GMA Pallet Grades: Everything You Need to Know Before Purchasing

Can you relate to it? Whenever you try to purchase new pallets, you find a long list to go through. So, how can you pick the perfect one for your business? It all comes down to understanding the various grades of pallets and what those grades mean. Read on, and you will find a comprehensive guide on GMA pallet grades in this blog post. After reading this, you won’t hesitate to buy brand-new pallets for your business.

What is a GMA pallet

What is a GMA pallet?

GMA Pallet stands for “Grocery Manufacturers Association Pallet”. It is a standardized cargo pallet widely used in retail and logistics industries. GMA Pallets are usually made of wood and come in standard sizes and designs to accommodate cargo transport, storage and stacking needs.

GMA pallets are the most commonly used pallets in North America. The term “GMA pallet” often uses interchangeably with other terms, such as “grocery pallet” or “standard pallet.” They are made to specifications by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).


Standard for GMA Pallets

The standard GMA pallet dimensions 8 inches (L) x 40 inches (W), which fits the needs of many retailers and logistics companies. This standardized size helps to optimize space utilization, simplify cargo handling and improve logistics efficiency.

There are three grades of GMA pallets: A, B, and C. Grade A is the highest quality grade, and Grade C is the lowest quality grade. 
The standards for each pallet grade are as follows: 

  • Grade A Pallets

These pallets are made of high-quality wood, free of knots, warps, and splinters. Grade A pallets are perfect for products that require a clean, pristine look, such as food items or cosmetics. They are also ideal for products shipped in a protective container, like a box or crate. A grade pallet typically costs more than other grades because they have higher-quality materials.

  • Grade B Pallets

Grade B GMA pallets have the exact specifications as Grade A pallets. But may have up to three broken boards or one broken stringer. Grade B pallets often use for applications where a few broken boards will not affect the performance. Business owners use Grade B pallets for recycling, as they can quickly repair or dismantle and reuse them. While they may not be perfect, Grade B GMA pallets are cost-effective for many businesses.

  • Grade C Pallets

The recycled wood used in these pallets does not meet Grade A or B pallets. Grade C pallets may have visible signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, splits, or nails sticking out. While they are the least expensive option, they should only be used for products requiring less protection. 


New GMA pallets VS Recycled GMA pallets

There is a common misconception that recycled GMA pallets are automatically lower in quality than new ones. However, this is only sometimes the case. Recycled GMA pallets indeed show more wear and tear than the new ones. But they can still be just as strong and durable—if not more so.

In many cases, recycled GMA pallets can be a better option than new ones. Since they have already been broken, so they are less likely to break under heavy loads. Additionally, recycled GMA pallets often cost less than new ones, making them an excellent option for budget-conscious shoppers.

The key is to inspect any GMA pallet that you’re considering. Before purchasing, make sure that it meets your specific needs and requirements.

How can you ensure that your pallets meet the grade requirements for your industry or shipping needs?

While shortlisting pallets option for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. Follow the instruction below, and you’ll always pick the quality pallet grades.

  1. Use high-quality pallet materials

When selecting the right pallet, it is essential to ensure that you use the best quality materials available. Many industries require specific standards, and hardwoods such as oak or maple can help ensure that your pallets meet these standards. Additionally, using anti-slip coatings on plastic and metal pallet grades will help with safety when handling items.

  1. Check for structural integrity

Before use, make sure there are no signs of wear or damage. This includes checking for cracks, splinters, broken boards or other apparent weaknesses in the structure that could lead to failure during transport or storage.

  1. Ensure uniformity of design

All components of your pallet should be consistent to ensure that there are no weak points in the design. This includes making sure all boards on the pallet have the same thickness and width. Over this, all the screws or nails should have equal in size.

  1. Consider weight limitations

Knowing what type of merchandise you will be shipping is essential for choosing a suitable pallet. Different materials have different load-bearing limits. So it is crucial to select a size and strength that can handle your products safely and securely.

  1. Use safe handling practices

Proper handling techniques are crucial while loading or unloading items onto a pallet. Make sure workers wear protective gear such as gloves and face masks to avoid potential injury. Additionally, always use a forklift or other machinery to move heavy pallets, as attempting to do so manually can cause severe damage.


Plastic Pallets vs Wood Pallets: Which one should you consider?

When it comes to selecting the ideal pallet for your needs, you should consider both plastic pallets and wooden pallets. They may seem similar to you on the surface. But there is a fine line between them which can affect cost, durability and convenience.

One of the key advantages of plastic pallets is their greater load capacity than wood pallets. Plastic pallets are harder and more resistant to damage than wood pallets. Therefore they can support heavier loads without the risk of breaking or cracking. However, when damage appears in plastic pallet grade, you need to replace it completely. For wooden pallet grades, you just need to repair them using spare parts.

In terms of cost, wooden pallets tend to be cheaper. But plastic pallets also offer an advantage in terms of transportation. While storing and transporting, you won’t face any difficulty because of their lightweight. Plus, plastic pallets are also often recyclable, which offers further cost savings. Additionally, plastic pallet grades vary widely depending on the material used. Most of them have recycled or mixed materials.

Whether you choose a plastic or wooden pallet will depend on the type of goods you need to transport and your budget. But both types of pallets offer unique benefits that can help you make the most efficient use of your resources.

In conclusion, when it comes to pallet material, deciding which one you should choose depends on your specific needs. Plastic pallets are ideal for long-term storage and transport. Because they’re more durable and lightweight than wooden pallets. However, if repair is a priority for you, then wooden pallets may be a better choice. Ultimately, the choice is yours.


The importance of GMA pallets 

You can find GMA pallets in the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, automotive, manufacturing and retail industries.They are considered the highest quality pallet grades available and offer superior strength and durability for moving products between locations. 

GMA pallets also feature a wide range of design options that allow companies to customize pallets according to their specific needs. This makes them an ideal choice for businesses that need to move delicate or large items without risking damage during transit. Additionally, standard GMA pallets can be custom-built with features such as anti-slip surfaces and edge protectors, which provide additional protection when loading or unloading goods. 

Since these pallets are easy to reuse and recycle, companies can save money in the long run by investing in GMA pallets rather than disposable options.  All of these features make GMA graded pallets the go-to choice for business owners.