One of the most important items in logistics, used in storage and transportation is the Pallet. The pallet is a platform with specific measures and is made using mostly wood as raw material. Today, with environmental concerns, we see pallets made of plastic and even metal, to avoid cutting down trees, even reforestation ones. Many pallets are reusable, which provides a longer and more sustainable life cycle.
The pallet can be used for Unitization (Procedure whose main objective is to efficiently gather the largest number of volumes, so that they are united in the smallest space possible) of various types of products and facilitates the transport, handling, and storage of these products and reduces the time of these operations. But it is necessary that the company has the structure and equipment necessary to handle the pallets. To move the pallets it is necessary to use Forklifts and Pallet Trucks (manual or electric) that fit the forks into the pallet’s openings and use them to suspend the pallet. The pallets are stored in pallet racks.
Pallets are used to load cargo onto trucks or containers. An invoice specifying the number and value of the pallets transported must be issued to guarantee the pallets in case they are lost and compensation is required. The value of the pallets can be added to the price of the product if they are not returned.
Nowadays, companies do not need to own pallets, because there are service providers that rent pallets in the quantity and at the moment required by the client. It is always essential, when hiring these services, to analyze the contract to define the responsibilities of each party.
For pallet management and control, bar codes are used to record information about the owner, product, destination, among other information on a given pallet. It is important to emphasize that the forklift operator must have experience and practice in the use of the equipment because it is common for an operator to make a mistake in the placement of the forks of the forklift and damage the pallet.
The pallet, despite appearing simple, will continue for a long time to be essential for the flow and storage of products between the links of a Supply Chain.
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