Wood Pallets vs Corrugated Cardboard Pallets: What’s the Difference?

In 2018, product packaging created 82.2 million tons of solid waste. That’s more than a quarter of the total waste output in the U.S. for the year. 

The shipping industry is only expected to grow in the future, thanks to the explosion of online shopping. Shipping costs and waste are a major concern to business owners and consumers alike.

Luckily, you have a choice between corrugated cardboard pallets and wood, which can impact your bottom line. Read on to learn the difference between the two options, so you can make the right choice for your business. 


Wood is often more durable than pallets made from corrugated cardboard sheets. You can reuse wood pallets multiple times before ever needing to repair them. 

Cardboard pallets are often only good for one trip. Plus, moisture or water damage can make them break down. Wood can stand up to moisture without immediate damage. 


Cardboard pallets cost a fraction of the price of wood pallets. They’re sometimes made from recycled cardboard which helps cut down on costs. These pallets are made by machines.

Wooden pallets use raw wood materials, nails, and labor. While some businesses order wooden pallets from factories, some specialized businesses have to make them in-house. This will cost money in manpower.  


One of the biggest benefits of cardboard pallets is their lack of weight. They often weigh as little as half of a wooden pallet. 

Less weight makes pallets easier to transport and cheaper to ship. After all, for airplane transport and truck travel you’re paying by weight. If you don’t have to waste money transporting heavy pallets, you’ll be able to ship more products at a time. 


There’s also safety to contend with. Wooden pallets are heavy, so they can cause injuries like smashed fingers or bruises. Cardboard pallets are light, which makes them much safer to work with. 

Plus, wooden pallets are made with nails that can get rusty if they’re exposed to water. You might even need to pay for an employee to get a tetanus shot if they get punctured or scratched. 

Cardboard pallets use a unique construction and don’t require any staples. You can click for cardboard pallets to learn more about them. 

Environmental Impact

Cardboard pallets also have less of an environmental impact. They use recycled wood pulp whereas wood pallets use raw wood and nails.  

While wood pallets often last longer, cardboard pallets can be recycled. To repair a wood pallet, you’d need more raw materials than you would to make a new cardboard pallet. 

Corrugated Cardboard or Wood: Which Pallet Is Right for You?

Corrugated cardboard may seem like an unconventional material for pallets, but they weigh less, cost less, and are safer than wood pallets. Plus, they’re better for the environment. 

To learn more about shipping and managing your business, keep scrolling through our blog for more information.