Friday, February 10, 2017

Wood Pallets, Skids, and Crates: What’s the Difference?

All Size Pallets specializes in the manufacturing and reconditioning of wood pallets for Michigan businesses. Although pallets, skids, and crates all have unique features and uses, we often hear the terms used interchangeably. So, what exactly is the difference between a pallet, a skid, and a crate?

All three are, of course, used for the shipping and storing of materials. All three can be made of wood. They can also be made of other materials, like durable industrial plastic or even metal. Yet each of the three have their own strengths, weaknesses, and ideal uses. All Size Pallets works with each of our Michigan client companies to determine if our wood pallets will best meet the needs for their project.

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Wood Shipping Crates

A shipping crate is considerably easier to tell apart from a skid and pallet than a shipping pallet and skid are from each other. While the latter two both tend to be flat and mostly used for product transport, a crate is made with four walls as well as a floor in order to be useful for holding supplies, products, or anything else that needs to be securely stored. They are, essentially, wooden boxes. Because they can hold a large volume, wood shipping crates are a necessary part of the storage and shipping process.

Unfortunately, their bulky shape makes them less easy to transport. That’s where wood skids and shipping pallets come in.

Wooden Skids

At first glance, wood skids may look very similar to wood shipping pallets. In fact, the terms “skid” and “pallet” are often used interchangeably when talking about wooden manufacturing platforms! However, there is a difference: a skid, unlike a pallet, only has one wooden deck. Unlike a wood pallet, a skid is only built with one completely flat surface– the top. Instead of resting its weight on a bottom deck, it instead rests its weight on vertical slats or legs.

Because there is less surface area on the bottom of a skid, it makes dragging skids loaded with materials much easier than dragging a similarly sized pallet. Essentially, the lack of a bottom deck allows less friction. If you need to transport a large amount of your company’s materials from one place to another (for example, in a wood shipping crate), placing it on a skid will allow for easy transportation. This becomes even more true if the pallet has a center stringer, allowing for use with a fork lift.

“Nestable pallets,” or skids which are easily stackable for maximum storage, are also, technically, skids; they still don’t have that bottom deck. Normally, wood pallets with their two flat upper and lower decks are preferable for stacking supplies. Nestable pallets represent a more flexible middle ground between the benefits of a skid and those of a pallet.

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Wood Shipping Pallets

So then, what are the benefits of a pallet? We’ve already discussed that a wood shipping pallet, unlike a wood skid, will have that second, flat bottom deck. This deck makes stacking pallets for storage very easy, and makes stacking crates of materials on top of each other very sturdy and providing improved cube efficiency. If the same were tried with a normal skid (not a stackable one), the lack of a flat bottom surface would make weight distribution precarious.

The double deck build of a wood pallet also makes it more convenient for racking. The bottom deck allows a pallet to provide resistance against falling while it’s loaded onto a storage rack or a fork lift.

Contact All Size Pallets

Questions about what kind of wood shipping container would best suit your needs? Contact All Size Pallets today. We’re happy to answer your questions and work with you to provide the right kind of shipping solution for your needs.

Talk to the owner of All Size Pallets directly: (810) 721-1999
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