Pallet Types - What Are the Different Types of Pallets

Container transport, Pallet transport, Sea freight

Shipping pallets is one of the most common ways to send freight. It is enormously important to decide on the right pallet types for your own goods. Find out from us what criteria are used to make the decision and how you can find the right type of pallet for your transport.

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What Criteria Are There for Choosing the Right Pallet Type?

With so many pallet types, it's difficult to keep track of them all, let alone find the right type. That's why Freightfinders has created an overview for you. To make it even easier for you, we have divided the most important details of the most frequently used pallets into four categories.

  • a) Material
  • b) Measurements
  • c) Loading Capacity
  • d) Transport Type

Pallets Overview – Pallet Types and Sizes

The main criteria, material, dimensions, load capacity and type of transport, are decisive for choosing the right type of pallet, as your freight has certain requirements that must be met by the pallet.

a) Pallet Types by Material

The material plays the most important role in the choice of pallet type. This is because it not only influences quality, sustainability or reusability, but also weight and price.
If the weight of the pallet type is high, it can usually withstand a lot. However, the price goes up. If the weight is low, the price of transport usually falls too. However, a lightweight pallet type can also carry less weight of cargo.
Find here an overview of the pallet types with their advantages and disadvantages.

Pallet Type: Solid Wood

The most common solid wood pallet is the standardised EURO pallet.


  • Recyclable
  • Cheap
  • Loadable
  • Mending possible/Durable
  • Standardized


  • Not nestable
  • Global transport only with ISPM-15/IPPC

Pallet Type: Plastic

Pallet types made our of plastic are available in many different sizes and are often used for goods requiring high hygiene standards.


  • Low injury risk
  • Low weight
  • Durable


  • Environmentally damaging material
  • Not sustainable
  • High acquisition costs

Pallet Types: INKA

INKA pallets are a pallet type made from pressed waste wood.


  • Low weight
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cheap
  • Nestable
  • Export without pretreatment possible


  • Low load capacity
  • Not durable

Pallet Type: Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard pallets are versatile and can be used for everything from transport to presentations.


  • Especially low weight
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Only partly water repellent

Pallet Types: B4B Light Pallet

The B4B light pallet is a new and innovative type of pallet which has many advantages.


  • Low weight
  • Smooth surface
  • Nestable
  • Humidity resistant
  • ISPM-15 certified

Pallet Type: Metal

Metal pallets are a pallet type that is mainly used in the metalworking or automotive industry.


  • Robust


  • Very high weight
  • Expensive

b) Pallet Type Sizes

An important factor when choosing the type of pallet is also the dimensions. The freight should fit perfectly on the pallet in order to waste as little loading space as possible. Pallets come in an endless number of variants and therefore also with different combinations of dimensions. It is therefore important to take a close look at the specified dimensions when choosing the right pallet type.
Of course, there are also some standardised pallets. The most popular is the EURO pallet from EPAL (European Pallet Association) made of solid wood. It has the dimensions 800 x 1200 mm. The industrial pallet is also standardised and has the dimensions 1000 x 1200 mm.

c) Loading Capacity of Different Pallet Types

There are three different options for the load capacity of pallet types which must be considered.

Static load capacity: This indicates the maximum load a pallet can carry when it is not being moved and is standing firmly on the floor. The load capacity of the pallet types also plays a role in stacking. For example, if a pallet has a load capacity of 3,000kg, but one is only loaded with 1,000kg, two more pallets of the same weight can be stacked on top of it.

Dynamic load capacity: This describes the maximum load capacity of a pallet that is transported by forklift or pallet truck. Depending on the type of pallet, the weight is significantly less than that of static load capacity.

Racking load: Although this factor is not often specified, it plays a role in the choice of pallet type if the pallet is placed on a rack. This is because there are usually only two support points there, which influences the load capacity of the pallet types.

Load Capacity of Different Pallet Types – a Table

The load capacity of pallet types depends strongly on the material and quality. Find the load capacity of EURO pallets and other common pallet types here.

Pallet TypeDead LoadStaticDynamic
EPAL25 kg< 4000 kg<1500 kg
Plastic1 – 4,5 kg< 1600 kg< 600 kg
Paper Fibre Cast0,7 – 3,3 kg< 300 kg< 250 kg
Pressed Wood2,5 – 15 kg< 2700 kg< 900 kg

d) Transport Type of Pallets

The type of transport plays a role when transporting via forklift truck or pallet truck, as this determines how the pallets can be transported in warehouses, etc.

  • Two-Way-Entry-Pallet: Open and portable via two opposite sides.
  • Four-Way-Entry-Pallet: Open and portable via all sides.

Sometimes there are also one-way-entry pallets that are only open on one side. This should also be considered when loading containers, trucks, etc., as these types of transport also affect loading and unloading.

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