Businesses that deal with product shipments may be familiar with the term, heat treated pallets. But what is heat treating and do you need it? 

We all know that wood pallets are made from trees. Because trees are rooted in the ground, they may be absorbing more than just nourishment — they may also be carrying pests. When the tree is cut into wood, many of these pests remain inside where they can either corrupt the wood or be carried into other parts of the world as an invasive species. Subjecting wood to a heat treatment stops the spread of pests.

The Heat Treatment

To completely eradicate pests from the wood, the packaging (box, pallet, or crate) is heated until it reaches a core temperature of 140 degrees for at least 30 minutes. This process will kill off insects regardless of their life stage and will make the wood packaging qualified for the ISPM-15 stamp (International Phytosanitary Standard for Wood Packaging).

Advantages of Heat Treated Pallets

  1. International shipping compliant

Heat treated pallets receive the ISPM-15 stamp, which makes the packaging eligible for transporting goods abroad. Pallets that do not carry the ISPM-15 stamp may be held at port causing delays in transport or discarded entirely. 

  1. Less resistant to mold and bacteria

Mold thrives in moist environments, and wood is a porous material that absorbs moisture. While mold may not damage the wood much, it can transfer to the products that the wood packaging carries. Heat treating wood will draw out the water from it and make it more resistant to moisture.

  1. Reduced weight

Because the moisture content is reduced by the heat treatment process, the pallets feel lighter. It probably won’t make much of a difference if you’re shipping just one or two pallets, but the savings can add up if you’re shipping plenty at once. 

  1. Eco-friendliness

By preserving the wood better and making it resistant to pests, the heat treatment process can make wood pallets sturdy enough to be reused over and over again. You not only reduce waste, you also save on costs in the long run.

Disadvantages of Heat Treatment

  1. Added cost

One of the biggest disadvantages to using treated pallets is the cost. The process adds more expense on top of the price of regular wood packaging.

  1. Sourcing

Not all shipping companies are able to provide heat treated pallets. You may have to do more research and look around for one that can provide this option.

Should You Opt For Heat Treated Packaging?

If your business ships domestically, you are not required to use heat treated packaging. However, you may want to consider it when you are shipping the same products continuously — and in bulk — and want to save on costs by recycling the pallets. 

Heat Treated or Non-Heat Treated, We Have Them All.

Our team of experts can help you with whatever your shipping needs are, whether it be domestic or international. We can even help you get a custom order that exactly meets your freight shipping needs. Call us at (303) 660-0084 or email today!