Pallet Terminology from A-Z | Pallet Consultants
Become a pallet expert with terminology that is often used in the pallet industry. Read this comprehensive list to learn the ABCs of pallets!
"A" Grade: Highest grade of recycled pallets with minor to no stringer damage
Block Pallet: A type of pallet with blocks between the pallet decks or beneath the top deck.
Chamfered Deck Board: A deck board with the edges of 1 or 2 faces beveled, either along the full or specified length of board or between the stringers or blocks thus facilitating entry of pallet-jack wheels and tines of forklift trucks.
Closed "Loop" or Closed Distribution System: A shipping system restricted to moving goods between specified plants and facilities.
Cost per Trip: Average cost of pallet or container use for a single 1 way movement of the unit load consisting of 4-6 handlings.
Drive-Screw Nail: Continuously helically threaded or fluted pallet nail.
Economic Life: The number of trips the pallet will make over its lifetime provided it is properly repaired (thus maximizing the return on the investment).
Exchange Pallet: A multiple-use pallet intended for use among a designated group of shippers and receivers where possession of the pallet is transferred with the ownership of the unit load-pool pallet.
Expendable Pallet: A pallet intended for a limited series of handlings during a single unit load movement from shipper to receiver.
Fastener: A device for connecting pallet components such as nails, staples, screws, bolts, lag bolts, adhesives, and welds.
Fastener Shear Index: Measure of the estimated shear resistance of the pallet fastener relative to the shear resistance of a high-quality "baseline" pallet nail.
Flush Pallet: A pallet with deck boards flush with the stringers, stringer boards, or blocks along the ends and sides of the pallet.
4-Way Notched Heavy Duty Stringer Pallet : A pallet with openings at both opposite pallet ends and sides sufficient to admit hand-pallet jacks-full four-way entry pallet.
Free Span: The distance between spacers within the pallet and the distance between external pallet supports as in a warehouse rack.
Grocery Industry 4-Way Pallet (GMA): A generic reference to the pallets used in grocery manufacturing, distribution, and retailing. Historically, it meant a "GMA pallet" which was a pallet specified by the Grocery Manufacturers' Association.
Handling: A single pickup; movement as a result of picking up, transporting, and setting down of an empty or loaded pallet.
Hardwood: A wood from broad-leafed tree species (not necessarily hard in texture or dense).
Inner Deckboards: The deckboards placed inside the lead boards, which are often smaller in size.
Just-in-time Delivery: Delivery of products, like pallets, that are planned to arrive exactly when the facility needs them.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI): Measurement of metrics that are important to the user, could be anything from pallet failure rates to a facility's throughput and number of touches
Life to First Repair: The number of one-way trips of the pallet prior to requiring any repair.
Limited-Use Pallet: A pallet designed for an average of up to 9 trips with an average of 5 handlings per trip in an average environment.
Load Bearing Surface: The interface between the pallet top deck and the unit load supported by the pallet-interface between pallet bottom deck and pallet-supporting area.
Logistics: The process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from point of origin or point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements.
Multiple-Use Pallet: A pallet designed for repeated uses for more than one unit load with an average minimum life-to-first repair of 10 trips or more with an average of 5 handlings per trip in an average handling environment.
Notched Stringer: A stringer with 2 or more notches spaced for fork-tine entry (partial 4--way entry).
Opening Height: The amount of space between the insides of the lead boards. This is where forklift tines can be inserted into the pallet.
Pallet: A portable, horizontal, rigid, composite platform used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling, and transporting goods as a unit load often equipped with a superstructure.
Pallet Life: The period during which the pallet remains useful under given maintenance conditions expressed in units of time or in the number of one-way movements of the pallet.
Quality: Consistent performance of a uniform product meeting the customer's needs for economy and function normally represented in terms of conformance to predetermined, agreed standards.
Repaired Pallet: Pallet with damaged components replaced with new or recycled components in order to reuse it.
Recycled Pallet: A pallet that has been used, discarded, salvaged, repaired, or rebuilt in order to pass through another cycle or cycles of use.
Rental Pallet : A pallet owned by other than the user and rented by the user.
Returnable/Reusable Pallet: A pallet designed to be used for more than 1 trip-multiple-use pallet.
Reversible Pallet: A pallet with identical or similar top and bottom decks designed to allow either one to support the unit load.
Shipping Pallet: A pallet designed to be used for a one-direction movement of the unit load from shipper to receiver. It is then recycled or disposed of.
Skid : A pallet without bottom deck boards or deck.
Slave Pallet: A rigid pallet or platform; single, thick panel used as a support base for a palletized load in warehouse rack-storage facilities or production systems.
Softwood: Wood from coniferous or needle bearing species of trees (not necessarily soft in texture or of low density).
Trip: A series of 4-6 handlings of a pallet. Required to move a palletized unit load from the shipping point to the receiving point.
Wing: Overhang of deck board or deck end from the outside edge of the stringer used to increase unit-load area, to add pallet load-bearing capacity, to reduce deck board-end splitting by fasteners, or to facilitate the lifting of a pallet with bar slings hanging from a crane.
Pallet Consultants is a national pallet manufacturer offering a wide variety of pallet products including recycled pallets, specialty pallets, custom-sized pallets, new pallets and more. We provide quality pallets and pallet retrieval services to industries around the country. Start a conversation with our expert team to see how we can meet the pallet needs of your operation.