FALM FAQ: What to Consider When You Buy Wood Pallets

FALM has been buying and selling pallets for a long time. So we've decided to take the knowledge we've gained along the way and create a pallet buying FAQ to answer the most common questions we get from organizations. If you scroll through our FAQ without finding what you need we are always ready to help. You can call us with your questions at 888-900-4840, or fill out the form on our contact page.

How long has FALM been in business?

  • We have been helping businesses buy pallets and recycle reusable packaging since 1995.

What services does FALM offer?

  • We offer a variety of pallet management services on a nationwide scale. Our services include:
    • Pallet Purchasing
    • Pallet Repair, Recovery, and Return
    • Dock Management (Removal of Used Pallets)
    • Recycle Waste Stream Removal (Removal of baled OCC, baled shrink wrap, and scrap metal).
    • Pallet Sales: new, used, and custom pallets using a Pallet Design System (PDS), we’re able to design each pallet according to your specific need

How can I buy pallets?

  • If you are interested in buying wood pallets, contact us for a quote today.
    • Minimum order size: 200 pallets

What is dock management?

  • Our dock management service is typically used by large retail stores and CPG companies because these businesses continually need pallets but also need a way to dispose of a large quantity of pallets. To meet their needs, FALM leaves behind trailers for the collection of old, broken pallets and surplus, repairable pallets. We then purchase these pallets (used and those needing repair) at an agreed upon price.

What is recycle waste stream removal?

  • Recycle waste stream removal includes the removal of excess packaging materials like baled OCC (old corrugated cardboard), baled LDPE (plastic film and shrink wrap) and scrap metals from your facility.
  • We provide recycle waste stream removal in conjunction with a pallet management plan. Baled material typically qualifies for rebates to be paid to the customer by FALM.

What geographic area does FALM service?

  • FALM’s services are available nationwide because of our unique network made of our 40 service center locations that are investor-owned combined with 185 additional reputable supplier partners located across the country.

Is FALM an asset-based supplier?

  • At its core, FALM is a combination of 16 investors who have a physical presence made up of 40 locations. We have also expanded our network to include 185 additional supplier partners, enabling us to provide pallets on a national scope.

What are the benefits of working with FALM’s pallet network?

  • There are very few national, asset-based pallet providers in the United States that match FALM’s capability of servicing the entire continental U.S., which means that finding a supplier that is able to service you both in California and in New York can be difficult. But, with our unique blend of asset-based locations and 185 reputable supplier partners, we can offer our services nationwide - meeting you wherever your packaging needs exist.
  • Additionally, we can expand our network to reach even further than our current scope.

What is the lead time for receiving pallet orders?

  • For your first (initial) order, the lead time is 5-7 days for new pallets and 3-5 days for recycled pallets. The lead time will then decrease after the first order with new pallets being delivered in 5 days and recycled pallets in 3 days.
  • Because of the specific nature of custom built pallets, their lead time may extend to 10 days for the initial order based on lumber availability and the needed pallet dimensions. After the first order, the lead time will shrink to 5 days.

Does FALM purchase pallets?

  • Yes, conditionally that the pallets are standard 48x40. However, we will also remove additional non-standard pallets if at least 75 percent of the order contains standard-sized pallets.

How much do you pay for pallets?

  • We pay fair market prices for all pallets. Prices vary based on customer location.

How do you recycle pallets?

  • We recycle pallets in two ways: repair for reuse and grinding into mulch, wood chips, and animal bedding.

What type of pallets does FALM offer?

  • Size:
    • We provide pallets of all sizes. We currently provide pallets up to 26 feet, but it should be noted that larger pallets may cause longer lead times. For more information, contact us.
  • Grade:
    • We typically offer Grade A and Grade B recycled pallets.
  • Species:
    • We provide both hardwood and softwood pallets based on your needs.
  • Material:
    • We offer both stringer and block wood pallets as well as compressed wood pallets. We’re also able to provide 2-way and 4-way pallets.
  • Condition:
    • We provide both new and recycled wood pallets.
    • We also offer heat-treated pallets and methyl bromide pallet treatment.

What are pressed wood pallets?

  • Pressed wood pallets are pallets made with wood chips and glue and have “feet” instead of stringers. They are bug-free and don’t need to be heat-treated, making them an excellent exporting pallet.

How do pressed wood pallet prices compare to traditional wood pallet prices?

  • Pressed pallets are cheaper than new stringer and new block pallets and are a slightly more expensive than recycled, used stringer and used block pallets.

Do you offer alternative pallet materials?

  • FALM only offers wood and pressed wood pallets.
  • 93 percent of the pallets in cycle across the U.S. are wooden. Wood pallets are easier to recycle and repair than plastic or metal pallets, making them a sustainable packaging staple. We’re proud of our green initiatives and are happy to provide our clients with a sustainable way to handle their reusable packaging materials.

Reverse Logistics vs. Pallet Repair, Recovery, and Return?

  • Pallet repair, recovery, and return is only one part of reverse logistics.
  • Reverse logistics applies to anything that has value in your supply chain (not just pallets) and may or may not include asset repairs. Anything that goes forward into delivery can be reversed, so that we can apply reverse logistics to any of your reusable packaging materials. If the packaging material is no longer usable at the time of pick-up, your reverse logistics partner can dispose of the materials for you.
  • For example, if your company uses OSB board in the transfer of its products, we can help return the OSB board back to you after delivery. By wrapping and returning the reusable packaging materials to be used again, your company can save time and money on supply chain logistics.
  • Pallet Repair, Recovery, and Return, on the other hand, is a subset of reverse logistics, applies specifically to wooden pallets, and can save you more than 25 percent per pallet.
  • When implementing a pallet recovery system, we’ll create a closed-loop system that allows you to cut costs and extend the life of your pallets through consistent pallet repair.
  • With our pallet recovery system, you’re able to reuse the same pallet three to four times per year for up to an average of eight years. By reusing pallets, some of our loyal customers have reduced pallets costs from $75 per pallet, with the cost to reuse this same pallet equaling $25 per pallet, per trip. This can be sustained over 4 shipments per year with an asset life of 8 years.

What is your recovery system’s cycle time?

  • Cycle times vary by program, but typically the cycle time lasts approximately three to four months, which means repaired pallets can be reused about three to four times per year.

What type of pallet tracking system does FALM use?

  • We use the GB04 tracking system, which enables customized reporting on pallet recovery activity for recyclers, retail stores and FALM. The system allows us to see how many pallets were retrieved, how many were distributed, and how many were disposed of during the pallet recovery process.
  • Our customers find the GB04 tracking system especially helpful because it allows them to track how many of their pallets were distributed, which helps them keep track of customers’ rebate credits.
    • Pallet rebate credits are essential to a recovery program in that the shippers’ customers have to be incentivized to collect and return to FALM in order to receive a pallet rebate credit.

How do you handle pallet sanitation?

  • Our suppliers are able to meet all ISPM-15 mandates.
  • We offer both heat-treated and treated pallets.

What is the purpose of heat treating pallets?

  • When constructing pallets with green lumber, insects often live in the freshly cut wood. Heat treating pallets raises the temperature of the wood to dispose of any remaining bugs, which prevents them from spreading between companies and countries.
  • Heat treatment is mandated by U.S. customs under the ISPM-15 program. It requires that all pallets that enter and exit the country.

How do I know if my pallet has been heat-treated?

  • When you heat treat a pallet, the unique operator number is stamped on the outside of one of the stringers.

How much does it cost to heat-treat a pallet?

  • Heat treating prices vary, but typically costs between $0.75 to $1.25 per pallet.

Do I need to heat-treat my pallets more than once?

  • Pallets only need to be heat-treated once; however when a heat-treated pallet is repaired with new wood, it must be treated again to ensure the entire pallet is protected against bugs.

How do I request a quote?

  • We’d be happy to provide you a quote for your pallet needs, click here to fill out our request form, or call us at 888-900-4840. To receive the most accurate quote, please include the following criteria. If you’re unable to provide all the below information, please just provide what you can and we’d be happy to consult with you.
    • Pallet specifications - the length, width, and thickness of the needed pallets, as well as the number of deck boards and number of stringers needed.
    • Maximum weight of the unit load. (Unit load weight = weight of pallet + total weight of the product loaded on the pallet.)
      • This enables us to provide you with a pallet designed for safety and durability.
    • Are you looking for new or used pallets?
      • Remanufactured (reman) pallets and combo pallets are also available.
      • Combo pallets are a combination of used/recycled pallets with some deck boards being new lumber.
      • Reman pallets are constructed by reusing board components (used lumber) to build a pallet configuration.
    • Monthly volume of order.
    • Hardwood or Softwood.
    • Locations of distribution centers.
    • Pallet storage - Are pallets racked or stacked? We are able to design your pallets optimized for your storage situation.

How soon should I expect to receive a reply to my quote request?

  • You should expect to receive a reply within 3 business days on requests for standard 48x40s and within 5 days for custom pallet requests.

What is your minimum order quantity?

  • Our customers typically order 500 or more pallets per month. However, we do handle smaller orders ranging from 200-300 pallets. Contact us to see if we can help you today.

What is the benefit of using your pallet design software (PDS)?

  • Our pallet design software provides our suppliers with an exact blueprint of the pallet structure needed to support and ship your products safely based on the density of the lumber and the type of load being carried. These blueprints enable our staff to efficiently build durable, reliable pallets that are ready to ship when the time comes.
  • Because our design software relies on unique pallet specifications, it gives our customers peace of mind knowing their pallets are designed specifically for the products they carry. This increases safety during the shipping process and once the pallets are in storage.

Do you have additional questions?

  • Give us a call at 888-900-4840, our operating hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (EST).
  • Fill out the form on our contact page and one of our sales representatives will reach out to you.