What is the difference between pallets, skids, and crates?
Wooden pallets, skids, and crates are three terms that are often confused and used interchangeably in the industry. While all three can be used for shipping and storing materials, choosing the right one for your needs can be more cost effective for you in the long run.
So, what exactly is the difference between a wooden pallet, a skid, and a crate? All three can be made of wood or more durable materials such as plastic, and all three are used in logistics for shipping, warehousing, and storage. However, each one has its strengths, its weaknesses, and its own ideal use.
The wooden pallet is likely the most popular and most in demand method of shipping and storing freight. By having a top and bottom deck, the wooden pallet tends to be more stable, very convenient for racking, harder to drag, and easily hauled by a forklift. Wooden pallets are 48”x40” and can carry up to 1000 kilograms.
Skids and wooden pallets may seem almost identical at first glance, but there is one crucial feature that separates the two: skids have only one deck, meaning it has a completely flat surface. When placing something on a skid, the weight is rested on vertical legs, rather than a bottom deck, allowing skids to be common foundations for heavy machinery. Because skids offer less surface areas on the bottom compared to a pallet, they are easily dragged, making it more manageable to transport heavier materials. As the oldest type of pallet on the market, skids tend to be more low cost, yet very effective.
Crates are definitely the most distinguishable shipping and storing method from the three, as it is a wooden box. While skids and pallets have flat surfaces, crates have a floor and four walls. Due to a crate’s characteristics, they are great for holding large volumes that need to be stored securely. Although crates can be extremely secure and stable, they also are bulky and harder to transport.
Have any question regarding which is right for your shipping needs? Contact Global Cargo today, we are happy to assist you in making the right choices for your shipments!