Pallet Observations

Understanding ISPM-15 Regulations

Sr Admin - Saturday, February 28, 2015

The IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) consists of over 100 countries working collectively to protect their native plants from the possible spread of diseases and pests. The IPPC issued the ISPM-15 requirement in 2002, which states that all wood shipping material, such as pallets and crates, must be heat treated or treated with methyl bromide before they can be approved for international shipping. The heat treated method is preferred because it is considered to be more environmentally friendly and doesn't risk the chemical contamination of products. Heat treated pallets are required to reach 56 degrees Celsius for a minimum of 30 minutes in order to attain the ISPM-15 designation. Shipping materials that fail to display the ISPM-15 markings may be quarantined or returned by customs if the country of import is compliant with the IPPC regulations. 

The ISPM-15 standard is constantly changing and it is important that your pallet manufacturer be well versed in the regulation specifications to ensure your pallets clear customs efficiently. Size requirements are another factor to consider when preparing for international shipping. Size specifications can become quite confusing as the US standard is inches, but many other countries have adopted the metric system.

For more information on the ISPM- 15 regulation, see details on the IPPC website here or contact us to discuss the details of your international shipping needs.

Finding the Pallet That’s Right For You

Sr Admin - Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Pallets are an essential part of your product packaging and shipping process. Determining which pallet to use can have an enormous impact on your budget and efficiency. At Dominion Pallet, we can create custom wood pallets built specifically for your needs, however there are many pallet options, such as unnotched pallets, partial four-way entry pallets and four-way entry pallets. 

Pallets are often referred to by their size or design, but you’ll also hear them mentioned by type, stringer or block pallets. Stringers are created with 2:x4” wood and are often more cost efficient. 

Block pallets are made with individual blocks, making them stronger and allow for more efficient handling. Block pallets are also called four-way pallets because a pallet jack can be used from any side. There are countless pallet designs, sizes and capabilities, but here is an overview of what really matters when you’re looking for the right pallet for your products:


The load capacity is a critical consideration when selecting pallets. Pallets with a higher load capacity often cost more, but underestimating your load weight is a dangerous miscalculation, as too much strain can cause the pallet to give out, potentially causing your products to fall and result in major property damage or injury.


A pallet’s stiffness describes the amount of force a pallet can take before collapsing or bending. Depending on your product, a certain pallet may strong enough to hold your load, but not stiff enough to safely secure it.


Are your pallets going on a one-way trip or will they be used over and over again? Pallet durability denotes how long a pallet can endure repeated use in the shipping and storing process. Durability isn’t quite as much of a factor when it is only to be used one time. Businesses that require frequent use, however, will find a much better long-term value in highly durable pallets.

Regulation Requirements

Pallets that are being shipped internationally are required to meet ISPM 15 standards, which requires all wood packaging be heat-treated or chemically treated to eliminate the risk of bugs hiding within the wood. Our heat treated pallets meet European Union, APHIS, ALSC and IPPC guidelines and are stamped on both sides so they easily clear customs.


Last, but certainly not least, is the price. We know how important the budget is to you and we are happy to help you determine which type of pallet will meet your needs and provide a competitive quote. We’re happy to help guide you through the pallet selection process and find the pallet that meets your needs and your budget. Contact us today to get started.

Proper Empty Pallet Storage

Sr Admin - Sunday, December 21, 2014

Empty pallets are bulky, heavy and take up a lot of room. It's tempting to store them however is easiest and saves space, we get it, but improper pallet storage is an accident waiting to happen. Taking the time to set company policies and train your staff on proper pallet storage can prevent accidents that could potentially injure employees and cause property damage. So what's the right and wrong way to store pallets?

Beware of the Height

Never stack pallets too high. OSHA standard 1917.14 states "Cargo, pallets and other material stored in tiers shall be stacked in such a manner as to provide stability against sliding and collapse." OSHA requires that freestanding pallet stacks not exceed 15 feet, but even that may be too high considering that each pallet weighs 30-70lbs. by itself, which means you could have over a thousand pounds of pallets unsecured in your facility. It may meet regulations, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's safe. Six foot stacks are the generally accepted safe height standard.

Keep It Neat

Pallets should always be stacked horizontally and each stack should only contain similarly sized pallets. Stacking pallets haphazardly puts them at risk of toppling over. In addition, pallets should never be stored on their sides or wedged in between objects, as they can fall over when the surrounding items are moved.

Retire Old Pallets

Don't keep damaged pallets. Pallets with splintered edges or protruding nails are likely to injure workers and damage products. In addition, pallets with missing boards or other parts run the risk of breaking during transport or under a load. Damaged pallets can also crack in storage, causing a stack to lean or possibly fall over.

Pallet Terminology Made Easy

Sr Admin - Monday, November 10, 2014

Not sure what a chamfer is? Do you know what deflection means? You're not alone. It's easy to get lost in the pallet jargon, but here's a simple illustration that explains the terminology used to describe the most common kind of pallet, stringer style. So the next time someone asks about the bottom leader board or refers to the notch, you'll know just how to respond.

See a more in depth list of pallet terminology here.

Proper Pallet Storage

Sr Admin - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pallets are a reliable, sustainable, environmentally and safe shipping platform, however improper loading on pallet racks can lead to product damage and dangerous accidents.Here are some tips on proper pallet and product loading and storage.

Heat Treated Pallets or Chemically Treated Pallets?

Sr Admin - Tuesday, June 10, 2014


U.S. laws and regulations state that all pallets must be treated to prevent bugs and bacterial contamination before they can be shipped internationally. To comply with these regulations, pallets are treated in one of two ways, heat treated or chemically treated. Heat treated pallets are heated to a core temperature of 56 degrees Celsius for at least 30 minutes. Whereas chemically treated pallets are fumigated with methyl bromide. The type of treatment used must be marked on all pallets.

Which method is better?

Both treatments effectively remove the presence of insects and bacteria. However the EPA recognizes methyl bromide as a highly toxic chemical and strongly discourages it’s use, especially when shipping food. Scientific research also indicates methyl bromide is contributing to the break down of the Earth’s ozone layer. Given the risks associated with the chemical process, we believe heat treated pallets are a much safer option. At Dominion Pallet, we only make and distribute heat treated pallets. Our pallets are stamped on both sides to easily clear customs and meet APHIS, ALSC, and IPPC guidelines, as well as European Union requirements.

Want to learn more? Contact us here.

The Impact of Wooden Pallets

Sr Admin - Monday, April 21, 2014

Pallets play a part in transporting nearly every product you encounter everyday. Think we're exaggerating? This video is an excellent representation of just how big an impact wooden pallets have on your life, your business, your world.

Wood Pallets vs. Plastic Pallets

Sr Admin - Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pallets are used to ship everything from food to clothes to medicine to building materials. There are more than 1 billion pallets in use in the U.S. alone, and the debate over which type of pallet is better, wood pallets vs. plastic pallets, has been raging for years.  Here are some items to consider when determining whether a wood pallet or plastic pallet would be the right choice for your business.

Pallet Cost

One of the major benefits of wood pallets is that they cost considerably less than plastic pallets. Wooden pallets are also easily repaired, whereas plastic is non-repairable. If you are shipping heavy items, you may require more plastic pallets, than wood, as wood pallets can bare up to 3,000 pounds and plastic is limited to 1,500 pounds.

Environmental Impact

Plastic pallets have a longer shelf life, but they cannot be repaired and must be melted down to be recycled.  New wood pallets are often built from the downfall (or unattractive lumber) of trees that were cut down to produce more valuable items, which is usually wasted if not made into pallets.  The manufacturing of a plastic pallet consumes five times more energy and releases more emissions into the air and water than a wood pallet.

International Pallet Shipping

Plastic pallets are not an option is you need to export products, as code regulations require wooden pallets be used and treated to make them safe for international shipping.  We do not use chemicals at Dominion Pallet, instead we apply a heat treatment to cure the wood and make it safe for shipping.  Our heat treated pallets are also stamped to ensure they clear customs as easily as possible.

Have more questions about overseas shipping, wood pallets or custom packaging? Head to DominionPallet.com for more information. 

Dominion Pallet Mobile Website

Sr Admin - Thursday, August 08, 2013

Dominion Pallet has gone mobile! 

We're now even easier to find than ever because people surfing the web on their mobile devices will now be redirected to our mobile website, which provides convenient information on our new wooden pallets, special services and custom packaging. Getting in touch is easy too just tap the "Call Us" button or fill out our short contact form.

Dominion Pallet is dedicated to developing high quality pallets that are built strong and delivered fast. We have over 80 years of industry experience, can accommodate custom orders for construction, food and beverage, automotive, plastics, pharmaceutical companies, and other industries. We are deliver to Virginia, Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic States.

The right pallet for the job

Sr Admin - Monday, April 22, 2013

 Pallets aren’t often thought of as glamorous, but they are an important part of the supply chain for a vast variety of products. Pallets are used to store and transport everything from groceries to cars and choosing the wrong type of pallet can affect company efficiency and profit. Selecting the right pallet for the job can be difficult because they come in all different sizes, types of materials, functions and budgets.

Types of pallets

There are two main types of pallets, stringer pallets and block pallets. Stringer pallets are usually made of softwood and the frame is made of three to four pieces of lumber, referred to as stringers, attached in parallel pieces to the top of the frame. Stringers are sometimes called “two-way” pallets because a pallet jack can only lift a stringer pallet from two directions, however a forklift can lift them from all four directions.

Block pallets tend to be stronger and more durable than stringers, as they are made from hardwood, and the lumber used to make block pallets is attached in both parallel and perpendicular pieces. Block pallets are also known as “four-way” pallets because pallet jacks and forklifts can both lift them from four directions.

At Dominion Pallet we custom cut the lumber for each specific need.  We start by taking a description of the pallet requirements and where/how it will be used. That description is then entered into our Pallet Design System (PDS) 5.0, which compiles the information into an estimate of necessary pallet strength, durability and deformation.


The most common type of material used to make pallets is wood. Wood pallets are strong, durable, abundant, environmentally friendly, and repairable, which make them our material of choice. In addition, used pallets can be reduced to pulp and recycled, so very little pallet waste ends up in a landfill.

Pallets are occasionally made from metal as well. Metal pallets can be used for especially heavy products, as they are quite strong, but metal pallets are also very heavy and expensive. Plastic can also be used to make pallets. Plastic pallets vary greatly in cost and durability; however they are often expensive and can be difficult to repair.

Have more questions about what kind of pallets will work for your shipping needs? Call us today at (540) 894-5401 or contact us here.