When it comes to the large scale movement and transportation of goods – generally speaking, bigger is better. Yet, this isn’t always the case – there are occasions when specially designed small footprint pallets can be a much better choice for factories and retail sales floors. The particular benefits of small footprint pallets are still relatively unknown, because they’re still emerging as a crucial industry tool. For the movement of goods, it often goes without saying that a larger footprint equates to greater efficiency – the bigger your pallets and stillages, the more product you can move at one time. If you have the right infrastructure in place to support large footprint pallets, this can be the most efficient system.
The question is – are there any real benefits to reducing the size of your pallet footprint? These days, the industry cannot really afford to ignore warnings about the environment. With the price of fuel constantly on the rise and the government looking to penalise businesses that don’t adhere to increasingly strict green targets, it’s about time that the commercial transportation industry started to think about reducing its environmental impact. The smaller and lighter the pallets, the less fuel will be needed to transport them – plus, the packaging materials needed to protect and secure them will also be significantly decreased. Here are just a few of the reasons why small footprint pallets can be a valuable benefit to your company.
Commercial Or Domestic – a lot of companies use small footprint pallets, because they’re much easier to transport and handle – especially when it comes to the final customer. If you’re not dealing with enterprises or corporations, there’s really no need to use large scale equipment. In fact, it’s probably more of a detriment to your customers than anything else. If pallets are being delivered to domestic addresses, they need to be small enough to fit through domestic sized doors and spaces, or having been left on the vehicle following delivery are a hindrance to drivers attempting to deliver subsequent deliveries.
Utilise The Space – obviously, pallets and stillages can be very bulky things. If you’ve got multiple large footprint pallets on a trailer, you may find it difficult to fully utilise the space. With small footprint pallets, this may lessen the problem – they can be slipped in the partial pallet positions left on a trailer. There might not be enough room for additional standard footprint pallets, but you’ll save money if you can slip in a few little ones. It’s all about efficiency, remember?
A Wider Range – for those who manage warehouses or retail floors, there’s nothing more important than product logistics. The placement of your merchandise is vital, especially if you want to make sure that trained pickers can locate and identify specific products as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you want to maximise shelf space, it is sometimes necessary to increase the number of products displayed on one length of aisle. In order to do this, you might need to utilise pallets with a smaller footprint.
A Smaller Shipment – last but not least, it isn’t always necessary to use a large footprint pallet for shipments. When smaller items or small quantities of smaller items are despatched, there’s no need to use larger equipment than needed – if you do, you’re only losing out on space, time and efficiency.
When it comes to the large scale movement and transportation of goods, there is nothing more important than effective pallet management. Whilst it’s true that pallets play a basic role in the chain of supply and demand – they are ever present and absolutely vital. In order to fully maximise their value, we need to change the way that we think about them and the ways in which we use them. Without pallets, very few supply chains can function effectively – yet, they can also pose some unique supply chain problems. If your company is going to be successful, it needs to take these four factors into account – associated costs, safety, ease of use and environmental impact. In the interests of small footprint pallets, environmental impact is the most important.
The issues surrounding green transportation are only going to grow in significance for the industry. Fortunately, it is getting easier and easier all of the time to make eco-friendly choices. For example, companies can now choose to invest in reusable plastic pallets, as opposed to the less green timber alternatives. When a timber pallet breaks, it is usually burnt – its lifespan is short, because it hasn’t been designed for extensive use. You could say the same thing about plastic pallets, except for the fact that they last a lot longer and they can be fully recycled when they eventually do break down. A plastic pallet, though strong, is also much lighter than a timber one – this means that it needs less fuel to be moved and transported. And then of course, there are steel, aluminium and stainless steel. Although not indestructible, their life expectancy is massively longer than timber and plastic options. Unlike plastic pallets, steel pallets may be manufactured economically and easily in bespoke smaller footprint sizes and in any quantity, without necessity for expensive tooling but do weigh more than plastic or aluminium pallet options. For further efficiencies, pallets may also be hired rather than purchased, maintaining cash flow flexibility for future growth and prosperity.