How Much Weight Can a Pallet Hold

Posted by Plastic2go in Plastic Pallets.

Plastic pallets in a racking system

Clients often ask us “How much weight can a pallet hold?” This is a very good question so here’s everything you need to know about calculating pallet loads to suit your needs.

Before we can start, however, we need to define the term “weight”, because it’s not a single thing. In fact, here are some commonly-used phrases related to weight:

  • Static Load – the maximum weight of product the pallet can carry while resting on the ground, without moving. This is typically the highest weight rating for any pallet
  • Dynamic Load – the maximum weight of product the pallet can carry while it is picked up and moved by a forklift. This is typically the second weight rating of any pallet
  • Racking Load – the maximum weight of product the pallet can carry while it is in a warehouse rack
  • Safe Working Load (SWL) – many people have heard of this term. However, in Australia, it is not defined or regulated for plastic pallets. It is also unclear, because it could refer to a safe static load, a safe dynamic load or a safe racking load

So, as you can see, it’s important to ask specifically, “What is the dynamic load of the pallet?” instead of “How much weight can the pallet hold?”

How will you use the pallet?

Plastic pallets are made for a purpose. The level of engineering “smarts” the goes into the design and manufacture of a plastic pallet is very high. This enables pallet manufacturers to create products that suit particular applications. This can be export, cold room storage or supermarket distribution, each with its own ideal pallet.

Horses for courses

For example, a very light pallet that weighs 4kg is excellent for shipping light products by air, because its light weight reduces the cost of air freight. However, it only has a static load of 1,200kg, a dynamic load of 400kg and no racking load.

On the other hand, a heavy duty pallet that weighs 23.4kg is better for transporting heavy products or for storing in a racking system. This kind of pallet has a static load of 10,000kg, a dynamic load of 2,000kg and a racking load of 1,500kg.

Therefore, it’s important to know what kind of plastic pallet you’re dealing with, and what type of application you want to use it for.

How will you balance your load?

When you try to figure out how much a pallet will carry, the type of load is very important. For example, if you are a watermelon farmer, your load is fairly heavy, but it’s balanced evenly across the pallet. Most growers also put the watermelons into a cardboard box or a bulk container first. Then, they put that on the pallet. Using this type of container also helps spread the load evenly across the pallet.

On the other hand, if your load is a roll of printing paper, or a bulk bag of grain, it puts most of the pressure on the centre of the pallet.

Under even load distribution, the pallet can hold a lot more weight than when the load is at the centre. Therefore, when you look at pallets’ static, dynamic and racking loads, remember that these are maximum values. Your specific product packaging and load distribution may need a stronger pallet.

Forklift moving a loaded pallet

How will you fix the load to your pallet?

To find the effective weight a pallet can carry, it’s also important to know how the product load is held on the pallet so it doesn’t move. Shrink-wrapping the product to the pallet turns the whole shebang into one big thing. This prevents the pallet from bending during movement on a forklift and means it can take a higher dynamic load than without shrink-wrapping.

Strapping the load onto the pallet can help increase the pallet’s ability to handle the load, but not always. In the case of the roll of printing paper, strapping across the roll only increases the pressure on the middle of the pallet, and this means that the effective load on the pallet is higher than the weight of the roll.

How will you transport your pallet?

One thing you have to remember when choosing a pallet is that pallets are often stacked. Of course, if the load on your pallet is 2,000kg and you place another one on top of it, the bottom pallet now has to carry a weight of 4,000kg.

This is important when exporting in shipping containers. It also applies when stacking pallets on a factory or warehouse floor to save space.

Similarly, if your pallet will be carried by straps, moved on a forklift, or handled in any way that puts more pressure on certain areas of the pallet. You must take this into consideration and buy a pallet with a higher rating than the weight of your load.

How can you know for sure?

The best way to check how much weight your specific pallet will carry within your specific materials handling environment is to test. Good pallet suppliers can help you test by providing a few sample pallets. You can then use them for a while in your particular setting and check for yourself how they perform and how much weight they actually carry.

In summary, there are plastic pallets that can carry almost any weight. Now, you know how to choose the best one for you.

For more details, look at a few of our plastic pallets.

Why Buy Plastic Pallets and not Rent?

Posted by Plastic2go in Plastic Pallets.


The logistics industry is huge, involving several activities. If you run a logistics business, or are in charge of logistics in your organisation, you are probably looking out for a cost effective way to get pallets for packaging and transport. You have two options – either buy plastic pallets or rent them. What is the best choice to make and what type of pallets should you use?

Read Why Buy Plastic Pallets and not Rent? »

New Ergonomic Folding Plastic Crates

Posted by Plastic2go in Plastic Crates.

Ergonomic folding plastic crates now availableAbout 6 months ago (June 17, 2014), we announced a set of new folding (collapsible) ventilated plastic crates for agriculture handling and distribution. But, as we said, our engineering department just keeps the good stuff coming.

We are very excited to announce a brand new range of 5 foldable vented plastic crates with ergonomic easy-lock handles for super easy handling in the fields, while loading trucks and in the cool room.

Whether you are growing or distributing, this is a great selection of crates for you. It’s easy to find the ideal crate for your tomatoes, bananas, avocados, mangos, stone fruit and any type of fruits and vegetables you need to process.

Besides the ergonomic easy-lock handles, a massive advantage of these crates is the very high return ratio. They fold down so tightly that storing and transporting them empty is cheaper than any other crate range on the market.

Read New Ergonomic Folding Plastic Crates »

New Return Packaging Crates

Posted by Plastic2go in Plastic Crates.

Return Packaging Crate C2GP5519VThe plastic injection molding industry keeps moving forward and making better and better products, including vented folding (collapsible) plastic crates for return packaging systems. We have just added 6 of these crates to our range of products.

Whether a folding crate for picking peaches or for delivering kiwi fruit to the market, one of these brand new, state of the art vented plastic crates will be ideal for the job. 3 of them fit the ISO standard (600×400) and the other 3 fit the Australian standard at varying heights. All of them fold to take up to 6 times less space to save money on return trips.

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Reduce costs by switching to plastic shipping pallets

Posted by Plastic2go in Export & Shipping, Plastic Pallets.

Lightweight plastic shipping palletsUsing plastic shipping pallets is a cost-saving strategy for today’s businesses. Switch to plastic pallets and reduce costs by: saving on transport costs; minimising product loss; re-using plastic pallets; and purchasing used pallets.

Reduce transport and shipping costs with plastic shipping pallets

Transporting or shipping goods anywhere, be it across the country or internationally, costs money. There are not only costs associated with the goods themselves – taxes, etc – but also those related to transporting them. Plastic pallets are light and easy to transport, reducing your overheads; they are easy to sanitise, reducing quarantine charges.

Minimise product loss

Traditional timber pallets can splinter, break and absorb water, which can warp the timber as it swells. the resultant product damage can be very costly. Switching to plastic shipping pallets, while initially more expensive than timber, can minimise loss caused by product damage: the savings can greatly outweigh any increase in pallet cost.

Read Reduce costs by switching to plastic shipping pallets »