export pallets

Guide to Different Types of Export Pallets and Their Uses

Ever found yourself needing to transport goods and unsure of how to go about it? Or perhaps you may have wondered why some goods are shipped certain ways and not others? Everything begins with a simple yet integral tool the pallet. It might seem like a somewhat mundane object, but pallets are paramount in the logistics industry, as without them, both storage and transportation of goods would be significantly more difficult. This detailed examination will provide valuable insight into various types of export pallets and how they are used.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be taking a close look into the world of export pallets. The guide aims to unravel the complexity around different types of pallets, their materials, size specifications, advantages, disadvantages and their specific uses in the export business. Whether you’re somewhat new to the logistics world or whether you’re a seasoned exporter seeking to broaden your knowledge, this guide will shed light on the subject matter.

Why Use Export Pallets?

Export pallets are indispensable in international trade. They make storage, handling, and transport of goods remarkably efficient. Designed to be lifted by forklifts, jacks or front loaders, they guarantee a smooth transportation process from warehouses to trucks, ships or aircrafts. Export pallets come in various sizes, and materials, each designed under specific regulatory standards to meet unique needs of certain goods and countries.

What are the Various Types of Export Pallets?

Taking inventory of the many types of export pallets, we can categorize them primarily through the materials used. Press wood, plastic, and wooden are the most common types. Each type has its functionality, advantages and potential drawbacks, primarily determined by the type of goods being transported and the destination.

Key Features of Press wood, Plastic and Wooden Pallets

Press wood pallets, often referred to as engineered wood pallets, are robust, lightweight and perfect for export due to their compliance with ISPM-15 regulations. Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are much favored for their durability, longevity and resistance to contaminants. Wooden pallets are the most used worldwide, thanks to their high load capacity, affordability and simplicity in design.

Size of Export Pallets: How Big Should They Be?

Pallet sizes are typically linked to the goods being transported and the destinations. Pallets need to fit into shipping containers neatly, so there has been a move towards standardization. The most accepted sizes currently are the North American standard (48″ x 40″) and the European standard (Europa let – 800mm x 1200mm).

Pros and Cons of Different Export Pallet Types

The ideal export pallet type is often determined through careful evaluation of their respective pros and cons. Factors such as cost, functionality, durability, weight, and environmental impact need to be considered. For instance, wooden pallets, while affordable and sturdy, can be problematic for certain goods due to their potential for harboring pests.

Adhering to International Standards: ISPM-15 and its Significance

Every pallet designed for export needs to be compliant with International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM-15) regulations. This rule has been designed to prevent the spread of pests and disease through wooden packaging. Non-compliance can lead to shipments being quarantined, denied entry or even destroyed.


In essence, export pallets are vital tools in moving goods across the globe efficiently and safely. The choice of pallet type, material and size can remarkably impact the cost, success and sustainability of your shipping process. Equipped with a deeper understanding of the different pallets and their corresponding benefits and drawbacks, businesses can make well-grounded decisions ensuring the safe and efficient transportation of their goods.

With environmental consciousness rising, a move towards more sustainable pallet options such as press wood and plastic could soon eclipse traditional wooden pallets. Moreover, ensuring compliance with international standards such as ISPM-15 will not only secure seamless shipping operations but also contribute to global efforts to halt the spread of pests and diseases.