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What is a load carrier for logistics?
A load carrier makes it possible for you to combine goods and products into one single load unit. Common load carriers in the logistics industry include pallets and mesh boxes, as well as containers and special load carriers.
What are standard load carriers in logistics?
In the world of logistics, load carriers are as common as sand on the beach. Hardly anyone works without pallets, mesh boxes or even small load carriers (plastic boxes). Here, you’ll find a comprehensive overview of the types of load carriers that are established on the European market and that can be found in practically every industry, company and institution.
Universal load carriers – Pallets made of wood, plastic or steel, as well as compatible mesh stacking frames
Universal load carriers – Pallets made of wood, plastic or steel, as well as compatible mesh stacking frames are one of, if not the main component in logistics today. Some of their benefits include affordability, frequent usability, easy handling and widespread availability.
The Euro pallet is undoubtedly the most commonly used pallet. The European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL), which is responsible for licensing, cites the estimated number of Euro pallets in use around the world at 450 to 500 million.
How and where pallets are used most frequently:
Wooden pallets are used primarily for the shipping and subsequent storage of goods. In these cases, the 1200 x 800 x 144 mm Euro pallet features the ideal dimensions for truck transport. Two pallets positioned diagonally or three positioned lengthwise can be transported in one truck. This means that your cargo space is used efficiently, which also reduces freight costs.
Plastic and metal pallets are also frequently offered in this standard dimension (1200 x 800 mm). These pallets have established their place alongside the more affordably priced wooden pallets thanks to their superior properties, particularly when it comes to durability and the ability to accommodate hygiene requirements – which has its own set of benefits.
Plastic pallets are frequently used in the food products industry and other industries subject to strict hygiene standards, because they’re easier to clean and their base materials are safe to use with products intended for consumption.
Steel pallets are characterized by their durability, which makes them a firm fixture in the automotive industry. Featuring load capacities of up to 2500 kg while being comparatively lightweight, they provide a much sturdier basis for transport than wooden pallets. They are also torsion-resistant, making them ideal for high-bay warehouse storage.
Pallet frames: A quick and practical way to expand a pallet’s capabilities
Pallet frames make it possible to quickly and easily transform a simple Euro pallet into a mesh box substitute. Pallet frames come in a wide variety of materials, and the following products are readily available on the market:
- Steel mesh stacking frames
- Wooden mesh stacking frames
- Plastic mesh stacking frames
- Tubular support brackets
The main advantage of a pallet frame is its ability to adapt to whatever the cargo might be. If you need a box for shipment, for example, simply take a Euro pallet, affix it with a wooden stacking frame and cover the top to bottom with cardboard. If more load volume is required, simply use a metal pallet frame as an alternative to a mesh box.
Mesh boxes and steel sheet containers: Robust transport containers for industry
Mesh boxes and steel sheet containers are frequently used in industry as waste containers, and notably also for the transport of both the raw goods and finished products involved in a production process. The mesh box pallet is licensed by EPAL and is the most widely distributed mesh box in the world. It is especially popular in the automotive industry.
There are many different models and types of steel containers and mesh boxes. Alongside the DB Euro Pool mesh box, other popular models include industrial mesh boxes with alternate height measurements or collapsible boxes.
Where and how mesh boxes and steel containers are used most frequently:
Mesh boxes are often used as transport containers, since the pallet pool exchange process ensures that enough empty boxes are always available for continuous production. They also play an important role in in-house storage, because they enable simple and streamlined block storage systems.
Where in-house logistics is concerned, steel containers are principally used as load carriers and waste containers. Some are fitted with a closable flap, making them ideal for the storage and transport of waste materials or very small parts.
Stanchion racks for efficient space usage
Stackable stanchion racks are frequently used in the shipment and storage of hard-to-handle goods, but they can also be used in conjunction with pallets. Using these racks often reduces damage rates, while making ideal use of the available volume of space. They are also an outstanding means of erecting a mobile, flexible shelving system.
Stack pallets are available in a range of different dimensions, which means that various sizes and quantities of pallets can be stored in one stack pallet.
Standardized plastic boxes for everyday use – Small load carriers
The term „small load carriers“ refers to transport and storage containers that are standardized by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). They are widely distributed in the logistics sector and are often called Euro boxes or Euronorm containers. They were initially developed to optimize the flow of goods between car manufacturers and their suppliers, but this practical approach was soon adopted by other sectors, resulting in boxes for bakeries, meat packers, etc. The VDA standard encompasses three basic box dimensions:
- 300 x 200 mm
- 400 x 300 mm
- 600 x 400 mm
These dimensions correspond to the most commonly used load carriers, so four 600 × 400 mm boxes are designed to fit precisely on a 1200 x 800 mm pallet. The bottom of the boxes also allows several to be safely stacked on top of one another.
How to select the best load carrier for your logistics needs
In order to select the right load carrier, you first need to determine the objects you wish to store or transport and assess their weak points. The primary aim when selecting a load carrier is ensuring a smooth, effective, safe and optimized interplay with existing systems in place. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How big and heavy are my goods?
- How vulnerable are my goods to damages?
- How are my goods currently handled, and how can their handling be improved?
- How can I store my goods in the most space-saving way?
- What opportunities and challenges does my warehouse present?
The answers to these questions should point you clearly in the direction of the right load carrier. If you’re still uncertain about which load carrier to choose, or would like an expert opinion, we’re happy to help. Call us to tap into our expertise at +49 6465 91480, or email us regarding your plans at email@example.com. We are also reachable via the contact form on this website.