Pallet and Crate Lingo: Terminology you should know

 Wood Stringers

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

If your new to the pallet and crate industry, it can be hard to make sense of slang you’ve likely never heard before. To help we’ve compiled a list of 27 terms you can use to decode pallet and crate industry chatter.

Pallet and Crate Terminology

Pallet – A platform without sides, on which a number of packages or pieces may be loaded to facilitate handling by a fork lift.

Two Way Pallet – A pallet with two fork openings at at both opposite pallet ends.

Four Way Pallet – A pallet with four fork openings at both opposite pallet ends and sides. 

Stringers – The stringers act as support beams.  They separate the top and bottom deck boards and run perpendicular to them.  Stringers may be solid or notched to allow side entry by a fork lift.  The stringer dimension is always listed first when calling out a pallet size.  ex)  48×40 = The stringers are 48″ long.

Deck, Deck board – One or more boards or panels comprising the top or bottom surface of the pallet.  The deck board dimension is always listed second when calling out a pallet size. ex) 48×40 = The deck is 40″ wide.

Hardwood – Wood from broad-leaved species of trees (not necessarily hard or dense).

Softwood – Wood from coniferous or needle bearing species of trees (not necessarily soft in texture or of low density).

Heat Treatment – Heat Treatment specifies the materials and/or treatments for pallets traveling internationally so that the pallets are incapable of being a carrier of invasive species of insects and plant diseases.  Heat treatment is also referred to as ISPM 15 compliant governed by the IPPC.  International Plant Protection Convention.

Food Grade Pallet -A pallet that has been properly manufactured, stored in a manor such that no bugs, dirt, debris are brought into a customers production warehouse.

Recycled Pallet – A pallet that has been used, discarded, salvaged, repaired, or rebuilt in order to pass through another cycle or cycles of use.

Skid – A pallet without bottom deck boards or deck.

Wing – Overhang of deck board end from outside edge of stringer or stringer board

Pallet Design System – Reliability-based computer-aided design (CAD) program, for determining the safe load carrying capacity, performance, life and economy of wooden pallets.

Weight Capacity – The maximum weight a pallet can hold.

Double or Triple Stacked – When loaded pallets are double or triple stacked in a customers warehouse.

Flatbed Trailer – A trailer without sides used to deliver pallets.  Must be side unloaded from the ground level.  (Not accessible from a dock)

Dock – Opening in a warehouse or building where a truck can back in to accommodate a van trailer delivery.

Van Trailer -A trailer with sides used to deliver pallets.  Must be unloaded from a dock.

Crate – A crate is a shipping container comprised of a base pallet plus sides made of wood used for storing or transporting goods.   Often referred to as a Wooden Shipping Crate or Wooden Box.

Crate Base – The platform portion of the crate.  The crate base has similar characteristics and functions of a pallet.

Crate Sides – The four sides of the crate are typically referred to as the crate front, back and sides.

Crate Top – Most crates have a top panel that encloses the top section.

Removable Panels – Crates taller than 30″ typically have at least one removable side panel and removable top panel.

Crate Dunnage – Loose lumber shipped loose in the crate (per customer request)

Crate Orientation  – Providing proper orientation is important when ordering a crate.  Dimensions should be listed in the following orientation.  Crate Length x Crate Width x Crate Height.

Natures Packaging  – Wood is the preferred packaging material globally, and the latest research data support their sustainability credentials.