The europallet size arose from the need to standardize pallet use in order to make the most of available space. Consequently, the measurements of these pallets, known as europallet or EPAL, were determined from the UNE-EN 13698-1 standard in a European wide manner. According to the building specifications for these bases set out in this standard, the 47.2 in x 31.5 in sized europallet was adopted. With regards to weight, a europallet weighs around 55 lb and withstands loads of up to 1.65 tons (and static loads, with non-moving pallets, of up to 4.4 tons).
There are many advantages associated with using this pallet. It can be used in any storage system, but above all it is ideal for AS/RS warehouses. It can be handled, without restrictions, by any type of forklift or handling equipment. In addition, the dimensions (47.2 in x 31.5 in) are multiples of standard plastic boxes, which makes it easier to group goods and products.
Standard plastic boxes are sub-multiples of 47.2 in x 31.5 in pallets.
As explained earlier, the dimensions of the most commonly used plastic and cardboard boxes are submultiples of 47.2 in x 31.5 in.
Standardization has also resulted in spaces in trucks and shipping containers being made more uniform. The platforms used by trailer trucks can fit 33, 31.5 in x 47.2 in pallets, positioned as shown in the images below.
Shipping containers are able to house fewer pallets, since the inner dimension of these containers is 90.5 in.
Pallets distributed in a shipping container.
While the advantages are clear, what specifications must be met for a pallet to be classified as a europallet?
Europallets are type 1 pallets that measure 31.5 in x 47.2 in and are produced according to specific quality specifications. The different parts of the pallet and the dimensions are shown below. One important detail about europallets is that they have chamfers on the four corners and beveled upper edges on the skids to assist their extraction.
|Table of pallet parts|
|No.||No. of parts||Name of the parts||Measurements (inches)|
|1||2||Lower opening||47.2 x 3.9 x .87|
|2||2||Upper opening||47.2 x 5.7 x .87|
|3||1||Central board||47.2 x 5.7 x .87|
|4||3||Tie bar||31.5 x 5.7 x .87|
|5||1||Central board||47.2 x 5.7 x .87|
|6||2||Intermediate board||47.2 x 3.9 x .87|
|7||6||Block||5.7 x 3.9 x 3.1|
|8||3||Block||5.7 x 5.7 x 3.1|
|9||42||Threaded countersunk wood screw or threaded nail.||M 5.5 x 90|
|10||18||Threaded countersunk wood screw or threaded nail.||M 5.5 x 38|