelves, bookshelves, rocking benches, planting panels (see our blog post, Inspiration for the winter garden, with step-by-step instructions), and even entire cabinets can be made with pallets.

It is possible to buy pallets, but for those who want to spend little, an idea is to search in supermarket warehouses, at fairs, recycled material collection sites, and food distribution centers.


This method is present in almost all companies, it is relevant to highlight how palletizing works in everyday business life. In short, it is the process of storing all the company’s products and parts of the stock with the use of pallets.

In order to offer the best palletizing solutions, it is very important to evaluate all the conditions of the available space in your stock, as well as its arrangement. After all, if there are limitations, you need to make a plan that allows you to optimize the loading and movement of the products according to your production.

The advantages of using pallets are many, such as:

  • Reduction of man-hour cost;
  • Reduced time and improved stock control (inventory);
  • Quicker storage and handling of loads;
  • Better use of storage area;
  • Reduction of handling operations;
  • Less risk of accidents;
  • Less damage to goods;
  • Uniform storage;

Same Day Pallet Delivery Service

With our Same Day Pallet Delivery Service we aim to collect your goods within an hour of receiving your instruction or at a time to suit you!  We then ensure your consignment reaches its destination directly from A to B, in a dedicated vehicle, on the same day.

Now that you know the Pallet History, how about reading other relevant content from our NEWS PAGE on our website?

Do you need a Logistics Provider for your Pallet delivery service needs? You can always count on the experts at Frex Logistics to always find the best transport solutions for your company.

Ask to speak to one of our advisors TODAY!

Call: 03333 – 442972 or Email: sales@frex.co.uk