Plastic vs. Wood Pallets: Factors To Help You Decide What’s Best For Your Business

Here’s our comprehensive guide in comparing both plastic and wood pallets!


Pallets are an essential part of countless commercial supply chains, and we understand how many business leaders get a little confused when making their decision between a plastic or wood pallet supply. Although about 95% of businesses do choose wood pallets, it’s still important to understand the pros and cons of both common pallet types.

So below we’ll be providing a comprehensive overview of both plastic and wood pallets, as well as other important considerations, so you can better understand the best application for your business!

Benefits Of Plastic Pallets

Although we don’t provide plastic pallets, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the benefits of going the plastic route. Plastic is typically cleaner than wood, which makes it a solid option for the pharmaceutical industry and other industries that have really strict hygiene regulations.

Plastic pallets are also really easy to clean, and are weather-resistant (at least to a certain extent).

Disadvantages Of Plastic Pallets

There are a handful of rather serious disadvantages associated with plastic pallets that you should know about, and the first and foremost disadvantage is the exponentially higher cost. Plastic pallets will often be around 3-5x more expensive than wood pallets, and that includes heat-treated and heavy duty pallets.

Some manufacturers will require that they have their plastic pallets shipped back to them to get at least a little bit better of an ROI on their pallet supply, however there are countless scenarios in which return-shipping pallets is unlikely or unfeasible.

Another really important disadvantage of plastic pallets is that they likely cannot be repaired if they get damaged, which is of course very different as compared to wood pallets.

Plastic pallets are also comprised of polyethylene, so they’re not eco-friendly, and do pose environmental impacts when it comes to mass production.

A lot of plastic pallet producers will claim that their pallets are much more durable, but the truth is that plastic pallets will commonly become more flexible in hot weather and more prone to breaking in cold weather. Plastic pallets also are not best for heavy shipping loads due to the high likelihood of buckling.

Plastic pallets also are pretty difficult to store because of their slippery surfaces, so businesses will typically have to stack just a few on top of each other to avoid inadvertent collapses.

The last common disadvantage oriented around plastic pallets is that they’re never a cost-effective option when you need custom sized pallets, and this is because the vast majority of plastic pallets will only be provided within standardized sizes.

Advantages Of Wood Pallets

There are many different advantages associated with utilizing wood pallets for your company’s pallet supply, and one of the foremost advantages is the cost as compared to plastic counterparts. Wood pallets are always going to be considerably more affordable than plastic pallets, but of course there are many other benefits other than better prices!

Wood pallets are also much stronger and capable of supporting more weight as compared to plastic, and what’s great about wood pallets is that they can always be further supported and strengthened to support extremely heavy weights. This directly coincides with the customization advantage associated with wood, so you can always be rest assured that your unique products will fit on a wood pallet.

Wood pallets are also recyclable and reusable, and when these pallets get damaged they can be pretty easily repaired. The Pallet Guys are pallet repair specialists that help countless companies continue their investments even when damages occur; and when a pallet is unrecoverable we’ll be sure that the wood is processed in an eco-conscious way.

Your company’s overall carbon footprint will always be much smaller when you choose wood over plastic pallets, which of course is a marketing avenue to help bolster your client relationships!

Drawbacks Of Wood Pallets

Within the efforts of true transparency, it’s still important for businesses like The Pallet Guys to at least acknowledge the particular drawbacks associated with wood pallets that everyone should know about.

One thing to keep in mind is that it is technically possible for a wood pallet’s nails or fasteners to become dislodged or damaged. This is extremely rare, but it’s possible.

Wood can also pose the inherent threat of splinters, but their less slick surfaces do actually make them easier to store as compared to plastic! Some people in the plastic pallet industry will say that wood pallets are more easily capable of buckling, splintering and breaking; but the truth is that this depends upon the wood pallet’s overall construction process and if the pallet configuration is improperly utilized with the wrong load.

However, these issues associated with wood pallets are not something you need to worry about when you work with our experienced industry specialists!

Other Important Considerations To Keep In Mind When Comparing Plastic And Wood Pallets

Some of the factors that business leaders should keep in mind when choosing between plastic and wood pallets include the following:

  • Your unique products and industry
  • The common weight of your products
  • Product sensitivity
  • Export potential
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Need for customized pallets
  • Your company’s carbon footprint

When you factor in all of the above considerations, it’s likely that you’ll come to understand exactly why wood pallets are utilized by 95% of companies worldwide!

Reach Out To The Pallet Guys To Learn More About How We Can Support Your Business With Our High-Quality Wood Pallets!

The Pallet Guys have supported countless business leaders when it comes to understanding why they should choose wood over plastic for their company’s pallet supply, and we’ll always be more than happy to answer your questions and let you know about our pricing plans for your unique needs.

So feel free to reach out to us online or call us at 832-895-7555 to get in touch with our team and let us know how we can support your supply chain with our high-quality wood pallets!

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