Most Common North American Pallets: the GMA Pallet

There are certain measures and instruments that need to be used to ship goods and other products while maintaining their perfect shape. This is to ensure that the products and goods will reach its destination in the same status as they were before they were shipped. One of the famous materials used to make sure that the products are of the same status is with the use of the so-called pallets.

Pallets are usually made of wood, but there are pallets that are made of plastic, metal, and even paper. Pallets are flat structures which are used in transporting goods, wherein goods are placed on top of the pallets and there are straps or stretch wraps used to secure the goods. After that, forklifts, pallet jack, jacking device or front loader are used to lift the goods with the pallet below it.

There are different pallets available, varying in different sizes. As of now, there is no standard acceptable size available as there are varying companies producing pallets depending on the size of their goods that they transfer.

There are different classifications of pallets, all dependent on the country or company that uses them widely. One of the most famous is the ISO Palettes. The ISO, or the International Organization for Standardization, pallets have six different standardized pallets based on the region wherein it is most used on.

In North America, there are the most common North American pallets known as the Grocery Manufacturers Association pallet or GMA pallet. According to statistics, around 30% of the new wood pallets made in the United States are having the dimensions set for GMA pallets. GMA has been active since 1908. The Grocery Manufacturers Association has been established to make the transportation and distribution of consumer goods is easier and accessible to everyone.

Based on the GMA, the recommended North American pallets are 48 inches by 40 inches. The GMA pallet can hold up to 4,600 pounds, and the pallet itself usually weighs at 37 pounds to 70 pounds, depending on the material or the wood used for the pallet. The woods used for the GMA pallets are often classified as hardwood and softwood, both of which are also used in manufacturing the GMA pallets. This dimension was recognized by the International Organization for Standardization or the ISO and even considered the GMA pallet as one of the top six dimensions used globally.