Knowbase - The types of pallets for international trucking


The pallet is a flat rectangular frame used for storage and transportation of wares by means of loaders and other mechanical devices. The cargo is placed on a pallet floor, fastened with straps or shrink and cling film. The construction of pallets provides for recesses for capture by a loader and ledges for fastening of slings.

Different types of pallets are used in international transportations. They have different sizes and carrying capacity, and correspondingly are placed differently in cargo semi-trailers, in international auto transport and in containers, in multimodal transport.

When arranging transportation from any country there are likely to be some peculiarities to be considered. For example, upon delivery of goods from China the pallets of Asian type are often used instead of euro pallets.

The classification of pallets

According to their design, pallets are divided into two types:

   The single-platform – one layer of flooring, on which the cargo is placed;

  The double-platforn– a convenient model with two floorings, which allows to use pallet on both sides and install them one on another no damage to the load.

According to material:

   The  wooden one – safe, easy to dispose and fix, have an affordable price;

   The plastic one  – more solid and more durable than wooden pallets, but cost more;

    The metal one  – powerful pallets, used for a long term, their disadvantages: heavy weight and susceptibility to corrosion;

    The combined one  – made from several materials.

According to the term of service:

    The disposable one – are disposed after the first transportation with the rest of packaging material;

    The reusable one  – are designed for multiuse, pallets must have a margin of safety.

The types of pallets:

   The open one  – spread in Europe, provide capture from four parties and are suitable for all models of loaders;

   The block one  – have a lower bar in the center and around the perimeter;

   The longitudinal one  – block construction is completed with longitudinal side plank, taken from 4 sides, popular in North America and Asia;

   The closed one  – taken by loader from two sides.

The types and sizes of pallets

The standardization requirements of size are applied for multi-turn pallets used for international transport.


The European pallet is manufactured on the standard UIC-435-2, its dimensions are determined by convenience of placement inside the truck and is 800x1200x145 mm. The mandatory confirmation of the standard is the presence of an oval mark EUR, scorched on the right support leg. The manufacturer marking and digital information about the pallet: series, release date, sanitization is applied on other legs.

The flooring of euro pallet consists of 5 planks: 3 wide ones 145 mm each are installed alternately with narrow ones 100 mm each. The lower part of pallet is represented by two wide planks along the edges and a narrow one in the middle. A chamfer is necessarily cut at the corners of such a pallet.


The Finnish pallet has increased dimensions: 1000x1200x145 mm. The trademark FIN is drawn into a rectangle and placed on the right supporting leg. The rest of the legs are marked with manufacturer code and production date. The upper pallet platform consists of 7 planks, which are fastened according to the scheme: the wide one, two narrow ones. The lower part is made of a wide plank in the center of two narrow ones on the sides. The corner chamfer on the pallet provides safety of loading operations.


The construction represents a metallic cage with the europallet base. It is marked with the EUR stamp, placed in ovral. The size of the box is 800x1200x800 mm.

According to the European standards there are three grades of certified pallets:

   The top grade – white solid wares without defects and chips. The quantity of transportations – no more than three.

   The first grade — the light solid pallets, without visually distinguishable cracks and chips, not repaired.

   The second grade – the individual stain and the presence of boards darkened with time is allowed. The presence of 3×30 cm cracks and repair marks is allowed.

The carrying capacity of pallets

The carrying capacity of pallets depends on their type:

   europallet – up to 2000 kg;

   FIN pallet – up to 2500 kg.

An empty pallet weights from 15 to 21 kilos. In the process of loading vehicles not only the carrying capability of pallets, but also the abilities of automobile are considered. With a full load of eurotrucks permissible load on each pallet is no more than 800 kilos.

The package of pallets

The types of pallet packaging divide into three groups:

   The banding materials – polymer strapping tape, metal strips and ropes, intercepting cargo vertically in all of the directions;

   The wrapping film – polyethylene stretch film covers the cargo and pallet in several layers, wrapping happens in manual and automatic mode;

   The shrink wrap – a plastic bag is put on a pallet with cargo and by heating the film shrinks on the surface.

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