Top Questions to Ask When Hiring a Pallet Supplier

The Pallet; a simple, portable platform having a top and bottom deck, typically made of wood or plastic; used as a base to set products on so they can be packaged for freight shipping. This simple structure is a vital part of the supply chain, and the conventional way of thinking seems to be that all pallets are the same therefore all pallet suppliers are the same. So it doesn’t matter who I use, right?

Wrong! All pallets are NOT the same and more importantly all pallet suppliers are definitely NOT the same. To get the quality of pallets you’ll need and the kind of service you’ll want, you need to do your research.

What are the key things to consider?

First, ask about the size of the company, their years in business and their reputation for pallet quality and service. 

  • Is the company large enough to maintain large inventories of finished and in-process pallets? There are many small companies called “Pallet Gypsies” who will claim they can do it all but in fact do not have the equipment or staff to pull it off.
  • Do they have enough trailers to get pallets to you on time, every time?
  • Do they have the staff necessary to do the job? Can you reach them when you need to? Will they resolve problems with you?
  • Do they even really know who you are? Are they a national company who never even meets you or a local company who partners with you to assure your success?

Then, ask if they can handle ALL of your pallet needs.

  • What if you need custom made pallets for unique products? Can they make them to your specification?
  • What about scrap pallet removal in a timely fashion so your docks or warehouse space are not tied up needlessly?

After addressing the questions above, here are the top 5 (more detailed) questions to ask when hiring a pallet supplier.

Question# 1: What kind of pallet inventory does your company maintain and can you supply pallets during peak times?

Merchandise orders can be ready to go, but without pallets, shipments grind to a halt. Many pallet suppliers only have room to maintain limited inventory. Have you ever had a customer who called today but needs their order “yesterday?” If your business received such an order requiring hundreds of pallets ASAP, how quickly could your pallet provider deliver those pallets to you?

Located on 26 acres of land, we process over 15,000 recycled pallets per day in a 46,000 square foot facility (and growing). Our pallets are always in stock! We offer an uninterrupted pallet supply during peak times and can supply a large volume of pallets at all times.

Why? It’s simple. We have strong relationships with large suppliers and a large facility which enables us to stock inventory during off peak times so we can meet your demand during peak times.

Question# 2: What is your turnaround time?

What good does it do for a pallet company to have pallets in stock if they can’t deliver or pick up when you need them to? Nazareth Pallet prides itself on being an on time supplier. With over 300 trailers in our fleet we can deliver pallets to you when you need them, on the exact date and at the exact time you specify. Once we know your patterns we even call you to check on your inventory needs.

If you’re squeezed for space or have no time for a live load we can leave a trailer at your dock to warehouse your delivered pallets or store your pallet returns or other scrap products. With Nazareth Pallet, mixed materials can be loaded into the same trailer. That means fewer dock doors for waste materials and more for incoming goods. You no longer need multiple service providers!

Finally, because we understand that business is sometimes unpredictable and you may have last minute needs, we make sure our trucks can be at your location for pickup or delivery within 24hrs of receiving your call!  

Question# 3: Do you offer custom pallets?

What if your business produces products that do not conform to the American industries  standard GMA 48 x 40 size pallet but instead requires the use of a custom design? Nazareth will custom build any size pallet made from a variety of pallet types including: all new wood pallets, recycled pallets, combo pallets (using new & recycled wood) and heat treated pallets. Using state-of-the-art computer generated design software we can build wood pallets to your exact specifications. You can approve the drawing and even the first production sample to ensure you’re getting what you want. 

Question# 4: I have been hearing a lot of buzz about vendor managed pallet inventory. Do you offer onsite program management services?

YES! With Nazareth’s onsite program management we manage your pallet inventory for you. This allows you to focus on your core business without having to worry about the recurring pallet re-ordering process. Nazareth Pallet offers full-time onsite program management enabling you to tap into our experts.  We supply the equipment, reporting systems, personnel and expertise needed to manage and control all of your particular pallet and other recyclable scrap needs so you don’t have to. We can arrange partial or full programs to fit your specific application. Services can include onsite sorting, repair, reports and complete inventory control.

Question# 5: Can I tour your facility, anytime?

This is a big one. Any respectable pallet supplier should have an open door policy at their facility. After all, if you’re going to be doing business with someone there should be a level of transparency so that trust can build up over time. At Nazareth Pallet, our doors are always open. You can stop by our facility anytime to view firsthand the size of our operation, see what inventory we have on hand, see how well organized we are, peek at our equipment and observe the professionalism of our employees.

No appointment needed. If you cannot get away, you can always go to our Facebook page to view a variety of videos about how pallets are made the Nazareth Pallet way.

Final thoughts.

Notice how there has been no mention of PRICE,  yet we all know how important that is. The wrong statement a buyer should make is to say “I want the best pallet for the lowest price!”  Instead he or she should be saying “I want the best pallet at the best price!”

They both sound the same but really mean something quite different. The lowest price provider has to make his money somehow. So either he cuts back on quality or services. Either way, it’s you (the customer) who loses out. Nazareth Pallet follows the “best pallet at the best price” model for doing its business which is why our prices may sometimes be slightly higher BUT you get what you pay for! We put that money to work for YOU. Our staff is over 155, we have over 300 trailers in circulation and a dedicated on-the-road salesman you can actually meet with face-to-face (backed by an 8 person office staff you can actually talk to when you want place an order or solve a problem). We are constantly investing in improving both our product quality and services so that you can feel confident the product you purchase will meet all of your standards as well as your schedules.

Is price still always the most important component? Until you cannot get complete delivery or the quality of the pallet causes you problems during production by downing equipment or you can’t even get your supplier to drop or pull a trailer because he doesn’t have enough of them. Then PRICE falls behind SERVICE and QUALITY; words synonymous with Nazareth Pallet.

It’s important to ask the tough questions before you make your final decision. If you’re looking for a pallet supply PARTNER , we’re here. Reach out to us and we’ll take care of the rest.

One more thing.

Look for us on Public Broadcasting’s “In America,” a PBS television program narrated by James Earl Jones, sometime this spring on your local PBS stations. It’s a 6 minute program about how recycled pallets help to sustain our natural resouces. It will also give you the “Grand Tour” of our large facility. If you miss it you can view it on our Facebook page starting in March.