Euro pallets, also known as E pallets or EU pallets, are plastic pallets used for the transportation and storage of materials to, from, and within the European Union. Euro pallets are used in a variety of industries, such as retail and commercial goods, food and beverage, industrial manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.
Quick links to Euro Pallets Information
Euro Pallet Classification
To be officially recognized as a Euro pallet, a pallet must, for one, be produced by a registered member of the European Pallet Association (EPAL), which is a non-profit organization focused on maintaining high quality pallet standards.
In addition, the pallet must adhere to the standards of the International Union of Railways. Finally, if a Euro pallet has been properly produced, it will be stamped with the EURO symbol and an indication that it was made by a member of EPAL. EPAL standardizations are so thorough that even the number of nails and the positions in which they are hammered are regulated by an EPAL design.
Euro Pallet Design and Customization
To make things easier for both those exporting things out of their country into Europe and those receiving goods in Europe, Euro pallets are accompanied with standard size guides. Such guides help exporting companies know how many containers can fit into a set space, such as a shipping container. It is important that American companies make sure to package the goods they are sending into Europe on Euro pallets. If they do not, European importers must pay extra taxes related to the waste of excess packaging and, since American pallets are essentially useless in Europe, they must also dispose of the American pallets and replace them with Euro pallets. The disposal and replacement of pallets incurs extra costs, generates more waste, and slows down the import process as well.
Euro pallets can be ordered in a variety of different sizes, but four sizes in particular are ordered and used frequently.
The four most common Euro pallet sizes are:
- 1200mm x 800mm x 120mm or 47.24 in x 31.5 in x 4.7 in (known as Pallet EUR)
- 1200mm x 1000mm or 47.24 in x 39.4 in (known as Pallet EUR 2)
- 1000mm x 1200mm or 39.4 in x 47.24 in (known as Pallet EUR 3)
- 600mm x 800mm or 23.7 in by 3105 in (known as Pallet EUR 6)
Of these, the most popular is Pallet EUR, which is also referred to as a "whole pallet." Whole pallets are designed specifically to fit through the dimensions of most average-sized doors. Pallet EUR 2 pallets are slightly largely than whole pallets and thus cannot be used quite as universally. They are, however, very durable.
Pallets with the Pallet EUR 3 designation have the exact opposite dimensions as the Pallet EUR 2 pallets. They are known to be quite large and durable. Finally, coming in at half of the width of Pallet EUR pallets, Pallet EUR 6 pallets are also known as "half pallets." Note that, in order to make it easier on non-European companies, the International Standards Organization (ISO) has created a list of alternative standards that coincide with Euro pallet sizes.
Benefits of Using Euro Pallets
The original Euro pallet design was developed by Swedish companies in the 1940s as a wooden pallet and standardized in the 1960s. However, in recent years, the wooden Euro pallet has been largely replaced by the plastic Euro pallet, since plastic offers advantages that wood does not, particularly in the fields of shipping, storage, and recycling.
Plastic is more resistant to mold, mildew, rot, bacteria growth, water absorption impact, and other environmental and circumstantial factors. It is also less expensive. Plastic pallets may be formed in a few different ways, including thermoforming, vacuum forming, injection molding, and injection blow molding. A few of the plastic materials most commonly used to make plastic pallets like these include polyethylene resin and recycled rigid polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Choosing to transport and store products using Euro pallets is a wise decision. By taking the extra step to make the lives of your European trade partners and/or customers easier, you foster better relationships. Your business transactions will also advance more smoothly and quickly. In the end, Euro pallets save time and money. In addition, those pallets bearing the EPAL stamp are eligible for the European Pallet Pool (EPP), a system that allows for the exchange of pallets for pallets. To learn more about Euro pallets, shipping from the United States to Europe, or how you might have Euro pallets delivered to you, reach out to one of the many knowledgeable companies listed on this page.