Q. What is the pi pallet?
A. The pi pallet is a lightweight shipping pallet with a unique hybrid wood-corrugated construction, bonded with industrial adhesive. Its GMA 48” X 40” version weighs 13-19 pounds (range due to customization), vs. 40-50 for most wood pallets. The pi pallet is RFID-ready and can be customized with in-line printing. Since it’s reusable and recyclable, the pi pallet will ease the pressure from the flood of wood pallets occupying an estimated 2-3% of US landfill space.
Q. Why is a lightweight pallet a big deal?
A. For shippers who pay by the pound, such as LTL and air cargo users, lighter pallets can save big money. They are also much easier to handle, and can help reduce back injuries among warehouse personnel. Many customers will more than recoup the net cost of the pi pallet from the first use.
Q. I ship mainly FTL and via containers. How will a lightweight pallet save me money?
A. While it’s true FTL and ocean freight generally charge a flat rate per truck or container, many shippers run into weight maximums. By using lighter pallets, you can load more freight onto every truck or container before reaching the limit. This additional freight essentially travels for free. Adding an extra pallet to a load of 20 or 25 results in real, up-front savings.
Q. There are lots of lightweight corrugated and plastic pallets, but almost everyone uses wood. What’s the fatal flaw?
A. Other lightweight pallets can’t transport more than about 1000 pounds safely. Both their static and dynamic capacities fall far short of what wood can handle. Lightweight pallets offer great benefits, but they’re not worth it if the trade-off is accidents, ruined product, and productivity lost to cleanup. The pi pallet gets its strength from a wood skeleton, and can transport loads similar to standard wood pallets. Lab tests confirm dynamic and static weight limits similar to wood, and far above what any other lightweight pallet can handle.
Q. What about racking? Most lightweight pallets can’t rack, and those that can don’t hold much weight.
A. Because of its wood skeleton, the pi pallet is the only lightweight pallet that racks loads generally asked of wood pallets. Initially we want to limit racking to 1200 lbs. Eventually we expect design enhancements will raise that limit.
Q. What about pricing? I like the idea of a sturdy, lightweight pallet, but my company wouldn’t pay a big premium over wood.
A. In full production, the pi pallet will be priced competitively with wood. Prices for wood pallets vary considerably by region and quantity purchased. But we expect that in most areas the pi pallet will sell for a modest premium over new, heat-treated wood pallets.
Q. How do I get my hands on the pi pallet?
A. Pallets International is a start-up. Currently we are seeking investment capital and are considering opportunities for launching the pi pallet. Eventually, we intend to roll out a network of distributors, each with an exclusive territory assembling and delivering pi pallets locally. For now, we will consider establishing a dedicated production line for a medium or high volume user that can benefit from our lightweight pallet.