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Do Plastic Pallets Float? Not All, Here’s Why

With all the emphasis being put on recycling these days, it seems like a good idea to re-utilize pallets and other plastic bins. However, do they float? 

The answer is some do while others don’t. This has to do with the fact that plastic floats in water because of its density.

The denser a substance is, the more likely it will sink in water.

Therefore, a wooden pallet would be heavier than an empty plastic one and would sink if both were dropped into water at the same time.  

The weight difference between these two items can also cause them to have different buoyancy values.

While an empty pallet might float better than a full one depending on factors such as shape and size, this factor does not apply for plastics because they are all made from polyethylene which is less dense than wood.

Throughout this article, we are going to talk about why plastic pallets float and what are the benefits of using this kind of supply.

How plastic pallets work

Plastic pallets are the most widely used kind of pallets. 

It is basically a plastic crate that has four sturdy interconnecting corner pieces to provide it stability and strength. 

This makes it easy for workers to stack and handle heavy products on this type of pallet without causing any damage or deformation to them. 

These days, plastic pallets are available in various dimensions and configurations.

Plastic pallets can be stacked on top of each other to form a tall tower of goods. 

It is also used to hold small loads that will not cover the surface area so much, or when you need to protect your goods with an extra layer for security reasons. 

The interconnecting plastic pieces, in this case, do not have to be as strong and sturdy because the load it carries is very less.

Do plastic pallets float?

First, for plastic pallets that have been used over and over again, it is important to know ahead of time whether they are capable of floating on water. 

Assuming that the pallets have been used several times, we will need to look at their durability from an aquatic point of view. 

Although most plastic pallets are not specially designed for shipping over bodies of water, some can handle a bit of exposure without getting destroyed completely.

To find out whether your plastic pallets are capable of floating, consider the following factors: how much weight they can withstand, what design they have and their plastic material. 

The first factor is a matter of durability and strength, while the latter two go hand-in-hand with this category.

The weight capacity of plastic pallets

If you are looking to buy floating plastic pallets, then you will want to know what weight they can safely hold. This is especially important if the pallets need to be able to endure sitting in water for long periods of time without becoming submerged.

The answer may vary depending on whether or not the pallets were originally designed for use in water or on land.

In most cases, a plastic pallet is capable of supporting up to 30,000 lbs when not being moved, and 5,000 lbs while in motion.

This makes them a fairly affordable option for large shipping companies and other businesses that need to ship products internationally in bulk.

If you are interested in using plastic pallets in water or on wet embankments, then it is important to know what weight they can safely hold. 

This will ensure that your products stay where they should be and don’t become submerged in water too quickly.

What material are plastic pallets made of?

You’ve surely seen them before.

Those giant plastic boards strapped together on a truck, ready to be delivered to a destination.

You might not know it, but there’s a good chance that you yourself have some of these in your home or workplace.

You see, plastic pallets are actually taking over the world.

While they were once used exclusively for industrial purposes, like holding heavy equipment and things of that nature, today they’ve found their way into our homes in varying forms.

So what material are plastic pallets made of?

Well, the answer to this question actually depends on which type of plastic pallet we’re talking about – there’s a whole spectrum of them, and they all vary in their makeup.

But one thing is true: they are indeed made out of plastic, as the name suggests.

Plastic pallets are made of a variety of materials, including plastic such as polyethylene (PE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and polypropylene (PP).

Also, plastic pallets come in different forms such as, roto-molded crates, stackable industrial plastic pallets, or rackable plastic pellets.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are the perfect solution for companies that need to transport goods in wet or humid conditions. They’re also great if you have a lot of heavy items and want to save on freight costs.

But they do come with some disadvantages, too.

We’ll cover all the pros and cons of plastic pallets so you can make an informed decision about whether this is right for your business.

Pros of plastic pallets

1. Lightweight for shipping

One of the biggest advantages to plastic pallets is that they’re lightweight. They weigh around 30% less than wooden pallets, which saves you money on shipping costs.

In addition, plastic pallets can hold more weight than wooden ones because the materials are so strong. This makes them a popular choice for businesses with lots of heavy items to transport.

2. Waterproof and rust-proof

Another big benefit of plastic pallets is that they’re water-resistant and rust-proof, which makes them perfect for companies that handle liquids or products that could be damaged if exposed to moisture.

This can help protect your expensive materials from damage, keep your containers dry, and reduce the risk of spoilage.

3. Won’t splinter or breed mold

Plastic pallets are made from materials that won’t splinter like wood can, so they’re more sanitary than their wooden counterparts. This makes them safe for food transport as well as pharmaceuticals and other products with strict regulations regarding packaging material and safety.

In addition, plastic pallets don’t support the growth of mold and mildew like wood pallets do. This means they have a longer lifespan with less chance for developing bugs or other pests. Mold and mildew can not only damage products but also create additional cleaning costs that add up over time.

4. Longer lifespan

Plastic pallets can last up to 10 years, which is much longer than a wooden pallet, which can only last around two years.

This makes them a solid investment that will save you money in the long run.  If you do the math over time, you’ll end up paying more money on wooden pallets than plastic.

Also, because they’re so strong and durable, you won’t have to worry about shipping damage from rough handling.

Cons of plastic pallets

1. Not easily customizable

One disadvantage to plastic pallets is that customization options are limited. If you need a specific size, color, or shape for your pallets, for example, you may have trouble finding what you’re looking for.

You can have them custom-made at some places, but this can quickly become expensive.

Wooden ones are a better choice if you need different or custom sizes because they can be cut to fit your exact specifications.

2. Not as easy to modify

Another disadvantage of plastic pallets is that they’re harder to modify than wooden pallets–even ones made from recycled materials. 

This may not be a problem for standard size items, but if your products or packaging needs to be modified in any way (such as drilling holes), you’ll have to find a new pallet that will work. 

This can be costly and difficult in some cases, so it’s something to keep in mind if you need flexibility with sizes or shapes.

3. More expensive than wooden pallets

Plastic pallets are more expensive than wood ones, although the price varies depending on where you get them. Plastics are also more difficult to produce than wood, so there is a greater cost involved in their production as well.

In some industries where large volumes of pallets are used, it can be hard to justify the added expense. This may not be an issue for you if plastic pallets fit your business needs better–but it’s something to think about if you’re on a budget.

4. Not biodegradable

Probably the biggest disadvantage of plastic pallets is that they don’t break down in landfills like wood pallets do. This means they can take up space for many years, adding to the already large problem of waste accumulation from discarded materials.

While some plastics are biodegradable, the ones made for shipping purposes are not. This makes them harder to recycle or dispose of and can be a big problem as landfills around the world become more crowded and difficult to manage.

Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.