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Understanding Plastic Pallet Weight Capacity

Before you start loading up your pallets with weight, you’re going to need to understand plastic pallet weight capacity. Just how much weight can a plastic pallet hold? It depends. If you’re used to working with wood pallets, you are probably used to pallet load capacity being a relatively simple affair, easily calculated according to the PDS, or Pallet Design System.

But we don’t determine the weight of a standard plastic pallet according to the PDS. So what is the load capacity? The answer is that it can vary. To understand plastic pallet weight capacity, you need to keep three different types of capacity ratings in mind. They are:

  • Dynamic Load Capacity: We define dynamic load capacity as the maximum evenly distributed weight your pallet can hold while in motion, such as when it is raised by a forklift. Unless you are using your plastic pallets primarily for storage, you will usually use the dynamic load capacity number as your maximum weight load limit for your plastic pallet. Keep in mind, however, that a straight-line conveyor belt does not count as dynamic motion for the purposes of dynamic load capacity.
  • Static Load Capacity: Effectively the opposite of dynamic load capacity, static load capacity is how much the pallet can hold when at rest or on an even surface. If you just plan to store your product on your pallets, this will be the measure you will consider. Remember that stacking two pallets on top of each other does not double your static load capacity. Naturally, static load capacity will be higher than dynamic load capacity.
  • Racking Load Capacity: The final type of plastic pallet weight capacity you can consider is the racking load capacity. This is the maximum weight a pallet can hold in a racking system, where either the center or edges of the pallet are unsupported.

When purchasing plastic pallets for your industry, your supplier should be able to tell you the dimensions and the different weight capacities of the plastic pallets you are purchasing. If you are unable to determine any of the load capacity numbers — especially the load capacity for the type of work you will most often be putting your pallets through — be sure to consult the supplier to find out.

Find the Right Plastic Pallets for Your Needs With Polymer Solutions International Inc.

Polymer Solutions International Inc. has a variety of NSF-certified reusable plastic pallets to suit a variety of industry needs, including the ProGenic Heavy Duty Pallet, the ProGenic Standard Duty Pallet, the ProGenic Reinforced Duty Pallet and the ProGenic 3-Stringer Pallet. All are 48 inches by 40 inches, with the edge-racking load capacity of the Heavy Duty pallet up to 2,200 pounds and the edge-racking load capacity of the Reinforced Duty pallet as high as 2,800 pounds.

For further details on the different load capacities of various PSI plastic pallets, visit our website, call us at 610-325-7500 to speak to a PSI representative or contact us online today.

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6 Crucial Considerations for Purchasing Used Pallets

One of the great benefits of the right plastic pallets for your industrial storage and transportation needs is that they are reusable, but what about buying used plastic pallets to begin with? Is it worth it to buy recycled pallets or used pallets? What do you need to know when looking to buy used pallets? Here are 6 important things to keep in mind when buying used plastic pallets.

1. Make Sure They Are NSF-Certified

NSF is a public health and safety organization that verifies a product has been manufactured according to specific and stringent safety, quality, performance and sustainability standards. This is particularly important when using pallets that will be transporting or storing food, beverages, bottled water, chemicals and organic products.

2. Make Sure You Know the Company

Don’t purchase your used plastic pallets from just anyone. Search for a reputable company you know has a reputation for providing high-quality plastic pallets that will always be the advertised dimensions and will perform up to the standards at which plastic pallets are expected to perform. Plastic pallets from a non-reputable supplier may not be completely made of the same safer, more durable materials that high-quality plastic pallets are made from.

3. Make Sure You Are Saving Money

The whole point of buying used plastic pallets is to save money. If you are paying more for your used pallets than you might be for quality new plastic pallets elsewhere, move on. You should be able to get high-quality used plastic pallets for a significantly lower price than new pallets simply because they have been used before.

4. Don’t Forget About Customer Service

Just because you’re buying used pallets doesn’t mean your business isn’t important, and your plastic pallet seller should treat you accordingly. If you’re not happy with the service you’re getting from your plastic pallet supplier, whether you’re buying new or used, find another one.

5. Make Sure You Get the Pallet You Intend to Buy

If you’re buying a used plastic pallet, you should be getting the same pallet as a new plastic pallet, just one that has been used before. Don’t let the supplier try to switch out your pallet for one that’s smaller, or warped or made of wood, just because you’re buying used.

6. Know Your Used Pallet Grades

Typically, a Grade A or #1 used pallet is just like a new pallet except with some wear and discoloration. A Grade B or #2 pallet may have some companion stringers and plugs. Make sure the pallets you are buying are consistent with the grading system and are the ones you are supposed to be getting.

Polymer Solutions International Inc. sells both new and used recyclable plastic pallets of very high quality. For an overview of our prices and options for different reusable plastic pallets, call us today at 610-325-7500, visit our website and talk to us via Live Chat or contact us online now.

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How to Reduce Product Damage During Transportation

Damage prevention in logistics is a critical issue. If you are to be successful in your industry, you must be able to consistently get your goods from one end of the supply chain to the other in one piece on a consistent basis. Damaged products are a major cause of loss in warehousing, manufacturing and other industries, which is very unfortunate — especially since much of that damage can be avoided with the proper strategies. Here are some useful tactics for preventing damage along the supply chain.

Tips for Reducing Product Damage in the Warehouse

You can’t keep your product whole during transport if you can’t even get it out of the gate safely. Some damage in the warehouse while trying to retrieve and load merchandise may be inevitable, but much of it can be warded off.

It starts with your pallets. Wooden pallets can have missing nails, faulty planks, broken pieces or other integral weaknesses that are just crying out for an accident when you try to use them for loading. Your best approach may be to replace your wooden pallets with plastic ones that do not splinter, take on moisture or easily lose their integrity at extreme temperatures.

Once you’ve confirmed that your pallets are safe, it’s important to make sure you have loaded them and wrapped your product correctly to avoid a spill or some other kind of accident.

In addition to pallet care, making sure your facility is clean and well-lit is a sure way to reduce product damage in the warehouse.

How to Reduce Transit Damage

Once you’ve gotten the product out of the warehouse, how do you protect it on its way to its destination? Once again, packaging is key. Making sure your products are securely packed and wrapped on the pallet so they don’t jostle or come loose is a great way to keep them safe. Product packaging is usually your smallest expenditure, so the ROI of upgrading your packaging to protect your items can be tremendous when weighed against the cost of product loss.

When packing pallets, make sure the product stays within the dimensions of the pallet without overhanging. Stack heavy boxes in an overlapping pattern, like bricks, which will distribute their weight more evenly and be less likely to topple.

Other Damage Prevention Tactics

There are many steps you can take to prevent damage, and if you’re creative you can probably come up with a lot of others. Other tactics can include transporting your material on trucks with air-ride suspension or trucks that make fewer stops, controlling temperature both in your warehouse and in your trucks and using partitions, which can support corrugated boxes to help avoid crushing, prevent products from crashing into each other and make your product easier to unpack on the other end.

If you’re looking for reliable, reusable, safer plastic pallets for your warehousing and shipping needs, contact Polymer Solutions International Inc. You can send us a note online, talk to us on our website via Live Chat or call us at 610-325-7500. Get in touch today!

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Preventing Plastic Pallet Piracy

Many more suppliers and retailers of a variety of products, especially food and beverages, are learning the value of reusable packaging solutions like hygienic plastic pallets for their goods. Unfortunately, what they are also learning is that the prevalence of plastic pallet piracy is increasing. According to the Texas Retailers Association, plastic theft is responsible for over $10 million in losses to sales organizations in the Houston area alone.

The Problem of Reusable Plastic Piracy

To some, it may seem to be a perfect crime. Plastic pallets are often left in large quantities on loading docks or behind supermarkets and are typically unattended for long periods of time. Criminals, who assume no one is looking for plastic pallet thieves, simply head over to wherever the pallets are located, sidestep whatever usually meager security measures are in place, and load up their trucks.

They then take the pallets to recycling centers and exchange them for cash, which, once thousands of pounds of plastic pallets have been collected, can add up to a considerable amount. These recycling centers usually have little concern over where the plastic is coming from, and the retailer often has no way of tracking the pallets, so the crime goes unpunished and the cycle continues.

Because those retailers and the shipping companies that supply them could otherwise reuse all of those pallets or, at the very least, sell them to recycling plants themselves, the costs to the industry can be enormous. So what can be done to reduce pallet piracy?

How to Reduce Plastic Piracy

First, it’s important to make clear to anyone who takes responsibility for the plastic pallets that these pallets have value. People are accustomed to tossing just about any kind of plastic into a recycling bin without any thought of financial compensation, so those managing your pallets may not realize that this is valuable property they are responsible for.

If you are shipping goods in reusable plastic pallets, you will want to send along instructions for how to care for those pallets and how to return them in a timely manner, and make sure whoever handles those pallets along the supply chain receives and understands those instructions.

If you are responsible for plastic pallets, do not leave them around where anyone could walk off with them, because someone probably will. Keep them indoors in a secure area if possible and if they must be kept in open docks or parking lots, find a lockable trailer to keep them in or put up secure fencing and/or install security cameras.

You can also make one of your employees a reusable asset project manager who can take control of tracking your plastic pallets and making sure the company is in contact with them at all times.

Get Your Plastic Pallets from Polymer Solutions International Inc.

If you aren’t using plastic pallets to store or ship your goods yet, there are many great benefits of doing so, including uniformity of dimensions, ease of cleaning and better hygiene. For more information about purchasing plastic pallets and protecting them from theft, contact Polymer Solutions International Inc. online or call us at 610-325-7500.

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Important Considerations for Choosing RFID Pallets

RFID pallets are a state-of-the-art and highly efficient method for warehouse pallet tracking that can significantly streamline your logistics if implemented properly. RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, in the form of RFID plastic pallets, is a way to clearly identify your pallets and cargo and their location along the supply chain and expedite the transfer and receipt of goods.

How Does RFID Pallet Tracking Work?

Currently, you may use bar codes or labels on your pallets in order to track your inventory or shipments, but RFID technology is far more efficient. Bar codes and labels can be tricky to read and do not store a tremendous amount of data. You may have long stretches where you do not know exactly where your pallet is, since opportunities to scan the bar code or record the label information may be limited. RFID changes these limits drastically.

The RFID transponder can store a far greater amount of information than a bar code and allows you to access that information — and information about multiple pallets — at any time. It should be easy to see how quickly such a method of tagging and categorization can streamline your workflow and tracking process.

What Else Do I Need to Know About RFID Pallets?

How do RFID tags work and how do you use them? You simply attach the transponder, or tag, to the pallet and upload information to a database about the shipment. The RFID tag may be active or passive. If it is active, it will always generate its own battery-powered radio signal. If it is passive, the RFID tag activates in response to radio waves projected onto it, using those waves to generate a magnetic field to power itself.

Your pallets become instantly identifiable and you can track inspections, movements and receipt of goods clearly and in real-time anywhere along the supply chain, avoiding logistical confusion and minimizing the chance of pallet loss.

When affixing your RFID tags to your pallets, be sure to place them somewhere that is easy to find and protected from possible rough handling of the pallet. Avoid seams and spots near the bottom of the pallet or covering the shipping label. Make sure that each RFID tag has a unique shipping number so you can identify that specific pallet.

How Can I Learn More About RFID Plastic Pallets?

If you’d like to learn more about RFID technology and its use in plastic pallet packaging, contact Polymer Solutions International Inc. We are a leader in bottled water racks and reusable plastic packaging, designing innovative packaging solutions for a wide variety of industries — including pharmaceutical, food and beverage and retail — in over 105 countries.

Our solutions can help you reduce costs, protect your products from damage and contamination and improve your supply chain. For further information about our products or about RFID tracking, visit our website and talk to us on our Live Chat, call us at 610-325-7500 or contact us online today.

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Why Reusability Is Essential to Supply Chain Success

Traditionally, the drive to reduce waste in the supply chain has been focused on recycling. Plastic pallets and wood pallets can both be recycled, and wood and plastic pallet recycling is certainly effective at reducing waste, but is it as effective as reusing plastic pallets? Reusable packaging solutions are the wave of the future, and there are a number of important reasons why.

Benefits of Reusing Plastic Pallets Over Recycling

One of the important realities about recycling is that recycling does produce some waste. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to retain all of the material during the recycling process, and that process in itself can create some hazardous byproducts. Reusing a product as many times as possible before recycling becomes necessary, therefore, and has definite advantages for the environment.

It also takes an effort to create a new plastic pallet, whether it is made from recycled materials or not. Having to make fewer pallets due to reusing them can save money and mean less hazardous waste from the manufacturing process released into the environment.

Finally, if you work reusable pallets into your logistical plan, you have the opportunity for a much more streamlined supply chain process. You don’t have to constantly worry about where your next pallets are coming from and how to work them into the system because they are already in the system.

When it comes to effective workflow, plastic pallets come with a lot of advantages beyond their reusability. Automation is becoming a greater and greater requirement in many supply chains, and plastic pallets, with their uniform dimensions, are well-suited to automated systems. They can be molded to exact specifications, meaning there is no need to recalibrate every time you insert new plastic pallets into the chain.

Plastic pallets are much easier to clean than wood ones and don’t retain moisture or prove susceptible to bacteria in the way that wood pallets might.

A Commitment to Sustainability From Polymer Solutions International Inc.

At Polymer Solutions International Inc., we have a strong commitment to sustainability and environmentally-friendly solutions when it comes to our packaging. We are a plastic pallet designer, manufacturer and supplier who understands the benefits that sustainable, reusable packaging solutions can bring to your business and your industry and we are ready to bring those benefits to you today.

We will not only provide you with reusable products, but we will also buy them back from you at the end of their usable lifespans and recycle them ourselves. That means you never have to worry about the impact of your pallets on the environment.

We have a wide range of reliable bottled water racks and hygienic plastic pallets to suit your needs. To learn more about the benefits of our reusable packaging and how we can put them to work for you, or to order your own bottled water racks or hygienic plastic pallets right now, just call us at 610-325-7500, contact us online or visit our website and talk to us via Live Chat today.

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3 Ways Consumers Are Transforming the Supply Chain

The days when customers walked into a store, looked at your product and then purchased or failed to purchase based on whether or not they liked what they saw are over. Today’s consumer has access to a staggering amount of information thanks to digital technology, which has radically transformed the way goods are supplied to consumers. Although there are many consequences of consumer impact on supply chain logistics, here are three that really stand out.

Fair Trade and Environmentally Friendly Policies

There’s that old saying: “If you like sausage, don’t watch it being made.” But these days, everyone wants to know how things are made. Particularly, they want to know that products are made using fair labor practices through processes that are considerate to the environment. One major consumer influence on supply chain operations is that, in many industries, if companies want to compete, they must be transparent about their manufacturing practices — and those practices must include sustainable processes whenever possible. Ideally, these are processes that eschew waste and minimize the carbon footprint.

That can mean everything from using recyclable materials to using renewable energy sources to simply streamlining processes to generate less waste to begin with. While some of these supply chain transformation aspects may be costly to implement, they may often be rewarded with a greater consumer base and greater consumer loyalty.

Reliable Order Tracking

In the past, you ordered something you wanted from a company, learned it would take four to six weeks for delivery and waited outside by your mailbox a month later, hoping that one day it would show up as promised. No longer. Today’s consumers want to know exactly where the package is on the supply chain at all times, and now they can — thanks to RFID tags and advanced shipment tracking software. Consumers also expect shorter delivery times, which you as a supplier should be able to provide with the right technology and the right logistical strategies.

Instant Feedback

Today’s consumers want faster and cheaper shipping, and they may have some ideas on how you can provide it. If they do, they can share those ideas with you through social media. Never before have consumers been able to have such direct access to the companies that service them, and many want to take advantage. You should take advantage as well. Making sure the modern customer feels heard and acknowledged is one of the best ways to instill customer loyalty for years to come.

Polymer Solutions International Inc. is one of the companies leading the way in helping businesses transform their supply chains to meet the needs of the modern customer. We offer sustainable plastic packing solutions, RFID tagging for improved tracking and experienced logistics professionals who can help you determine the best way to keep your supply chain current with the times.

Find out more about how PSI helps you accommodate the new customer-influenced supply chain by chatting with us via our website or calling us at 610-325-7500 today.

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Purified Recycled Water: What Does It Mean for the Bottled Water Industry?

In most of the United States, many people are blissfully unaware of the challenges of getting potable drinking water. Even if you are unfortunate enough to live in one of the many states where the tap water is too contaminated to safely drink, you can usually purchase bottled water for little more than a dollar a gallon.

This does not reflect that state of the world’s drinking water, which is that as many as 2.1 billion people on this planet do not have regular access to safe drinking water. With populations growing and climate change threatening our renewable water supply, alternative solutions are becoming more and more important.

An obvious alternative solution is purified wastewater. While the idea of recycling sewage to produce drinking water may seem unpalatable to some, the fact is that we waste a tremendous amount of water in the United States, from cooking to toilet flushing to just leaving the tap open. 90 percent of wastewater in developing countries goes to waste. Recycled wastewater can help eliminate some of that waste and resolve water shortage issues. Purified recycled water is also a great way to help restore the ecosystem when urban needs have stripped wildlife areas of the water they need to flourish.

How Water Is Recycled

Even if you’re convinced of the benefits of recycled water, you may not be clear on exactly how it works. While the specifics may vary, wastewater treatment plants can work sewage water through a treatment process to separate out the large particles, then into a sedimentation tank with chemicals that separate the water from the sludge and scum. This process removes 80 percent of the solids, making the water safe enough to restore to the ocean if desired.

Making the water suitable for drinking is a bit more complex and involves taking the recycled water, putting it through a secondary bacterial treatment to separate out more solids, tertiary treatment to get the rest, adding chlorine for disinfecting and desalinating the water, then taking that water — now suitable for irrigation or other industrial purposes — and adding advanced water technology, including microfiltration, reverse osmosis and UV light disinfection, until eventually the water is clean enough to drink.

What Recycled Water Means for the Water Bottle Industry

Those who are in the water bottle industry do not need to be concerned that the new trend towards recycling wastewater could hurt their business. For one, traditional bottled water isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There are plenty of people who may never be convinced that their trusted bottled water is no less pure or safe to drink than wastewater. Furthermore, recycled wastewater will still need bottling, so there may be an even greater need for bottle water providers in the future.

For more information on water and bottled water trends or to order sustainable bottled racks for your business, contact Polymer Solutions International Inc. online or call us at 610-325-7500 now.

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Cities With the Worst Public Water Ratings

In recent years Flint, Michigan, has become famous for having unfit drinking water. But do they have the worst tap water in the U.S.? Where does it fall among cities with the worst tap water? For that matter, where does your city fall among cities with the worst drinking water in the United States? Here is a top ten breakdown of the worst drinking water quality by city in the United States.

9. & 10. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas takes up two spots in our list because both Las Vegas proper and adjoining North Las Vegas have terrible drinking water, with contaminants like arsenic, lead and even uranium appearing in North Las Vegas sinks, while as many as 12 contaminants — arsenic and lead included — could potentially pop up in your Las Vegas water glass.

8. Pensacola, Florida

If the idea of 12 contaminants in your drinking water has you running for a sealed plastic bottle, stay away from Pensacola in sunny Florida, where the Environmental Working Group found a stunning 21 harmful contaminants in excess of health limit guidelines.

7. Jacksonville, Florida

The water dilemma in the land of oranges doesn’t end with Pensacola, unfortunately. Jacksonville’s water has been known to feature unwanted metal ingredients like cadmium and lead. This water has also been found to have 80 parts per billion total trihalomethanes, which is in excess of the legal limit.

6. San Diego, California

San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in America, but that doesn’t mean the water is safe to drink. Studies have found eight contaminants in the water supply in excess of health guidelines and two in excess of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency legal limit.

5. Haworth Borough, N.J.

If you ever find yourself in this unassuming former farming community, bring your own water. Studies have found nearly two-dozen contaminants in excess of health guidelines, along with excessive mining waste pollution.

4. Reno, Nevada

The “biggest little city” in the world has a big water contamination problem, with levels of arsenic, manganese and tetrachloroethylene in the water exceeding legal EPA limits.

3. Houston, Texas

In addition to 18 contaminants in excess of health guidelines, Houston water also features particles produced by nuclear testing or radioactive mineral deposits and illegal levels of mining waste pollution, including haloacetic acids.

2. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha water quality is among the worst, with 20 contaminants beyond health limit guidelines and total trihalomethanes in excess of the legal limit.

1. Fresno, California

The city that calls itself “the best little city in the U.S.A.,” clearly doesn’t include water quality in its calculations. Fresno water features 19 contaminants in excess of established health limits, with eight exceeding legal limits — including aluminum, ethylene dibromide and manganese.

Provide Safer Water in Any City With the Help of Polymer Solutions International Inc.

If your company is interested in bringing safe, clean water to the cities that need it, you’ll need a reliable storage solution for that water. Contact the leader in reusable, recyclable plastic bottled water racks — Polymer Solutions International Inc. — to find the right ProStack® bottled water rack to meet your needs. Get in touch with PSI at 610-325-7500, online or via our website live chat today.

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How Are Water Bottles Recycled?

By volume, bottled water recently surpassed carbonated soft drinks to become the most popular drink in America. Each year, the average American will use 167 plastic water bottles of varying sizes. What happens to those bottles after you consume the contents is up to you. Do they become waste, or are they recycled? As the bottled water industry experiences unprecedented growth, encouraging consumers to recycle continues to be an important issue for the industry.

How a plastic water bottle gets recycled is a fascinating process. Unfortunately, it’s not always effective. Municipal recycling programs are inefficient. Depending on the city, only between 60 and 80 percent of recycling is actually recycled. Part of this is due to error, but a significant portion of it is because of improper recycling practices.

The more we as consumers know about the recycling process, the more effective it will be. Here’s what happens to a typical water bottle when it is picked up from a municipal recycling bin:

  • Sorting: Bottles and other recyclables are transported to a material recovery facility (MRF), typically owned by a private company under contract to your municipality. There, the items are dumped into a giant room called a tipping floor, where they enter the sorting process. A system of conveyor belts, tumblers and other machines, as well as human inspectors, separates recyclables by grade and discards unusable items. Recycled water bottles are then compacted and bundled together before being shipped to a recycling facility.
  • Recycling: Only a few dedicated plastic recycling facilities exist in the United States. In fact, for a long time, all plastic water bottles were shipped overseas for processing. Wherever it takes place, the recycling process involves sorting the bottles into different colors — typically using a laser imaging machine — before washing them in a hot solution that strips away their labels. Then, they are ground up into small chips, dried and heated again to remove impu
  • Selling and processing: Recyclers sell plastic water bottle flakes (known as rPET in the industry) direct to manufacturers, who use them as raw materials for products such as carpeting or polyester fabric. A small portion of flakes will find their way into new bottles. However, these need to meet food-grade standards, and they require additional processing as a result. While an increasing number of water companies are using rPET for their bottles, few currently contain 100 percent recycled materials.

All plastic water bottles are recyclable, but the fact is that only around 22 to 33 percent end up being recycled. Getting bottles into recycling facilities is just one step in the battle to improve these numbers.

While IBWA used to instruct consumers to keep caps off of items they recycle, that is no longer true. In fact, IBWA’s “Put It in The Bin” campaign now tells consumers to keep caps on. The material these caps are made of is highly sought after by recyclers and now — due to innovation — the cap’s small size is no longer the issue it once was for the recycling equipment.

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