Pallets, loading meters and loading meter calculation tool
In the transport and logistics sector, pallets and loading meters are often used terms. Pallets are available in different types and sizes.
A pallet is a transport unit. It is a wooden, plastic or cardboard platform on which goods can be stored and transported. A pallet is available in many materials, shapes and sizes.
The euro pallet is the most common in Europe. This standard pallet has a size of 80 × 120 cm. Officially this pallet is called EUR-pallet. It is a pallet of wood with dimensions and specifications defined by the European Pallet Association (EPAL). The pallet has a height of 14.4 cm and can officially carry a maximum of 1,500 kg. A Euro pallet can be recognized by the reels: "EUR", EPAL or UIC is shown on the left and right spools. Five topboards, three bottom boards and three transverse boards were incorporated in the pallet. Nine bobbins of solid wood or pressed wood chips connect the top and bottom together. The top of the three bottom boards is bevelled, making it easier to pick up with a forklift or pump truck. The corners of the pallet are bevelled to prevent damage and injuries. Unofficial Euro pallets also occur. These often do not have the ring around EUR or have a different board thickness. These pallets do not participate in the exchange system.
Besides the Europallet, block pallets are also common. These pallets often have the size of 100 × 120 cm. The size 110x110cm also occurs. However, the block pallet is not an officially recognized pallet in Europe. In the United Kingdom almost only the block pallets of 100 × 120 cm are used. The block pallet consists of different parts. An upper, intermediate and lower deck and the blocks that connect these decks. The weight that a block pallet can carry depends on the thickness of the planks and blocks.
Other types of pallets
In addition to Euro and block pallets, many more types of pallets are available. Companies often distinguish between 'new' or 'used' pallets. Or pallets for single or multiple use. They are available with different load capacities. Even in customized dimensions, specifically for the transport or storage of your products. There are also display pallets, beam pallets and cp pallets, suitable for example as a shop pallet, heavy industrial pallet or chemistry pallet.
The material of the pallets
The most common materials from which pallets are made are: wood, cardboard, and plastic. Wooden pallets are sturdy (weighing about 20-25 kilos) and can stand outside. To use a wooden pallet for import or export, it often has to undergo special treatment to kill harmful organisms. Plastic pallets can easily be cleaned. They are therefore common in the food or pharmaceutical industry, where safety is necessary. A used pallet can be made ready for use again by washing or steaming. A disadvantage is that plastic pallets are often more expensive. Cardboard pallets are on the rise, partly because of their durability. They are made from recycled paper and can go into the recycling process after use. In addition, cardboard pallets are very light (about 5 kilos on average), so easy to move by hand. Because of the low weight they often occur with air freight, where rates depend on the shipment weight.
In road transport man frequently speaks about loading meters. The loading meter is used as a unit of account for goods that can not be stacked or where you can't stack on top of it. This actually compensates the lost volume in the truck. You can see this as follows: 1 loading meter corresponds to 1 running meter of cargo space in a truck
- A euro pallet is 0.80 x 1.20 meters (0.4 loading meter)
- A block pallet is 1.00 x 1.20 meters (0.5 load meter)
Due to the width of a truck of approx. 2.40 m, 1 loading meter corresponds approximately to 2.4 m2 (2.40 m width x 1 m length). The number of loading meters of the products to be transported is easy to calculate by calculating the floor area that the goods occupy. The width of a truck is 2.40 meters. If the length of the floor surface is multiplied by the width and then divided by 2.40 meters, you get the number of loading meters.
Charge meter calculation tool
Use our handy Load Meter Calculation Tool, so you know exactly how many load meters you have in each transport. Choose the type of pallet, indicate how many pallets of this version are involved and add other sizes of pallets if necessary. (You can also use the trashcan to remove pallets again.)
NOTE: Floor area that cannot be filled by a full standard pallet (80 cm / 120 cm) due to a different pallet size is added to the loadable loading meters.