Site Contents

Secrets of International Trade

Approved Pallets


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



A pallet is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader, work saver or other jacking device.

The pallet has become the cornerstone of the entire materials handling industry.
It is the means by which the manufacturing, transport and distribution functions are united into a single gauge.


The Australian

In the early 1950's materials handling in Australia was labor intensive and cumbersome process. This was radically changed, when it was realized that the pallets left behind by the U.S. army after World War II could be used to efficiently transport foodstuff.

The concept spread as producers, manufacturers and retailers realized that the pallet offered many advantages:

  • Goods could be handled faster
  • Labor cost was reduced
  • Damage to goods in transit was significantly less.

Because of the original pallets left behind by the U.S. Army were of standard size and design, all the facets of warehousing and distribution were standardized from the outset.



  Standardization in
Warehouse Racking

Pallets could be transferred from the producer to the manufacturer and to the retailer with the minimum need to handle products.
  • Standardization in Materials Handling Equipment
  • Standardization of the Transport Industry
  • Forklift and pallet handling equipment including automatic warehouse systems.

This brought significant benefits with the standardization of small, medium and large transport vehicles to cater for local distribution or regional line haul requirements.

The pallet has become the cornerstone of the entire materials handling industry. It is the means by which the manufacturing, transport and distribution functions are united into a single gauge.

Today, all over the world, are equip with equipment and the largest transshipment port in the world handling hundreds of thousands of vessels each year (with an average turnaround time of 11 hours per vessel) and damage to goods in transit is becoming less common place.

Increasingly, products are being transported between countries via road as the highway networks become more widespread and efficient. Resulting in standardization between countries have become even more critical to ensure maximized efficiency.

With standardization in racking, materials handling facilities, central distribution systems and transportation which will facilitate significant productivity savings -- the pivotal point is a standard sized pallet that result in lowering costs that are reflected in lower cost for consumer goods.






It is the common denominator in the logistic chain & pivotal to enhance competitiveness especially in the areas of automated storage and retrieval systems.

With a universally accepted standard sized pallet, warehouses and distribution systems can be streamlined, workers can operate more efficiently, cartons and packaging are in conformity and other materials handling equipments does not need to be adjusted. The advantages of standardization are far reaching.

The Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research SISIR has set out a number of guidelines for pallet size.


approved pallet

measuring 1000mm x 1200mm with four way access for forklifts is considered the optimum size for handling modern, international sized cartons.

The ISO pallet fits modern racking systems, containers and trucks with minimal wastage of space and conforms to ISDO 445:1984.

The advantages of standard pallets are evident in a central distribution system such as Davids Asia Pte Ltd, a supermarket supplier, and according to local Managing Director; John DEuchars said:

"To set up a central warehouse worth several million dollars, standard sized pallets are a fundamental part of the system. To accommodate pallets of different sizes, I would need different forklifts, different racking and the end result would mean higher costs passed onto the consumer"

Standardization is efficient and cost-effective, manufacturers can design cartons for optimum usage of space and trims costs across all levels of industry, and from one country to the next.



The advantages of standardizing pallets clearly outweigh the disadvantages the wood is valuable and could be sold and recycled although the relative cost of a pallet is low.

The operation of the pallet hire system is simple and user friendly. The users do not purchase the pallets; avoid repair and recovery costs, have no disposal and all hired  pallets can be transferred to another party or physically exchanged at the point of delivery with no storage and relocation costs, the use, demand and supply of hired pallets would balance out through the entire distribution chain.

The pallet hire system has a computerized system that automatically  tracks all the hire pallets in the pool. The pallet hire company is able to supply to the customers, at the end of each month, a detailed pallet hire invoice that accurately accounts for the pallet usage and hire charges.

Utilization of the hired pallets are carefully monitored to assist the customers to maximize their storage requirements in the most cost efficient manner.

The implementation of standardization in racking, materials handling facilities, transportation and central distribution systems will facilitate productivity savings as labor cost keeps continuously escalating. The pallet therefore, is the cornerstone of the entire materials handling industry.

Part 1/3
Pallets comprise the most versatile unit load system

Part 2/3
Pallets of different materials: metals, plastics, wood and composite compounds

Part 3/3 < This Page
ISO approved pallets, with four way access for forklifts

Can't find what you want? Try Google Search...