Euro Pallets: A History

The pallets known as EURO or EU pallets, which are the product shipping support system for product transportation to, from and within Europe, have a rich history. A European Pallet Association was even established in 1991 to monitor the standards set for Euro pallets, a design that American pallet makers must follow if their pallets are going to be exported to Europe. Originally named during the railway transport years of the early 1900’s, the Euro pallet is an important model to understand because it affects the product travel guidelines for many American companies.

There are a number of positive characteristics to comment on when it comes to the Euro pallet. When one is dealing with a Euro pallet, they know exactly what the dimensions are and how that will work for their warehouse or shipping storage facility accommodations. For example, a Pallet EUR, which is also known as a “whole pallet” is always a certain dimension, as are the other most common Euro pallet sizes, the Pallet EUR 2, 3 and 6. These standards mean that the custom pallets built in the US for specific company needs would not be able to travel internationally, nor built and used at all in Europe.

Like the original US pallets, the Euro pallet used to be made exclusively of wood. However, the move towards plastic material that has taken hold in American companies has also been allowed within the European Pallet Association structure. Although wooden pallets still exist, because of their various negative qualities they are much more of a hindrance than plastic pallets. Factors that count against wooden pallets include their weight, the fact that they splinter and injure the employees transporting them, their bio-hazard risks and the environmental issues that arise from moving and disposing of them.

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