Avatan Handling Equipment Ltd


What is a Stillage Used for? – A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on: May 3rd, 2024 by Avatan

What is a Stillage Used for? – A Comprehensive Guide

At Avatan, we specialise in providing a wide range of stillages across the UK, aimed at improving your storage and transportation operations. Understanding the multifaceted applications of stillages, from their roots in agriculture to their indispensable role in modern-day storage and transport, is essential.

Whether it’s enhancing the efficiency of your operations or ensuring the safety and preservation of goods, Avatan’s stillage solutions are tailored to meet diverse industry needs. This guide aims to navigate through the various stillage uses, shedding light on how these platforms can drastically improve your operational workflow.


Understanding Stillages and Their Benefits
Versatility and Customisation
Durability and Efficiency
Safety and Accessibility
Choosing the Right Stillage for Your Needs
Compliance with Regulations
Customisation for Specific Industries


Understanding Stillages and Their Benefits

At Avatan, we recognise the critical role that stillages play in enhancing operational efficiency across various industries. As experts in this field, we offer an extensive range of stillages, each designed to meet specific storage and transport needs while ensuring durability and safety. But, what are stillages?

Stillages are an essential component in the logistics, warehousing, and manufacturing sectors, designed to facilitate the storage, transportation, and organisation of goods. They are versatile storage solutions that come in various shapes, sizes, and designs to accommodate a wide range of items, from small parts to large and bulky goods. Typically, stillages are made from durable materials such as steel or aluminium, ensuring they can withstand the rigours of industrial environments and heavy loads.

Below we have delved deeper into the benefits and applications of stillages to help you better understand their importance:


Versatility and Customisation

• Customisable Options: Our stillages are not one-size-fits-all. They can be custom-made to meet specific industry requirements, including specialised designs like stackable stillages or flat steel pallets. This adaptability ensures that regardless of the cargo, there is a stillage solution that can handle it.
• Diverse Applications: Commonly used in industries such as automotive, construction, and retail, stillages are essential for transporting bulky or irregularly shaped items. Their robust design accommodates heavy loads and frequent use, making them a reliable choice for demanding environments.


Durability and Efficiency

Built to Last: Constructed primarily from steel, our stillages are engineered to withstand extreme conditions and loads, outlasting other storage options and offering significant long-term cost savings.
Efficient Space Usage: Stillages have the ability to stack securely, stillages optimise warehouse space. They provide better unit load capacity and easier access compared to traditional storage methods, which is crucial for maintaining a smooth operational flow.


Safety and Accessibility

• Enhanced Safety Features: The design features of our stillages, such as cages or side supports, prevent contents from slipping out, thereby enhancing the safety of goods during transport and storage.
• Ease of Access: The open design of post-pallet stillages and the visibility offered by cage stillages make it easy to access and identify stored items, reducing handling time and improving logistics efficiency.


Choosing the Right Stillage for Your Needs

At Avatan, we emphasise the importance of selecting the right stillage to meet your specific business requirements while ensuring compliance with safety regulations.

Here’s a guide to help you choose the most suitable stillage for your needs:

Assess Your Requirements: Begin by evaluating the type of goods you need to store or transport. Consider factors such as size, weight, and the sensitivity of the items.
• Research Suppliers: Look for suppliers with a strong reputation and expertise in providing high-quality stillages.
• Review Technical Specifications: Check the load capacity, material, and dimensions of the stillages. It’s essential to choose a stillage that can handle your specific load requirements without compromising on safety.
• Consider Ergonomics and Safety Features: Opt for stillages that offer ergonomic benefits and enhanced safety features to protect your goods and ensure the safety of your staff.
• Seek Expert Advice: If you’re uncertain, consult with our experts at Avatan who can provide tailored advice based on your specific needs.
• Document the Selection Process: Keep a record of the decision-making process, which can help in ensuring compliance and can be useful for future reference.


Compliance with Regulations

At Avatan, all our stillages are designed to last, providing you with peace of mind that your equipment is not only efficient but also safe and compliant. Regular risk assessments and maintenance are part of our commitment to uphold the highest standards of safety and functionality in all our products.


Customising Stillages for Maximum Efficiency

At Avatan, we recognise that each business has unique operational needs, which is why we offer extensive customisation options for our stillages. Our commitment is to provide solutions that not only meet but exceed your specific requirements, ensuring maximum efficiency and safety in your operations.

Tailored Design Features

• Enhanced Load Capacity: Our custom-made steel stillages are designed to improve loading capacity, accommodating more goods safely and securely.
• Safety and Security Enhancements: Features like collapsible cages and secure locks ensure the protection of your products during transportation and storage.
• Longevity and Durability: Constructed from high-quality steel, our stillages guarantee durability and strength, standing up to heavy use and extending their service life.

Custom Features
• Dividers: To further protect delicate items, we offer customisation like dividers that prevent damage during handling.
• Branding Options: Reinforce your professional image with stillages branded with your company logo, enhancing brand visibility and trust.



The versatility, durability, and customisation options of stillages underscore their pivotal role in modern storage and logistics frameworks, ensuring goods are not only securely stored but also easily accessible. These attributes align closely with our mission at Avatan to provide high-quality, bespoke stillage solutions across the UK, underscoring our dedication to enhancing your operational workflow with meticulously designed, industry-specific storage and transportation solutions.

In light of the diverse applications and undeniable benefits of incorporating stillages into your operations, it is clear that choosing the right stillage solution is not merely an operational decision but a strategic investment towards optimising efficiency and safety.


Avatan is here to assist you in navigating through this selection process, ensuring that you find stillages perfectly suited to meet your unique business needs. We hope you have found this article useful and informative, if you are looking for stillages for your business, get in touch with us today.


Are Plastic Pallets Better than Timber Pallets? A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on: March 27th, 2024 by Avatan

Are Plastic Pallets Better than Timber Pallets? A Comprehensive Guide - Image 1

In our exploration of storage solutions at Avatan, we frequently encounter the debate: Are plastic pallets better than timber pallets? Our extensive experience serving the industrial and food industry sectors positions us uniquely to compare these two types of pallets.

Plastic pallets excel in transporting fresh and frozen foods, pharmaceuticals, and other products with stringent hygienic requirements due to their ease of cleaning. On the other hand, wooden pallets, celebrated for their affordability. The pivot towards choosing between plastic and wooden pallets hinges on a matrix of factors.

In this article we aim to guide you through the nuances of each option, discussing the intricacies of tche specific product and industry needs, adhering to applicable standards and regulations, budget constraints, and the consideration of long-term economic benefits.


Durability and Lifespan

At Avatan, we understand the importance of durability and lifespan in choosing the right pallets for your industries needs.

Here’s our comparison between plastic and wood pallets on three crucial aspects within the durability and lifespan application:

Durability and Weather Resistance:

  • Plastic Pallets: Known for their robustness, plastic pallets can withstand rough handling and adverse weather conditions without distorting or weakening. They are also resistant to moisture, insects, and mould, making them easy to clean and sanitise.
  • Wood Pallets: While easier to repair, wooden pallets are more susceptible to damage from the elements, including moisture and pests, which can lead to rot and mould. Their porous nature also makes them difficult to clean and can harbour bacteria and other contaminants.


Lifespan and Cost-Effectiveness:

  • Plastic Pallets: Boasting a lifespan of 10-15 years and the ability to complete over 200 cycles, with some models like the Odyssey pallet from ORBIS reaching up to 400 cycles without failure, plastic pallets present a long-term investment. They are 100% recyclable, allowing for recovery of part of the investment at the end of their life cycle.
  • Wood Pallets: Typically lasting 2-3 years with around 11 cycles before failure, wood pallets are initially cheaper and can carry more weight. They can be repaired and reused, extending their lifespan, but their susceptibility to damage and contamination may lead to higher replacement and maintenance costs over time.


Safety and Handling:

  • Plastic Pallets: Designed with a cleaner finish, plastic pallets reduce the risk of injuries from splinters, nails, or sharp broken wood pieces. They are lighter, making them easier to handle and can result in savings on transportation costs.
  • Wood Pallets: Despite being heavier and potentially hazardous due to the risk of splinters and nails, wood pallets can hold more weight. Their repairability extends their usability but requires additional maintenance to ensure safety and performance.



In the debate of plastic pallets vs. wood, understanding the cost-effectiveness of each option is crucial. Here, we delve into the financial aspects to help you make an informed decision:

Initial Investment and Long-term Savings:

  • Wooden Pallets: They are approximately three times less expensive than plastic pallets initially, making them a popular choice for businesses looking for short-term cost savings. However, due to their susceptibility to damage, wooden pallets may require more frequent replacements and repairs, leading to higher costs over time.
  • Plastic Pallets: Despite a higher initial cost, plastic pallets can save businesses thousands of pounds compared to wooden pallets. This long-term saving is attributed to their durability, longer lifespan, and lower maintenance costs.


Maintenance and Operational Costs:

  • Wooden Pallets: Are easily repaired and reused. However, they are porous and difficult to clean, which can lead to higher maintenance and replacement costs, especially in industries requiring stringent hygiene standards.
  • Plastic Pallets: Cannot be easily repaired if damaged. However, they are non-porous, easy to clean, wash, or sterilise, and more reliable in automation, streamlining processes, and reducing labour costs.


Sustainability and Residual Value:

  • Wooden Pallets: Though initially cheaper and recyclable, at the end of their useful life, wooden pallets do not have any residual value for the owner, and sometimes their disposal incurs additional costs.
  • Plastic Pallets: 100% recyclable and have a high residual value, allowing owners to recover part of their investment at the end of the life cycle. This aspect not only makes plastic pallets a more sustainable choice but also contributes to their overall cost-effectiveness.


Environmental Impact

At Avatan, we understand the significance of environmental impact in the choice of pallets for our industrial and food industry clients. Our commitment to sustainability guides us in offering insights into how both plastic and wooden pallets fare in terms of environmental friendliness.

Plastic Pallets:

  • Made from up to 93% recycled materials, significantly reducing the need for new plastic production.
  • At the end of their lifecycle, they are 100% recyclable, with programs in place to ensure old or damaged pallets are collected for recycling into new products.
  • Despite their recyclability, production requires energy and resources, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. If not properly recycled, they can end up in landfills, taking centuries to decompose.


Wood Pallets:

  • EPAL wooden pallets are kiln-dried and ISPM15 compliant, suitable for various scenarios, including post-Brexit trade.
  • Biodegradable and can be recycled into paper or cardboard, although their utility diminishes after several recycling processes.
  • The production of wood pallets contributes to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, but their simple manufacturing process and the fact they are often made from sustainably sourced wood mitigate some environmental concerns.


Hygiene and Safety

At Avatan, we prioritise the hygiene and safety of our storage solutions, understanding their critical importance in the industrial and food industry sectors. Let’s delve into a detailed comparison of plastic and wooden pallets concerning these aspects:


Plastic Pallets:

  • Non-porous surface: Facilitates easy cleaning and sterilisation, significantly reducing the risk of contamination.
  • Resistant to moisture, bacteria, and other contaminants: Ideal for industries with strict hygiene requirements such as food and pharmaceuticals.
  • Easy to clean with water and/or cleaning products: Ensures maintenance of proper hygiene standards without hassle.


Wooden Pallets:

  • Porous nature: Can harbour dust, mould, and present problems in high-moisture areas, potentially leading to health concerns.
  • Natural antibacterial properties: Despite their porous nature, wood pallets can be suitable for hygiene-sensitive areas, although they require more meticulous cleaning processes.
  • Susceptibility to mould and bacteria: Makes them less ideal for certain industries, especially where strict hygiene standards are paramount.


Safety and Handling:

Plastic Pallets:

  • Lightweight and available in different sizes: Facilitates easier handling, reducing the risk of work-related injuries.
  • Lack of nails or screws: Minimises the risk of injury during manual handling and reduces the chance of product damage.
  • Ergonomic design: Enhances safety during handling and operations within sensitive environments.


Wooden Pallets:

  • Risk of splinters, screws, and nails: Can lead to injuries during manual handling and pose a risk of damaging goods.
  • Heavier weight: Makes them more difficult to handle, potentially leading to increased risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Wear and tear: Provides conditions that may not only compromise the structural integrity but also hygiene, as damaged areas can harbour bacteria and pests.


Industry-Specific Considerations

At Avatan, we recognise that the choice between plastic and wooden pallets can significantly impact the operational efficiency and compliance of businesses in the industrial and food industry sectors. Given the diverse needs of these sectors, it’s crucial to consider industry-specific considerations that influence the selection of pallets. Here, we explore how each type of pallet caters to different industry requirements:

Standard and Custom Sizes:

  • Both plastic and wooden pallets are available in standard sizes (120cm X 100cm and 120cm X 80cm), aligning with global shipping and storage standards. This universality ensures compatibility across different logistical operations.
  • For businesses requiring unique dimensions for specialised applications, wooden pallets offer the flexibility of custom sizes and designs. This adaptability makes them a go-to choice for industries with non-standardised products or storage environments.


Compliance and Maintenance:

Plastic Pallets:

  • With materials such as HDPE or PP, they offer strength, durability, and resistance to moisture and contaminants, crucial for industries with stringent hygiene standards like food and pharmaceuticals.
  • Their ease of cleaning and lack of maintenance requirements, combined with consistent quality, make them better suited for export compliance and operations seeking to minimise operational downtimes.


Wooden Pallets:

  • Although requiring more maintenance due to potential issues like chips, displaced boards, and protruding nails, their customisability and higher weight capacity provide a versatile solution for various applications.
  • The need for treatment to meet export standards and susceptibility to damage and contamination may affect their suitability for certain industries.



The choice between plastic and wooden pallets ultimately comes down to assessing which option offers the most value in terms of durability, economic efficiency, environmental sustainability, and compliance with industry standards.

At Avatan, we understand the unique challenges and requirements of the industrial and food sectors, positioning ourselves as your partner in selecting the optimal storage solutions for your specific needs.


If you are looking for plastic pallet solutions for your business, check out our extensive range. Together, we can streamline your business processes, enhance operational efficiency, and foster sustainable practices for a brighter, greener future.


Understanding Stillages and their Versatility in Material Handling

Posted on: February 21st, 2024 by Avatan

In the world of material handling, efficiency and safety are paramount. One often overlooked tool that plays a vital role in optimising these processes are stillages. But what exactly is stillage?

Stillage refers to a specialised type of container or pallet used for storing and transporting goods. Stillages are commonly manufactured from steel or aluminium and are designed to withstand heavyloads and rough handling.

At Avatan we specialise in providing stillages and steel pallets to a wide range of industries, from commercial sectors to building sites. In this article, we will be going through all the intricacies of stillages, explaining the different types and factors to consider when choosing your perfect stillage for your project.



Types of stillages and their uses

There are several types of stillages available, each designed for specific purposes.

Let’s explore some of the most common types and their uses:

  • Cage Pallet: This type of stillage features a mesh or wire cage design, allowing for visibility and ventilation. They are commonly used in industries such as agriculture, where products need to be easily accessible and protected from damage.
  • Box Pallets: Box pallets are characterised by their solid walls and base, providing maximum protection for fragile or sensitive goods. They are often used in industries like electronics, where delicate components need to be transported safely.
  • Demountable Stillages: Demountable stillages combines the benefits of a pallet and a stillage. They feature a sturdy base with removable sides, allowing for easy access to goods during transportation and storage. These types of stillages are commonly used in warehouses and distribution centres.
  • Post Pallets: Post pallets manufactured from mild steel, are a simple and safe way to stack larger and less uniform products and can provide exceptional versatility in the warehouse.These types of stillages are commonly used in warehouses and distribution centres.


Advantages of using stillage in material handling

The use of stillages in material handling operations offers numerous advantages that contribute to improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Here are some key benefits of incorporating stillage into your workflow:

  • Increased Safety: Stillage ensures the safe transportation and storage of goods. Their sturdy construction and ability to withstand heavy loads reduce the risk of accidents or product damage.
  • Improved Space Utilisation: Stillages allows for easy stacking, maximising the use of vertical space in storage facilities. This helps optimise storage capacity and reduces the need for additional storage solutions.
  • Enhanced Product Protection: With their robust design and customisable features, stillages provide a reliable solution for protecting goods during transportation. They minimises the risk of product damage, ensuring that items reach their destination in pristine condition.
  • Streamlined Handling Processes: By integrating stillages into your material handling operations, you can streamline processes such as loading, unloading, and inventory management. The standardised dimensions and compatibility of stillages make it easy to handle and move goods efficiently.


Common industries that use stillages

Stillages find application in a wide range of industries, each with its unique requirements.

Let’s take a look at some common sectors where stillage is extensively used:

  • Automotive: The automotive industry relies heavily on stillages for the transportation and storage of components, such as engines, transmissions, and body panels. Stillages ensure the safe handling of delicate and heavy parts, minimising the risk of damage.
  • Food and Beverage: In the food and beverage industry, stillages play a crucial role in the transportation of goods, such as bottles, cans, and packaged products. They help maintain the integrity of perishable items and prevents contamination during transit.
  • Retail and Warehousing: Retailers and warehouses use stillages extensively for efficient storage and distribution of goods. They enable easy organisation, quick access, and secure stacking of various products, ranging from clothing to electronics.
  • Construction: The construction industry relies on stillages to transport heavy materials, such as steel beams, concrete blocks, and pipes. Stillages ensure the safe delivery of these materials to construction sites, reducing the risk of accidents and delays.


Factors to consider when choosing the right stillage

Selecting the appropriate stillage for your material handling needs is crucial to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right stillage:

  • Load Capacity: Determine the maximum weight your stillage needs to support. Consider both the weight of the goods and any additional equipment, such as forklifts or cranes, that will be used during handling.
  • Dimensions: Ensure that the stillage dimensions align with your product requirements and storage space. Consider the size, shape, and weight distribution of the goods to be transported or stored.
  • Material: Choose a stillage material that aligns with your industry requirements. Steel stillages offer durability and strength, while aluminium stillage provides lightweight options for easier handling.
  • Customisation Options: Evaluate the need for customisation features, such as removable sides, half drop gates or adjustable shelves. Customisable stillages can be tailored to meet specific requirements, enhancing efficiency and organisation.


How to properly maintain and store stillages

Proper maintenance and storage of stillages are essential to prolong their lifespan and ensure continued functionality.

Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections to identify any signs of damage or wear. Look for cracks, rust, or bent components that may compromise the integrity of the stillage.
  • Cleaning: Clean the stillage regularly to remove dirt, debris, or any potentially corrosive substances. Use appropriate cleaning agents and ensure thorough drying before storage.
  • Proper Storage: When not in use, store stillages in a clean and dry environment to prevent damage from moisture or harsh weather conditions. Stack stillages securely to avoid any potential collapse or instability.
  • Repairs and Replacements: Address any damaged or malfunctioning stillage components promptly. Replace worn-out parts or seek professional assistance for repairs to maintain the safety and functionality of the stillage.


Future trends and innovations in stillage technology

As technology continues to advance, the field of stillages is also evolving.

Here are some future trends and innovations to look out for:

  • Smart Stillage: Integration of IoT (Internet of Things) technology in stillages, allowing for real-time tracking, monitoring, and data analytics. This enables improved inventory management and predictive maintenance.
  • Eco-friendly Materials: The development of stillages made from sustainable and recyclable materials, reducing the environmental impact of material handling operations.
  • Automated Handling Systems: Incorporating robotics and automation into stillage systems, enabling autonomous loading, unloading, and transportation of goods.

These emerging trends and innovations in stillage technology will continue to revolutionise material handling processes, enhancing efficiency, and sustainability.


The role of stillages in optimising material handling processes

In conclusion, stillages play a pivotal role in optimising material handling processes across various industries. Their versatility, durability, and customisable features make them an essential tool for the safe transportation and storage of goods. Remember to consider the factors discussed when choosing the right stillage for your specific requirements and follow best practices for maintenance and storage.


Explore our range of stillage solutions and discover how they can optimise your material handling processes. Contact us now for a consultation!


What is a stillage?

Posted on: April 24th, 2019 by Steve Tarn

It is easy for us in the industry to immediately interpret customer’s needs when it comes to stillages. But the term stillage is really a generic term for any number of different steel pallets, cages and boxes and are commonly a platform to raise stored products off the ground.

If we were talking about the scaffolding industry for example, a stillage would generally be seen as a Steel Post Pallet but could equally describe a Steel Box Pallet. However, in the brewing industry, kegs of beer will generally be carried on a Stillage of a very different kind and would be used to store and tilt the keg ready for use.

I will stick with the main use for the term Stillage. Steel Stillages Designed to Order Sheet or Mesh SidesStillages may be described as Mesh Stillages, Sheet Stillages or Post Stillages. These are all effectively the same in that they will generally hold stored product off the floor, enabling the product to be easily handled by fork lifts, hand pallet trucks or cranes. Stillages may commonly be stacked and it is not unusual for Stillages to be stacked up to six units high. This of course would be dependent on the size and construction of the Stillage and the weight it carries.

Mesh Stillages and Sheet Stillages will retain loose products in that they have meshed or sheeted sides and may be provided with drop down or removable gates.

Post Stillages will generally not have sides. They will have a base framework and fixed or removable corner posts and will be ideal for storing extruded products or lengths of tube or bar materials. The tubes can overhang the ends of the stillage, using the upright posts to retain the contents.

Although there are common sizes for Stillages, many manufacturers will offer bespoke sizes to suit individual customer needs. Common sizes tend to replicate the sizes of standard timber pallets, for example 1200mm x 1000mm and the most common European size 800mm x 1200mm. Europeans have standardised on Stillages they call Gitterboxes, and now commonly also used in this country.


Although some Stillages are not required to be stacked and are used at ground level only, simply to raise the stored product off the floor, most Stillages are designed to be stacked.

It is important that precautions are observed. For example, Stillages should not be stored too close to each other. Most stillages have conical pallet feet and it is important that space is allowed between Stillages to ensure that one foot cannot inadvertently be placed on an adjoining foot. Errors can lead to stacks of Stillages being tipped over.

Manufacturers will design Stillages to suit the weight the users have requested for the Stillage. It is important that Stillages are not overloaded or stacked above the declared safe stack height.

Fork lift driver training in the use and stacking of Stillages is essential to ensure that risk of accidents is minimised.


Another term occasionally heard in the Stillage industry is ‘Stillage Condition’. This does not refer to the actual condition of Stillages. Of course, if a Stillage is damaged, then it should immediately be withdrawn from use pending inspection and repair. It is however a term used by some insurance companies in regard to raising stored product off the floor in order to minimise risk of flood damage. Some insurance policies in areas at risk from flood damage, will insist that products are raised off the floor to a determined height. This is commonly 10cm and the storage height of most Stillages and timber pallets will exceed this.

So, to sum up, Stillages are versatile storage products extensively used in warehousing and manufacturing industries to retain, store and stack products.

For further advice contact Avatan today.

Stillage and Pallet Design with Transport in mind

Posted on: August 29th, 2018 by Avatan

When a customer calls and asks for a pallet 1.3m square, little do they realise what affect this will have on their ongoing transport costs. Let me try to guide you through Designing for Transport.

So often, we are asked for unusual sizes of metal pallets and stillages. As we at Avatan Handling Equipment pride ourselves on our ‘Specials are our Standards’ mantra, we will always be happy to manufacture stillages that may be considered out of the ordinary. However, we will take time to discuss each customer’s needs. We will try to ascertain if the benefits of a special sized stillage actually outweigh the disbenefits and ongoing costs.

For example, if the need is for a stillage or pallet to accommodate an area slightly larger than a conventional pallet, but that pallet, once it is delivered to the customer will never again travel by road, then the additional transport cost incurred in the original delivery is never repeated.
However, it that pallet will instead be routinely ferried by vehicle or transported within a shipping container, then minimising the inpact on the remainder of the vehicle space is of paramount importance.Postrack Bases Offset Stacked On Trailer

Standard UK Trailers

The standard UK trailer generally has an internal length of 13.4m and a width of 2.49m. They can generally accommodate up to 26 standard UK pallets, each 1000mm x 1200mm. Alternatively using Euro Pallets, 800mm x 1200mm, this capacity increases to 32 pallet spaces. Increasing the pallet size only slightly, e.g. 1000mm x 1250mm and the number of pallets the trailer can hold will drop significantly. If the second dimension also exceeds half of the trailer width, you might then be reducing the load capacity by a much larger proportion.

Trailer heights are slightly more variable and range between 2.4m high and 3m high. Again, with full knowledge of each customer’s needs, pallets can be designed to suit the trailer height as well.Folding Euro Steel Cage Pallets 270 Per Load

Pictured here are some of Avatan’s rental Postracks. Offset stacked in fives, then stacked 6 units high, with 12 stacks of 30 per trailer, enabling 360 bases to fit on a 13m trailer with a height of 2.5m.

We do this too with Euro 91 Cage Pallets. On a Mega Trailer with a height to accommodate just under 3m, we can fit 288 Euro 91 cages in 32 stacks of 9. It is true to say, in order to do this, the trailer is absolutely laden both from load weight and volume point of view.

I have so far only mentioned 13m trailers. Of course many vehicles on our roads are ‘Rigids’ and will have a much smaller capacity. Many companies run 24′ or 32′ rigid vehicles. Generally these will offer the same internal width as the longer trailers again offering just over 2.4m internal width to accommodate 2 x 1200mm pallets between the curtains. Box trailers generally offer slightly less internal width and height than Tautliners.

Shipping Containers

This is another area where designing to maximise capacity is important. There is very little flexibility in the internal width of containers as they are built uniformly to fit within strict tolerances onboard ships. Here again, if you are designing your product to fit within a shipping container, design it smaller rather than larger. You will be amazed how difficult it can be to fill and empty a shipping container if tolerances have been maximised. Leave space for manoeuvre or face the risk that your product will be damaged while being loaded or unloaded.

Standard ISO Shipping Containers are 40ft or 20ft long, 8′ wide and 8’6″ high. High Cube containers are also routinely used extending the container height to 9’6″ high. (Other container sizes are available but cannot necessarily be shipped in the same way as standard ISO containers).  Do bear in mind that the dimensions given are overall and the internal space is less than this and that the distance between the door framework also eats up space. I re-iterate… design smaller rather than larger and think carefully how you might manoeuvre that last of the load in through the doors.

In short, in designing Pallets and Stillages for use on roads, rail or on the high seas, think carefully about how much space you might gain or lose. Consider what cost advantage or disadvantage these changes will make to you shipping budget.

How To Choose Pallet Feet For Stillages

Posted on: August 17th, 2018 by Avatan


With a wide selection of pallet feet available, we guide you through how to make the best choice to suit your own stackable stillages and pallets.

Pallet feet are generally used to facilitate easy, safe and secure stacking of steel pallets. However, some pallet feet are more easily stacked than others. And some pallet feet demand a little more floor space than alternative methods of stacking.


Steel Box Pallet Stencil Identification or SWLLet me start with conventional pallet feet. These are the most commonly used pallet feet in the UK and are used for most British stillages. Generally conical in their shape, stillages using these are by far the most easily stacked. Fork lift drivers can quickly and efficiently line up stillages. The forklift driver will easily see that two of the pallet feet will be aligned with the pallet below and can be sure that the remaining two pallet feet will drop squarely into place. Care must always be taken to ensure that all stacking points are lined up. However, the pallet will reliably centre itself on each corner post with very little likelihood that it will be stacked incorrectly.


  • Low cost
  • Easily and safely stacked
  • Available in various sizes and thicknesses
  • Gives easy fork lift access to all sides of the stillage


  • Overlap the pallet adding to pallet footprint


Nesting plug accessory stillagesUsed extensively for motor industry pallets, the nesting plug can be used in conjunction with box section posts and fits almost entirely within the confines of the pallet dimensions. It only marginally increases the overall size of the stillage.

Nesting plugs sit on top of or below the corner post. The dimpled nesting plug will insert into the tube of a superimposed load and hold the stacked pallet firmly and securely in place.

Forklift drivers need to be highly accurate in their placement of stillages with little margin for error.

In designing stillages using nesting plugs, it is generally necessary to add skids, (or runners), between the corner posts in order to spread the load over a larger surface area. Nesting plugs on their own would create a significant point load and would be likely to damage floors.


  • Pallet footprint in minimised
  • When used with skids, warehouse and vehicle floors are best protected.


  • Maximum driver accuracy required
  • The addition of skids adds to pallet costs
  • Skids may create a barrier preventing hand pallet truck operation
  • Not available in many sizes


Euro 75 Steel Box Pallet Stillage Half GateGenerally not available in the UK, this pallet foot is used extensively in Europe for Euro style cage pallets and box pallets.
Like the conical pallet foot, it is easily stacked. The Euro style cage pallet uses a top frame for stacking purposes. The feet will simply be placed within the upturned stacking frame of the stillage below, which in turn holds the superimposed stillage in place.

This foot adds nothing to the overall size of the stillage, However the required stacking top frame does add slightly to the pallet dimensions.


  • Pallet footprint is kept small
  • Gives easy fork lift access to all sides of the stillages.


  • Generally only available in one size


When stacking stillages, it is imperative that fork lift drivers take care to ensure that all feet line up.

It is essential that the feet can be seen to have properly dropped over the corner posts of the stillage they are stacked upon.

Stillages and steel pallets must be stacked only on solid and level surfaces.

Care should be taken to ensure that space is allocated between stacks of stillages. It is imperative that adjoining stacks of pallets cannot be disturbed unintentionally.


We manufacture stillages using all of these stacking methods. We design post pallets and mesh and sheet steel sided stillages to suit each customers individual needs. If you have any requirements for stillages and wish us to assist please call today or complete an online enquiry form.

What Is The Size of A Stillage or Metal Pallet

Posted on: July 28th, 2017 by Avatan

What is the size of a Stillage or Metal Pallet?

If I had a penny, (let’s say a Pound), for every time I am asked ‘what is the size of a standard pallet or stillage’, I would be a very wealthy man!

Although there are common sizes used in the manufacture of pallets and stillages, most companies offering these products will offer to manufacture storage containers to suit individual customer’s needs. However, individuals have their own ideas about what ‘standard’ pallet means. I will try now to give a little guidance about what we understand as ‘standard’.

Steel Stillages’ and Metal Pallets’ Sizes

In the UK there are no real ‘standards’ when it comes to sizing cage pallets, box pallets, post pallets and flat pallets. Individuals want steel stillages to suit their own specific needs. A steel stillage is three dimensional, i.e. width, depth and height.

Commonly these will be manufactured to suit trailer sizes in order to make best and most economical use of transport. In the UK, we tend to default to base dimensions of 1200mm x 1000mm, (this stemming from our old imperial 48” x 40”). It is this size that hauliers use to identify that a full size trailer will carry 26 pallet spaces.

Height is often determined by trailer capacity but as trailers vary tremendously in height, this is less quantifiable. It is safe to say that two 1200mm high stillages will fit within the height of most trailers.

In Europe, they have a slightly different idea when it comes to stillage sizing. The European default size tends to be 1200mm x 800mm. Two x 1200mm or three x 800mm will most economically fill the width of a standard trailer. Folding Euro Steel Cage Pallets 270 Per LoadThe European Pallet Pool Stillage is nominally 1200mm x 800mm x 970mm high. Up to 96 of these rigid cages will fit within a Mega trailer. Or up to 270 Folding Euro Cage Pallets will fit on a Mega trailer.

Common Sizes for Steel Stillages

Cage Pallets

  • 900mm x 600mm x 600mm high
  • 900mm x 900mm x 600mm high
  • 1000mm x 1000mm x 1000mm high
  • 1200mm x 800mm x 1000mm high
  • 1200mm x 1000mm x 1000mm high
  • 1200mm x 1200mm x 1000mm high

Box Pallets

  • 600mm x 600mm x 600mm high
  • 900mm x 600mm x 600mm high
  • 1000mm x 1000mm x 1000mm high
  • 1200mm x 800mm x 1000mm high
  • 1200mm x 1000mm x 1000mm high


  • 1200mm x 1100mm x 1500mm high
  • 1400mm x 900mm x 1500mm high
  • 1420mm x 1060mm x 1600mm high

Scaffolding Post Pallets

  • 950mm x 950mm x 680mm high

Not all metal pallets and steel stillages are designed to go on vehicles. Many are designed to accommodate a specific product and vehicle economy may not be a factor.

At Avatan, we offer the best of both worlds. We have laid out our stall to offer both ‘Standard’ and ‘Bespoke’ Stillages. We carry stocks of European style Cage Pallets and Box Pallets, nominally 1200mm x 800mm, and most commonly 970mm high. We also carry stocks of CubiCages generally based on the UK pallet size of 1200mm x 1000mm.

We also design and manufacture metal pallet cages and steel box pallets and post pallets to order in any size and quantity. From as small as 600mm square upwards. I think the largest stillage we have manufactured in recent years is 5000mm x 1320mm x 1200mm high. Entirely achievable but it did present some logistical issues while handling it through the manufacturing process.

Entirely separate from this blog post, I will also cover the ‘standard’ size of timber pallets, and plastic pallets. I will also cover flat metal pallets manufactured from steel, stainless steel and aluminium.

In answer to the question, ‘ What is the size of a Stillage?’, the response fits another unanswerable question… ‘How long is a piece of String’?
Let us try to help you with answers to your specific questions, call Avatan Handling Equipment today.

Postracks – An alternative to Pallet Racking

Posted on: November 10th, 2015 by Avatan

The cross over between Postracks and Pallet Racking is discussed.

When weighing up how to best use the space within your warehouse, there are always many factors to consider but mainly, is the storage requirement a long term one or do you need an adaptable system that can be moved or replaced, easily and economically?


Pallet Racking is ideal for so many warehouses. Conventional pallet racking with wide isles enables the user to access every pallet stored within the warehouse. However, this comes at the expense of the space it uses. The isles, the arteries of the racking system, are generally wide and can swallow up as much as 70% of the total warehouse space.  If however, a more flexible approach is necessary to accommodate changing storage needs throughout the year, then conventional wide isle pallet racking may not be the most beneficial solution.

Pallet Racking Used Dexion Link 51 Planned StoragePallet Racking – The Benefits

  • Traditional Racking gives immediate access to 100% of pallet spaces
  • Warehouse headroom can be fully utilised
  • Pallet spaces can be allocated to specific products and product groups minimising search time

Pallet Racking – The Disadvantages

  • Traditional Racking is costly in floor space, needing wide aisles for fork lift access
  • Is generally not available for hire
  • Cannot be easily moved, leaving little flexibility for seasonal requirements


Postracks may be that alternative. Postracks are simple Post Pallets that can be used in a similar fashion to Pallet Racking. Postracks are designed and manufactured with flexibility in mind.

Postrack Galvanised Post Pallet Block StackedEach Post Rack comprises a strong and durable steel braced base upon which a palletised load can be loaded. A set of four removable posts dropped into the stub posts of the base, are then available to support another base placed upon them.

The beauty of this system is that it will not be bolted to the floor and can easily be moved to another area within the warehouse. Equally, the Postracks can be block stacked without isle space maximising the number of pallets a warehouse can store within a limited area. Imagine Easter Eggs for example. They take up a lot of space for a short time within the year. They are all likely to be despatched within a short period of time. What better way to fill the warehouse than to block stack the Easter Eggs. The same would go for so many seasonal products and Avatan has many regular customers who hire Postracks for a short period of time each year. Turkeys at Christmas, Chocolate Eggs at Easter, bulbs in the summer and so many others consumer items where stocks are assembled and need to be stored for a short spell of time. Postracks, (post racking), are the answer to many of our customers.

Oddly, another seasonal product is Carpet. (No, I would not have considered that to be seasonal either, but it is)! Carpet and underlay manufacturers, distributors and stockists build up their stocks in late summer in preparation for an increase in sales in the run up to Christmas and for the Sales. Although not palletised, rolls of carpet and underlay are often stored in Postracks. Again, the demountable nature of the Postrack means that when carpet manufacturers are quieter, the Postracks may be disassembled and stored in a much smaller area, leaving the vacated space for other uses.

Postracks – The BenefitsPostrack, round tube post pallet, heavy duty stillage

  • Can be used as an alternative to Pallet Racking with all the advantages of this
  • Can be block stacked, minimising aisle requirements for bulk goods
  • Can be easily assembled without installation costs
  • Is routinely available for hire
  • Can be dismantled easily and stored in a fraction of its assembled space
  • Can be used as a Post Pallet
  • Can be used as a transit pallet for despatch purposes

Postracks – The disadvantages

  • Product at the top of a stack must be removed before lower loads are removed

Avatan Handling Equipment prides itself on encouraging customers to use storage products best suited to their own needs. There are places and situations where the use of Pallet Racking is a no brainer. There are other warehouses where it would be madness to use an inflexible system and Postracks may then be the best option. Contact us today to discuss our postracks for sale, and postracks to rent, on 020 8429 4444 and let us help and guide you.

There’s Money in Redundant Stillages

Posted on: October 15th, 2015 by Avatan

Second Hand Stillages.

We featured a blog post last year commenting on how second hand stocks of stillages and other storage items had suddenly become available. In the current market, many items will sell very quickly. For example, pretty well as soon as we get hold of SHC33 Used Ex MOD Cage Pallets, they sell. Other items may not sell so readily but we are always on the lookout for saleable stocks. If you do have stocks of redundant Cage Pallets, Box Pallets or Post Pallets, do please get in touch.Used Avatan Storage Equipment - Stillages and Steel Pallets

Ex Rental Cage Pallets for sale.

Avatan offer a wide range of rental storage items and these will often be offered for sale, second hand, once a rental is complete and the goods have been returned and inspected.
Our large fleet of rental Postracks, Euro style Cage Pallets and CubiCages enable us to regularly offer good quality second hand consistent items for sale. With three different styles of Postracks and a variety of Euro Cage Pallets most storage needs can be covered.

Storage Equipment wanted and for sale.

Yes, we would prefer to keep the factory busy and sell only prestine new equipment but so many of our customers look for a bargain and begrudge the extra costs for new stillages. It is with this in mind that we are constantly on the lookout for good quality stocks in good condition.

If you have redundant stocks of steel pallets, stillages, plastic box pallets or plastic containers, and you wish to dispose of them, please do get in touch. If we don’t think they can easily be sold, or they are too costly to transport or store, then scrap may be the option. We won’t waste your time and will tell you. Recover what you can from your redundant storage containers and let us help you do that. Contact Avatan today if you wish to buy or sell second hand storage equipment. We would welcome your call.

Multi purpose Euro Cages

Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 by Avatan

Although there is a standard Euro Cage Pallet used throughout Europe, often known as the Gitterbox, this style of cage in line with conventional steel stillages, can be made in any number of sizes. There are many uses of Euro Cage Pallets for a variety of storage solutions. Types of euro pallets include the standard Euro Cage Pallet, which has base dimensions 1200mm x 800mm and the height used in the European Pallet Pool is 970mm. EPAL pallets, used in the Pallet Pool, must carry identification stating the weight the stillages will carry, how many can be stacked upon one another, the place of manufacture and a sequential identification number. Pallet Pool cage pallets have economical timber bases and although these are robust and durable, many British customers consider them inferior as the timbers will deteriorate when stored outside and the stillage itself is likely not to be suitable for many food or pharmaceutical applications.

Euro Galvanised Cage Pallet for Cheese

Uses of Euro Cage Pallets

To overcome some of the British reservations, Avatan now routinely carries stocks of Euro 90 Rigid and Euro 91 Fully Collapsible Cage Pallets. Based on the Gitterbox style, our stillages have strong corrugated sheet steel bases. Euro 90 Rigid Cage Pallets are also available with hot dip galvanised finish, overcoming many of the reservations presented by food and pharmaceutical industry buyers.

This style of cage has been introduced recently into a major cheese production company. On this occasion, the dimensions have been radically changed, increasing the base size and reducing the height. Load testing has confirmed that this particular unit may be stacked 10 units high. Our customer wanted to go higher still but at the time of testing, only 10 units were available.Euro Cage Pallet Galvanised Steel Stillage

Uses of Euro Cage Pallets are versatile across many sectors. Another industry regularly in touch asking for Euro style cages is the Wine Industry and again, Avatan supply standard Euro cages to many vineyards. For bottled sparkling wines, which uses heavier bottles, we recently re-designed the Gitterbox style cage with larger dimensions, hot dip galvanised to protect the metal from the acidity of the wine and with timber decking to soften the impact of bottles landing in the cage.

The uses for Euro Stillages are endless. These robust and economical cages could well work for you and we would welcome your enquiries. Call Avatan today.

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