The first time that you see a corrugated cardboard pallet, you might think that your brain is playing a trick on you. How is a simple cardboard pallet holding up thousands of pounds of packaged products? Won’t it simply get squished into a… well, a pile of squished cardboard as soon as the forklift sets the load down? As to whether corrugated cardboard pallets actually work, the answer is:

Yes, they do!

Not only do corrugated cardboard pallets work very well, but they also offer some additional benefits to you if you’re a manufacturer, distributor or retailer who regularly needs to stack goods and products on a pallet. Here’s a closer look at this nifty invention.

Why Do Cardboard Pallets Work?

A cardboard pallet can support up to 10,000 pounds of weight if it is distributed properly. By way of comparison, the average traditional wooden pallet can hold up to about 4,600 pounds. So, why can a corrugated cardboard pallet hold so much more weight? We can sum up the answer in one word:


Just kidding. Actually, the word would be “physics.”

Corrugated cardboard has a system of alternating grooves and ridges between layers of paper, which work to distribute the weight of the load. Cardboard pallets are designed with one axis being stronger than the other, much like with wooden pallets. But the added strength of the grooves and ridges gives the cardboard pallet a big boost in strength.

Benefits of Cardboard Pallets

The biggest advantage of a corrugated cardboard pallet is that it weighs less than a traditional wooden pallet. When you pay to ship your goods down the highway, across the skies or across the ocean, you are paying for the weight of your pallets as well. And the pallets are not the product that will be sold!

The average wooden pallet weighs between 30 and 70 pounds, depending on its size. Corresponding sizes of corrugated cardboard pallets weight between 13 and 19 pounds. You can quickly see how this weight difference can make a huge dent in your shipping costs.

Let’s say you have a shipping container or a tractor-trailer loaded with goods on 20 pallets, as a simple example. Twenty wooden pallets at a weight of 70 pounds each come to 1,400 pounds. But if you use 19-pound corrugated cardboard pallets instead, the weight of the pallets would come to just 380 pounds. You’ve just cut more than 1,000 pounds off your shipping weight, which is a tremendous cost saving for your business.

There are other benefits to using cardboard pallets as well. They are cheaper to produce, cheaper to replace and easier to dispose of if the cardboard pallets become broken or damaged. Plus, no one on your staff will have to run out for an emergency tetanus shot from a nail or staple — because cardboard pallets are not constructed with those.

Corrugated cardboard pallets might not be the best choice for every type of business or in every circumstance. But they do offer many benefits for the companies that can use them. And yes, they really do work!