Believe it or not, the humble pallet is a vital cog in the machine of goods distribution all over the world. It offers an inexpensive and reliable solution to many businesses – particularly those who operate on a ‘just-in-time’ principle.
In the past, palletised freight has been seen as predominantly a B2B service. However, there has been a surge of companies using pallet deliveries to reach consumers directly in recent times, mainly due to businesses such as ebay who often need to ship goods which are too big to be delivered as standard parcels.
This article aims to inform the lay-person on best practice for using pallet services, and give them the relevant information so they are able to make the important decisions when choosing which company to use for their pallet deliveries. Factors to consider include the location (collection & delivery), urgency, and number of pallets. With that in mind, a customer has two main options to choose from – independent pallet courier network or a pallet distribution service.
The independent network work in a very similar way to parcel operators – they pool their resources though the internet and can work together to provide wide reaching delivery services. This collaborative approach allows for greater flexibility as they are able to tailor delivery options to suit the customer. Perhaps one drawback of using this type of service is that the pallets are more likely to be handled several times during transit thus increasing risk of damage. Therefore, it is important to ensure the goods are palletised correctly and are sufficiently insured.
A dedicated pallet distribution service is basically where one company handles your pallet from collection until delivery. In contrast to an independent network, the pallets are only handled a minimal number of times which significantly reduces the risk of damage. This is particularly useful for international delivery when returns and breakages become much more of an expensive headache. This method of delivery also tends to be more inexpensive for full loads, whereas a pallet courier network becomes more cost-effective for single pallet or part loads.
You are now hopefully armed with enough information to make the right choice for you and your business when deciding on a pallet delivery service!