Why Use Stillages Instead of Traditional Wooden Pallets: The use of pallets in logistics has grown steadily as the growth of containerisation has become increasingly popular in world economics. For instance, pallets are used in large container ships across the globe, with around 2 billion pallets in use across the USA alone, and around half a billion pallets made each year.
Whilst pallets are effective for many of their uses, traditional pallets are often wooden and are therefore subject to limits on the amount of weight which can be carried. Utilising stillages instead can provide a far greater level of durability – given that fact that stillages, particularly those manufactured by us at JS Burgess, are crafted from high quality steel and last for many years.
In addition, whilst pallets are often provided in a standardised size (often set by bodies such as ISO, or large organisations such as the military) in order to fit in to a wide range of environments, stillages can be created to very specific dimensions. Wooden pallets normally consist of around three to four thick beams across the bottom (stringers) which support several thinner boards (deckboards) laying perpendicular across the top. The standard pallet sizes in Europe waste in the region of between around 4% and 15% of the floor space in a container which conforms to ISO standards.
In addition, stillages can be tailored to accommodate a wide range of goods – for instance post pallet stillages have large bars at each corner to ensure that products do not slide off the base, whilst A-frames slope in towards the middle, ensuring breakable products such as glass are supported. Specific types of stillage, such as tyre stillages, are tailored specifically for the product being transported.
Finally, two of the key advantages of utilising metal stillages over wooden pallets is that they are capable of carrying more weight, and that they are much more resilient and thus more suited to re-use and continued use. In the UK, there is legislation (the Waste Framework Directive), which requires the re-use of packaging items above the routes of recycling and disposal. The initial cost of utilising a stillage may be higher, but the number of re-uses and ability to be able to handle higher weights, means that the approach can provide savings in the long run.