How to choose the right pallet for your freight?​

5 tips to help you get started!

Has your company regularly sent freight with pallets? Sometimes it can be difficult to choose the right type of pallet. That is why we have put the following 5 tips together to help you with your choice!

1. The right pallet size

It is extremely important to choose the right pallet size. This is mainly due to the fact that your shipment should be safe and secure  for transport. When parts of your freight are sticking out, it may lead to unnecessary damage. In most cases, the costs will not be reimbursed.

The price is usually calculated by the size and weight of the pallet. Therefore, it is sometimes cheaper to opt for a smaller pallet and stack your freight. Be careful however that you cannot exceed a maximum height.

A size which is frequently used for road transport has a width of 80 cm and a length of 120 cm. Common sizes are also 100 x 120 cm and 80 x 60 cm. Does your shipment have different dimensions? Then it is also possible to request special pallets with measurements that suit your freight.

2. Type of pallet

There are many types of pallets, but the most common for pallet transport are europallets, blockpallets and minipallets. These pallets are built with three beams, topped with a plateau of laths to support your freight. The pallets can be lifted with a forklift from all four different sides.

The europallet (80 x 120 cm) is the most used type of pallet on the European mainland, but for the larger shipments block pallets are also regularly used. Block pallets are also known as industrial pallets and are mostly used in France and The United Kingdom. With the smaller dimension of 80 x 60 cm is the minipallet the most appropriate pallet for smaller shipments.

3. Carrying capacity

It seems obvious: a larger pallet can carry more weight than the smaller versions. The maximum carrying capacity is nonetheless not always the same. Even though a standard europallet can hold up to 2.000 kg, the European Pallet Association recommends to not surpass 1.500 kg. Furthermore, the material which is used to build the pallet can influence the maximum carrying capacity. The construction weight of a pallet is not always evenly distributed, which can significantly reduce the weight a pallet is able to withstand. 

Additionally, carriers typically allow a maximum weight per pallet to ensure that trucks do not exceed international weight restrictions. In Quicargo’s digital freight network, partner carriers allow 800 kg for a europallet, 1.000 kg for a block pallet and 300 kg for a minipallet

4. Material

For the transport of pallets, it is most common to use a wooden construction. These pallets are extremely resistant and are very cost-effective.

It is however difficult to carry a wooden pallet by hand, as the weight rapidly exceeds 25 kg. There are alternatives, for example, synthetic material, cardboard and Styrofoam. The issue with these pallets is that they can usually only be used once.

5. Certificates and hallmarks

As previously discussed, pallets come in different types and sizes. These are, however, not the only differences. Pallets can also have different certificates. An EPAL hallmark is given to official europallets. If you see the symbol on the wood, then your pallets are compliant to strict European regulations.

Moreover, the official pallets are the only ones that are officially allowed to be reused and/or to be traded. The ‘unofficial’ pallets are usually referred to as OW-pallets (oneway) and are only appropriate for a single shipment.

For shipments outside of the EU, regulations stipulate that pallets have to be treated against detrimental organisms and pallets need to have a visible approval stamp from ISPM 15. This may not seem relevant yet, but with Brexit around the corner, it will also count for shipments to and from The United Kingdom.


Quicargo connects empty trucks in real-time with companies in need of transport. Do you need to send pallets in the near future?

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