Birth Of the Wooden Pallets Paper

Did you know that despite their common occurrence in our day to day activities, most of us have no idea what wooden pallets are all about? Well, like with many modern world unsung heroes, these unassuming wooden structures have played an important part in the industrial revolution.

At ‘face value’, these flat wooden provisions usually sitting outside typical grocery stores, packed with pickle jars might not seem like much, but true to the old adage, there is much more to them. Since the start of the 20th century, pallets have been serving as an affordable and convenient cog in the transportation sector. Mainly utilized for displaying, storing, and shipping items, pallets have some significant uses-and if properly handled-can improve the efficiency and safety of an operation.

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What’s more, pallets are the core of all workshops, factories, stores, and suppliers globally. Even so, how did wooden pallets come to be? What is their history and what is their importance in the modern world? Although they may not appear as ‘essential’ wooden pallets have an immense impact on our economy’s history.

Currently, pallets are built to withstand massive weights and are picked up by forklifts off and on ships, planes, and trucks. Without pallets, it’s unclear whether the world economy would be as resilient as it is now. If you want to learn more about wooden pallets, then stick around. Here is everything you must know about pallets, their history, use, and importance to the world.



Birth Of the Wooden Pallets: how did it all start?


Well, survival as you might have certainly heard is for the fittest. Talking of survival and fitness comes hand in hand with Pallets, pallets, pallets and more pallets. Their ability to hold heavy weights is just amazing if not astounding.


Although not a topic discussed by many people, pallets have played a major role in making sure there is effortless, fast and efficient movement/transportation of goods from one place to the other.


So the question is when and how did pallets come to being? If this has puzzled you for a while then below is a detailed account of what you need to know.


Globally, it is not surprising to find pallets and skids in most if not all workshops. The two co-exist mutually. That said, have you ever paused for a bit and asked yourself why and how the two came to be quite familiar items in a majority of warehouses? If not, here is how.


Long before the invention of pallets, barrels, wooden crates, kegs and boxes were the most common tools used to store and transport items. Rarely were skids used.


Dating back to the early 1920s, not long after the invention of forklifts, was when echoes of change reigned in the methods used to protect, store and gather goods hence Pallets were born.


Boards tightly attached to stringers were the cradle to what is now referred to as the pallets. The two i.e. boards and stringers provide a space where goods can be placed. Beneath lies a space that effortlessly allows the use of prongs belonging to the forklift.


Designing the pallets did not stop there; in 1925 planks were added to the bottom. This was as an advantage, planks included enabled stacks of goods to the place, in turn, and the added planks increased the speed and rate at which products were stored, moved and stacked.


Since then up to date, storage facilities worldwide have continuously used wooden pallets to load and store goods.


Pallets at War Time.


In the 1940s more so during the 2nd world war, pallets diversified into 4-way alternate entries. This came at a period where mass production was at its core. As a result, the usage of pallets became the norm. To effortlessly transport goods, allied nations developed a universally standardized 48 48 pallet. This became a major tool used by the U.S military. In 1941, an estimated 25000 forklift trucks were said to be operational. Though the pallets were of much significance, their usage was highly determined by the number of forklift trucks available.


Pallets Eventually Go Mainstream!


It was in 1945 after the war ceased that different types of pallets came to being. The majority being those of wooden pallets. Examples are, the initial four-way pallet designed by Robert Braun and the Disposable pallet modelled by Norman Cahners.


Almost a decade later, Lansing Bagnall a British company now a subsidiary of the KION Group, designed a narrow aisle electric lift truck. This led several warehouses to shift to more narrow aisles and an increased loading/storage capacity. Diverse designs and sizes were used. As a result, delays and costly labour followed suit.

Modern-day Pallet Industry


According to statistics, North America produces 450 million pallets annually and 1.9 billion of them are operational each day.


Pallets have become a vital factor influencing modern-day trade. Businesses nowadays would not be fully satisfied were it not for pallets. Safely transporting goods would be hectic.


Currently, wooden pallets still resemble the earlier four and two-way models hence enabling functions with forklift trucks. However, plastic pallets have also dived into action when it is a matter of transporting goods like food. Aluminium, paper and metal are other materials used to make pallets. Also, some of the pallets require heat treatment to maintain proper hygiene.


In addition, Pallets have led companies like IKEA to designing their products in co-relation. In Colin white’s book ‘strategic management ‘, IKEA has previously had to redesign their mugs to fit different types of pallets.


So if you’ve previously had to deal with slow, tiresome and unfruitful methods of packaging and transporting goods, pallets will do away with all that. Join in in the footsteps of our predecessors and indulge in the blissful feeling of sustaining our economy through safe pallet transportation.



And there it is- a detailed overview of the world of pallets. While they may not feature a glitzy-high profile, this, however, doesn’t undermine their importance for various industries across the globe. With an interesting history dating back almost a century ago, the birth and evolution of pallets is as short as it is captivating, and their importance the more undeniable. Amazing, wooden pallets are a superb construction that has surely withstood the rigorous test of time, blending well with the modern industry, and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon!



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