The question of how much do pallets cost is a big one and to answer it accurately you must first be sure of the exact purpose of the pallets you intend to purchase.
Start by asking yourself whether the pallets are to be used only once or will they be used time and time again. The reason for this is that pallets are broadly grouped into two categories.
Prices vary considerably between these two categories based on the manufacturing process, the materials used and the strength necessary for repeated use (or not).
As ‘Export & Shipping’ pallets are often for one-way use, their projected lifespan is shorter and as such are cheaper to buy. You should consider these types of pallets an expense and recouping this cost needs to be factored into your business model somewhere.
On the other hand, ‘Reusable’ pallets are built to last and perform well over the long term. As such, you should consider these pallets as an asset as they will provide a solid return on investment over time. These types of pallets are more expensive because of the processes and durable materials needed to make them.
Often wood pallets are used for ‘Export & Shipping’ due to a lower price point but many customers down the supply chain actually prefer plastic pallets. This is because they’re more reliable during transport and help ensure goods arrive in better shape.
You can pay a cheaper up front cost for wood pallets and hope you don’t get any unexpected surprises due to breakage or extra time needed. Or alternatively, pay a bit more for plastic pallets and reduce those risks considerably.
In regards to wood vs. plastic for ‘Reusable’ applications, plastic pallets are definitely a better performing and higher yielding investment when correctly matched to your requirements.