Pallets are an imperative asset to all companies that work in transportation or the storage of goods. The International Organization for Standardization’s - ISO - are making efforts to apply an international standard size for all pallets however, this reality is far from reachable. In this article, we will take a look at what pallet sizes are used in Brazil.
A pallet is a wooden platform, which can also be made of metal or plastic, used in the transportation and storage of goods.
Usefulness of pallets
Pallets are not only useful for transporting goods but also when storing them. Pallets optimise space and allow more storage capacity. They also provide protection to the goods during transportation and storage.
Pallets are mainly used in supermarkets, warehouses, hangars of transportation companies, customs agencies or by general retail operators where they are moved around by forklifts, meaning that greater quantities of goods can be handled at any one time resulting in less manpower and therefore reducing costs.
International Trade wooden pallets have to conform to ISPM15, an international phytosanitary measure issued by the International Plant Protection Convention. This means that the wood used in these pallets should be heat treated and fumigated to prevent the spread of pests and plant diseases.
Pallet sizes used in Brazil
Brazil primarily uses four pallet sizes for internal transportation and storage of goods:
- 800 x 1000mm
- 1000 x 1200mm
- 1050 x 1250mm
- 1140 x 1140mm
The PBR certification was created in 1990 by the Brazilian Supermarket Association, ABRAS, which is part of the Permanent Committee for Palletizing, with the assistance of the Institute for Technological Research of the University of São Paulo. These entities created an ideal standard pallet for the transportation and storage of all goods in Brazil. There are two standard sizes for PBR certified pallets in Brazil:
- PBR1 - 1000 x 1200mm
- PBR2 - 1050 x 1250mm
PBR certified pallets have a determined number of parts (upper boards, intermediate boards and lower boards) with fixed standard measures and have a hot stamp, showcasing the manufacturer, the month and year of manufacture, as well as a PBR stamp. Thanks to this stamp, it is possible to observe the durability of PBR certified pallets, with some pallets being used for up to 15 years. As of 2005, around 40% of all pallets used in Brazil were verified as being PBR certified.
Being PBR certified means that the design of the pallet is compliant with requirements regarding its parts, dimensions and materials, ensuring a longer lifespan, reliability and being more eco-friendly. A list of all companies producing PBR certified pallets can be found here.
Other pallet sizes in Brazil
The most commonly used pallet size in the world is 1000 x 1200mm. The main differences between pallets is in the materials used in construction, how many boards are present in the upper, mid and lower part, as well as maintenance conditions for them.
These pallets are not PBR certified nor are they compliant with some of the requirements of the PBR standard however, Brazil still uses them. Brazil also uses the original size of EURO pallets that measure 800 x 1200mm however they are not actually EURO pallets since they are not compliant with some of the EURO pallets requirements.
Pallets of the standard size CP2 and CP3 are also used in Brazil. The CP series, which goes from CP1 to CP9, was designed to be used specifically by the European chemical industry. The CP2 pallet size is 800 x 1200mm and the CP3 pallet size is 1140 x 1140mm.
ISO sanctions six pallet dimensions, detailed in ISO Standard 6780: Flat pallets for intercontinental materials handling - Principal dimensions and tolerances. The six ISO sanctioned pallet sizes are depicted below and are accepted and used by Brazilian companies:
- 1016 x 1219mm, mostly used in North America
- 1000 x 1200mm, mostly used in Europe, Asia and similar to the ones used in North America
- 1165 x 1165mm, mostly used in Australia and rarely found elsewhere
- 1067 x 1067mm, mostly used in North America, Europe and Asia
- 1100 x 1100mm, mostly used in Asia
- 800 x 1200mm, mostly used in Europe
The lack of a single international standard for pallets causes continuing expense in international trade. A single standard would be difficult due to the wide variety of needs a standard pallet would have to satisfy: passing doorways, fitting in standard containers, and bringing low labor costs. Thus, all pallet sizes are accepted, with some being more widely used than others.