Pallets are used in freight shipping to protect your goods. Also for carriers, pallet shipping makes freight handling more efficient and helps maximize trailer space. While they can be custom made, there are some pallet sizes considered standard within the freight shipping industry.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) influences the consumer packaged goods industry around the globe. They suggest standard pallet dimensions to be 48" x 40". Pallets of that size are commonly referred to as GMA pallets.
More than 30% of pallets produced in the U.S. each year are GMA pallets. The next most common pallet dimensions are 42” x 42” and 48” x 48” respectively.
Types of pallets.
Pallet names stem from their construction. Stringer pallets are built with 2” x 4” wood, plastic or metal stringers. Block pallets are typically sturdier, made with both parallel and perpendicular stringers.
Pallets are built to accommodate easy transport by forklift. Below are some of the most common fork entry types for pallet shipping.
- Two-way pallets have forklift openings on only two ends and are also referred to as “unnotched”
- Partial four-way entry pallets have standard forklift openings on two ends and smaller side openings on the remaining ends
- Four-way entry pallets have forklift openings on all sides for full accessibility