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Refurbished Pallets: A Closer Look at Used Vs. New

Used recycled refurbished pallets

In the world of material handling, wooden pallets play an indispensable role, providing a sturdy foundation for transporting and storing goods. While new pallets have long been the industry standard, recycled refurbished pallets have emerged as a cost-effective alternative, gaining popularity among businesses seeking to reduce expenses. However, before making the switch to used pallets, it's crucial to carefully examine the perceived advantages and potential drawbacks to ensure they align with your specific needs and priorities.

Perceived Advantages of Recycled Pallets

1. Cost-Effectiveness: Used pallets are often touted as a more affordable option compared to their brand-new counterparts. This perceived advantage stems from the fact that refurbished pallets are essentially recycled and repaired, reducing the need for new raw materials and manufacturing processes.[i]

2. Sustainability: Environmental concerns have driven a growing preference for sustainable practices, and refurbished pallets are often seen as an eco-friendly choice. By extending the lifespan of existing pallets, refurbished options reduce the environmental impact associated with producing new ones.[ii]

3. Readily Available: Refurbished pallets are widely available in the market, making them easily accessible to businesses of all sizes. This abundance of supply can be appealing, especially for those seeking quick and convenient pallet solutions.

Re-Evaluating the Advantages

While the initial appeal of used pallets is understandable, a closer examination reveals potential shortcomings that may not be readily apparent.

Cost-Effectiveness: A False Economy?

While refurbished pallets may initially appear less expensive, the long-term cost-effectiveness can be questionable. The quality and durability of recycled pallets can vary significantly, increasing the risk of damage or failure during transport or storage. While refurbished pallets are classified to indicate they're expected durability and longevity, recycled components of a pallet can hide stresses, flaws and internal fracturing due to previous loads that are not visually apparent. This can lead to costly repairs, replacements, product losses and serious bodily injuries.[iii]

Sustainability: A Questionable Claim

The environmental benefits of refurbished pallets may not be as clear-cut as one might assume. The process of refurbishing pallets often involves the use of chemicals, energy, and transportation, which can negate some of the environmental gains associated with reusing materials.[iv]

Additionally, purchasing new hardwood pallets from responsible suppliers can help support sustainable forestry practices and ensure the long-term availability of quality lumber. This aligns with the environmental goals of many businesses and promotes responsible natural resource management.

Readily Available: A Double-Edged Sword

The easy availability of used pallets can be a double-edged sword. While it ensures a steady supply, it also means that businesses may have less control over the quality and consistency of the pallets they receive. This can lead to inconsistencies in performance and potential safety hazards.

A Compelling Argument for New Pallets

When making an informed decision between new and refurbished pallets, it's essential to consider the overall value proposition. While used pallets may offer initial cost savings, the potential risks and drawbacks can outweigh the perceived advantages in the long run.

New Pallets: A Sound Investment

New pallets provide several compelling advantages that make them a worthwhile investment for businesses seeking long-term value and reliability.

1. Consistent Quality and Durability: New pallets are manufactured to strict standards, ensuring consistent quality and durability. This reduces the risk of damage or failure during transport or storage, minimizing downtime and product losses.[v]

2. Reduced Environmental Footprint: Advances in manufacturing practices have led to the production of new pallets with a reduced environmental footprint. Responsible sourcing of raw materials and efficient manufacturing processes minimize the environmental impact associated with new pallets.[vi]

3. Peace of Mind and Control: Buying new pallets provides businesses with peace of mind knowing that they are receiving products of consistent quality and durability. This control over the quality of materials and manufacturing processes can significantly enhance supply chain efficiency and reduce potential risks.[vii]

Blackberry Pallet LLC

At Blackberry Pallet we manufacture new wooden pallets from lumber sourced from our sister company Turman Lumber. As members of the Turman Group we pride ourselves in being part of an organization which provide quality products while being environmentally responsible stewards in the forestry products industry.


The decision between new and refurbished pallets should not be solely based on initial cost considerations. For businesses looking at the future for themselves and employees, it is important to examine the true bottom line.

Start Today

If you'd like to see if quality new pallets are the right fit for you, contact Blackberry Pallet to see how we can be the solution to your pallet needs.


[i] “The Cost of Refurbished Pallets”: [ii] “The Environmental Impact of Pallets”: [iii] “Total Cost of Ownership of Refurbished Pallets”: [iv] “Life Cycle Assessment of Wooden and Plastic Pallets: A Review”: [v] “The Environmental Impact of Using the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Account for a Reusable Wooden Flat Pallet in Its Operational Phase on Respecting the Principles of Sustainable Development”: [vi] “A Comparative Life Cycle Analysis of New and Refurbished Pallets”: [vii]“A Comparative Cost Analysis of New and Refurbished Pallets”:

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