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How to find suitable pallet and packaging materials?

Pallet Type and Packaging Materials

When sending goods and selecting pallet type and packaging materials, it’s best to be careful as the wrong choice may cause additional time and be more expensive. Requirements differ according to the goods, mode of transportation and desired destination, says Peeter Vahar, the Chief Experience Officer of MyDello.

In the EU, the most common pallet is EUR (the same size as ISO1). Usually, this helps to send goods almost everywhere without any extra hustle in the customs of the country of destination. The general rule is that even if the buyer takes care of the whole logistics, it is still the consignor’s responsibility to make sure that packaging and the preparation of the invoice are done correctly. It becomes natural when sending goods more often as there are some potential risks, mainly if exporting out of Europe.

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Wood must be fumigated

The main rule for international trade is that all wooden pallets and materials must be treated against pesticides and pests. Processing the wood will help prevent the arrival and spread of potentially dangerous pests in the country of destination. Suitable pallets are already pre-ready and heat-treated or have to go under the fumigation process in the port.

Also, it is good to know that all wooden parts that are used for packing or fastening the goods must be fumigated. Just an example: there is a machine that exceeds the standard size, and there are pretty no pre-made suitable packages for that. In this case, it is still necessary to secure the shipment by using different packing materials and, most probably, some wooden pieces. When using wood, it’s good to select pre-treated components or the load must be fumigated before leaving the port. Fumigating before the transportation adds extra two or three days and a certificate will be issued after the process.

In addition to wooden pallets, there are also pallets made out of plastic and metal. In terms of price and quality, the most reasonable choice is wood. The advantage of plastic is that, unlike wood, it doesn’t rot. At the same time, transport is generally in dry conditions and, for example, in a container, excessive moisture does not endanger wood.

The choice of the pallet must primarily be based on the size and nature of the goods. In different countries and regions, there are different standards for the dimensions.


Choose the suitable packaging materials

Packaging requirements apply to goods that may pose a higher risk to other goods, means of transport, persons or the environment in the transportation process. These requirements are regulated in international agreements. According to the type of risk, the requirements differ. For example, chemicals must be packaged in a box that withstands falls and leaks.

Suppose the goods are packed in accordance with the requirements. In that case, the transportation process does not differ, just some additional information must be provided on the goods, and the potential risks have to be avoided. However, it should be kept in mind that certain goods are subject to requirements that exclude, for example, transport in a passenger plane. For example, lithium batteries are generally only allowed to be transported in commercial aircraft.

Cardboard box

Mistakes may be pricy

If you should choose the wrong pallet or package, it probably causes some unwanted problems. Based on our experience, it is the cheapest to avoid mistakes beforehand instead of finding a solution with the customs board and the receiver afterwards. In the worst-case scenario, a wrong pallet or an error in choosing the right packaging materials may mean that the whole shipment will be confiscated. The process following the mistake generally depends on the rules of a particular country and customs, but sometimes it can be solved by simply changing unsuitable packaging. However, the customs procedure and the deposit may cause additional costs.

There have also been situations where the customs authorities do not agree to destroy nonfumigated pallets in more complex cases. In this case, the sender must pay to ship goods back to the sender. However weird it may be, an empty pallet must be shipped to the other side of the world. Usually, it is not seen as a big problem, but it sure costs extra money and time. You can be pretty sure that the delivery partner is not happy with the delays in the transportation.


MyDello is here to help

If it’s your first time sending goods somewhere far away, or you want to double-check, feel free to contact MyDello. We will identify the specific conditions and the requirements. When sending dangerous goods, our system does not automatically display the price, but we will manually check the transport compliance before you can even notice.


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Good to know: most common pallet types

  • EUR-pallet (ISO1) pallet in size 1200 x 800 x h mm
  • EUR-pallet is usually pre-treated or fumigated, but some non-fumigated pallets are sometimes also referred to as Euro-pallets
  • Smaller EUR 6 pallet (ISO0) 800 x 600 x h mm
  • EUR 2 (ISO2) pallet 1000 x 1200 x h mm

We all need a little advice sometimes, especially in an industry as complex as logistics, give us a call and benefit from MyDello’s years of experience.