The manufacturer’s or seller’s choice of pallet sizes is a very important factor in global  trade. It is a factor that can influence a lot the delivered cost of an exported product. Thus, the exporters pay or owe to pay a lot of attention in this variable and research all the possibilities available in order to maximize the quantity that can be transferred per pallet or full loading truck / container.  This is why it is also important to research the types and sizes of the containers and trucks that are available. The maximum quantity per loading can be achieved after investigating these variables in combination with taking consideration the weight of a product. Researching on how the competitors are also packаging their products can help in the same direction.

Setting standards on pallet sizes in order to facilitate the procedures of global trade is not an easy task. The variety of products that exist, their dimensions and weights are making the standardisation procedure more difficult.  In this article we will try to cover the pallets that are most often used in the international trade.

The most typical type of pallet that we come across is a wooden pallet. The reason for this is that it is cheaper to be produced comparing with metal pallets and can have the strength to lift the maximum weight that is usually necessary (approx. 1000kg-1200kg). It is also a material that can be re-used and recycled which is also important and in some countries there is legislation for re-using and recycling the pallets.

Below will are listing a table that shows the pallet dimensions that have been set by the International Organization for Standardization as being Iso based for International Transports. The International Organization for Standards is an official international body formed by representatives from many countries to analyse the international interest related with trade and set various standards to facilitate it.

Pallet Dimension ISO Standards
Dimensions,mm (W × L) Dimensions,In (W × L) Estimated Wasted floor Used more in
Metric size in mm Imperial Size in inches in a 40ft container
1016 × 1219 40.00 × 48.00 3.7% North America
1000 × 1200 39.37 × 47.24 6.7% Asia, Europe
1165 × 1165 45.9 × 45.9 8.1% Australia
1067 × 1067 42.00 × 42.00 11.5% Asia, Europe, North America
1100 × 1100 43.30 × 43.30 14% Asia
800 × 1200 31.50 × 47.24 15.2% Europe

 

As shown on the above table some of the ISO pallet dimensions mentioned are more common in some regions of the world than others. The reason for this is that international trade came after the regional trade. Thus, some local norms on trade were set before the economy became global and the products started to be carried in different transportation vehicles (like air cargo, sea etc.). In addition to this the fact that inland transport is providing a certain variety of vehicles that can deliver the products from door to door provides more flexibility to use a bigger variety of pallet dimension sizes.

Below, we are listing also the pallet standard as set in North America and in Europe in order to give you an overall view of the possibilities that exist:

Pallet Dimension Standards in North America
Dimensions, mm (W × L) Dimensions, in (W × L)
Metric size in mm Imperial Size in inches
1016 × 1219 40 × 48
1067 ×1067 42 × 42
1219 × 1219 48 × 48
1219 × 1016 48 × 40
1219 × 1067 48 × 42
1016 × 1016 40 × 40
1219 × 1143 48 × 45
1118 × 1118 44 × 44
914 × 914 36 × 36
1219 × 914 48 × 36
889 × 1156 35 × 45.5
1219 × 508 48 × 20

 

Pallet Dimension Standards in Europe
EURO pallet type Dimensions
(W × L)
Dimensions
(W × L)
Metric size in mm Imperial Size in inches
EUR, EUR 1 800 mm × 1,200 mm 31.50 in × 47.24 in
EUR 2 1,200 mm × 1,000 mm 47.24 in × 39.37 in
EUR 3 1,000 mm × 1,200 mm 39.37 in × 47.24 in
EUR 6 800 mm × 600 mm 31.50 in × 23.62 in
600 mm × 400 mm 23.62 in × 15.75 in
400 mm × 300 mm 15.75 in × 11.81 in

In addition to everything mentioned so far one more important standard has been added to pallets specification. The standard is related to the conditions that affect the hygiene and health and has been set by the International Plant Protection Convention (abbreviated IPPC), and is specified in ISPM 15. Some countries have complied with this standard and request pallets which have its marking on it.

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