It's a Wrap! Simple Guide to Pallet vs Skid vs Crate & Stretch Wrap

It’s a Wrap! Simple Guide to Pallet vs Skid vs Crate & Stretch Wrap

By AAA Polymer | Stretch Wrap

Mar 03

Do you know the difference between pallets vs skids vs crates? If you're shipping products via truck or rail, it will rarely ever be placed directly on the truck. Instead, it will be placed on either a pallet, skid, or a crate. Once it's placed on or in one of these standard shipping products, it's likely to be secured with stretch film or stretch wrap. 

Understanding which type of material you need to secure your load is critical. To provide clarity, the team at AAA Polymer provides an overview of the pallet vs skid vs crate as well as quick tips on selecting the best stretch wrap. Continue reading to learn more about pallets vs skids vs crates and don't hesitate to reach out to AAA Polymer for the best stretch films and wraps. 

What Is a Pallet?

As the most popular and common type of storing and shipping freight, pallets are the do-all solution used by warehouses. Most pallets will be 48" x 40" and boast the ability to accommodate up to 4,600 lbs. 

Pallets can weigh anywhere from 30 to 48 lbs and are easy to move by forklift. The bottom deck of the pallet makes stacking for storage easy and offers increased sturdiness and cube efficiency. If the bottom deck wasn't present to distribute the weight, it would make the shipment more likely to fall when being unloaded or loaded by a forklift. 

What Is a Skid?

Before there was a pallet, there were skids! In fact, most people consider the skid to be the original pallet. Because of this, many people use pallets and skid interchangeably, but they are not the same. Unlike a pallet, the skid has no bottom deck. 

And without a bottom deck, the skid offers a more cost-effective solution. The lack of a bottom deck also makes the skid easier to drag because of less friction. The weight of the skid rests on its legs or vertical slats instead of on the bottom deck. 

This design offers mobility compared to the pallet, which makes the skid ideal for moving materials from one location to another. In addition, the skid can be suitable for non-mobile use and is regularly used as a heavy machinery foundation. Another key benefit of the skid is that it can be easily stored and uses less space.

What Are Nestable Pallets?

While "nestable pallets" may sound as if they are pallets, they are technically skids because they do not have the bottom deck that is characteristic of pallets. Nestable pallets are more of a flexible middle ground between the benefits of a pallet and skid.  

What Are Shipping Crates?

While pallets and skids are closely related, shipping crates are relatively different. The crate is essentially a shipping box that has four walls. It's especially helpful and useful for holding products, supplies, or anything else that needs more extensive protection and security. Crates can hold a substantial volume and are extremely stable, but can be difficult to transport. 

Which Option Is Best? Pallets vs Skids vs Crate?

Determining whether you should choose between the skid, pallet, or crate depends on the type of product you're shipping as well as a number of other factors, such as: 

  • If you're looking for the most mobile and cheapest option for shipping products, the skid will be the best solution.
  • If you're looking for a stackable, secure, and reliable solution, pallets may be the best way to go.
  • If you don't mind a bulky shipment and need the highest level of security, using a crate maybe your best option.

Where Does Stretch Wrap Come into Play?

Whether you're stacking pallets, skids, or shipping crates, stretch wrap can be used to add an extra level of protection to your product. With pallets and skids, stretch wrap is ideal for stabilizing loads, which can help improve the stackability and security of your load. By stretch wrapping your load prior to shipment, you can rest easier knowing your products will experience significantly fewer shifts and movements. 

How to Choose the Best Stretch Wrap?

When it comes to choosing the best stretch wrap, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Instead, it's best you choose the stretch wrap solution best for your facility and type of load. In general, there are two broad categories of stretch film: cast stretch film vs blown stretch film. When selectin between blown vs cast stretch film, you should always think how the material will be used because each film offers slightly different characteristics. Learn more about blown vs stretch film

Get the Best of Both Worlds with Pre-Stretch Film

Pre-stretch film is a median between cast film and blown film. This versatile type of film has been stretched extremely close to its breaking point before being placed on rolls for use, which makes it very easy to apply. And this design helps you avoid worrying whether your employees are  using the right amount of stretch wrap to achieve optimal stretch tension. A few key benefits of using pre-stretch film include:

  • Ability to stabilize protruding and misshapen loads
  • Improved employee productivity by requiring fewer film wraps
  • Enhanced load stability and load retention
  • Remarkable tear resistance for loads with jagged corners and sharper edges
  • Excellent performance in extremely frigid temperatures

Contact AAA Polymer for the Best Stretch Films and Wraps

At AAA Polymer, we are a leading provider of an array of different stretch wraps and films. Our experienced team will get to know your unique needs and guide you to the best solution whether you're using a pallet vs skid vs crate. 

Contact AAA Polymer today.

About the Author

AAA Polymer, Inc. was founded in 1974, as a plastic resin and material trading company with an innovative vision to create a company to provide plastic recycling services for industrial/commercial businesses. If you have any questions, we're here for you. Just call us at 718.389.2498.

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