GMA Pallets

GMA Pallets


Pallets are a product we tend to overlook in our day-to-day lives, and yet over 80% of all materials and equipment is transported, moved and even displayed using wooden pallets. If you are researching and preparing to use pallets for your own project, then it’s important to understand the different types and grades of pallets.  Most importantly, you need to be familiar with the industry standard of the pallet world—GMA pallets.


What is a GMA pallet?

GMA stands for the Grocery Manufacturers Association of America and refers to stringer pallets that adhere to the size and quality standards set in the association’s guidelines.  GMA pallets are always 48” x 40” with the stringers running the 48” length. All GMA pallets are built using three stringers to support three to five baseboards and five to seven top deck boards.  Finally, all GMA pallets are built with a four-way entry and flush mounted boards. While GMA pallets follow the same set of rules, they certainly are not all created equally!


GMA Pallet Grades

GMA pallets come in four distinct grades. Premium Grade A Pallets are the cleanest option and won’t include any block or metal repairs to stringers or have colored or painted stringers. These pallets are entirely or mostly clean of paint or markings. Being of the highest quality, these pallets are most typically used in retail, where they can be seen by consumers as part of store displays. Grade A Pallets are the next grade and are typically used in the food and pharmaceutical industry. They adhere to the same guidelines as all GMA pallets but may have a single metal repair plate per stringer to strengthen splits. Other blemishes such as minor cracks, chips, and some visible paint markings are acceptable. Premium Grade B is still a great pallet option that will provide cost savings without sacrificing quality. These pallets will have only one repair on any one stringer, never more and will have fewer transfer cycles than a Grade B. They are allowed to have paint and other markings on the stringers. Grade B is the lowest grade of GMA pallet and as such are much less expensive than their Grade A counterparts. These pallets are typically used for warehousing and shipping. Chips, partial split boards, repaired stringers and paint markings are all standard on Grade B pallets.

It’s important to understand the different grades of GMA pallets in order to make the best choice for your needs. Regardless of grade, if your pallets are GMA standardized, you’ll have an easier time coordinating shipping with different partners.