There are several considerations when choosing between a block pallet design and a stringer pallet design. Here are a few of the things you should think about.
1. What product is being shipped?
Different products require different specification for both shipment and storage. For example, pallets for the food & beverage industry have different requirements than pallets used to ship automotive parts. Some products require the pallets to be treated against mold or pests, while that’s not necessary for others.
In addition, some industries require specific pallet sizes and may require either block or stringer pallets for transport. If you’re not sure if a particular pallet size is required for your products, take a look at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for clarification.
Lastly, your product may require a particular wood material for your pallets. While most pallets are made from southern yellow pine, heavier products may necessitate the use of hardwoods, and certain industries prefer pallets made from other woods.
2. Where is the product being shipped?
Where your product is being shipped is a major consideration when it comes to deciding between block pallet vs stringer pallet design. While stringer pallets are the most commonly used pallets in the United States, other countries more commonly use block pallets.
Additionally, different countries have different standard sized pallets. While the standard pallet size is 48” x 40”, the same is not true of many other countries.
You may also want to consider any specific size requirements needed for your product’s destination. For example, will it need to fit through a standard doorway or will a forklift be available when your products get to their destination?
3. What’s the weight of the product being shipped?
Whether you choose a block pallet vs stringer pallet, it must be capable of supporting the weight of your product. In some cases, a custom pallet design is the only way to ensure that your product’s weight will be properly supported.
4. What kind of strain will the pallet be under?
Often the strain a pallet must endure isn’t evaluated until there’s a failure, but it’s something you should definitely consider as you decide whether you want to use a block pallet vs stringer pallet.
- What kind of shipping and handling conditions will be applied to your pallets?
- Are your products shipping long distances or even overseas?
- Will they be transferred more than once during transit?
- How will they be transferred – forklift, pallet jack, etc.?
- Will the pallets be used multiple times or just once?
- Will they be stored indoors or outdoors?
- Will consumers be exposed to your pallets (like at a warehouse store)?
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when you’re choosing the right pallet for your products. Be sure to think it through before you make a decision.
As we discussed earlier, it’s a commonly held belief that block pallets are stronger and more durable than stringer pallets. We were fortunate to get ahold of a testing report that challenges that claim.
The test was commissioned by a company who was using a competitor’s block pallet to ship a heavier product (no, we can’t tell you the company or the product). Unfortunately, the competitor’s block pallet kept failing for this company, and they decided to test it head-to-head against a Conner stringer pallet.
Here are the two tests that were performed on each pallet:
- Clamp Test
- Edge Free Fall Drop
Any deformation of the pallet was considered a failure, and the tests were conducted by an ISTA Certified Lab and reputable CPLP Technologist.