pallets stacked

Wooden pallets are widely used for shipping in many industries. One of the common examples of standard wood pallets is the GMA pallet. The GMA pallet refers to the common 48” x 40” standard wooden pallet used for over one hundred years. There are further details, though, about what qualifies as a GMA pallet which have developed in the modern age, especially with more practical pallet options that have become available. Learn what to know about GMA pallets by reading below.

Where Specification Came From

The label GMA stands for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the group that set up standards for racking and transportation in the grocery industry back in 1908. The organization now operates as a liaison for multiple companies to work together on maintaining quality food manufacturing practices. The GMA set a standard in the grocery industry for 48”x 40” wooden pallets which are commonly used all around the world.

The Official GMA Pallet Specification

GMA pallets have various descriptions, depending on who you talk to. Some say it’s simply a 48×40 pallet, others describe it being specifically for food transportation, and some say it’s a brand-new hardwood pallet. GMA standard pallets are made out of high-density wood. Each uses seven top deck boards 40 inches wide, and five deck boards on the bottom, also 40 inches wide. The stringers in between are 3 1/2 inches tall, 1 3/8 inches thick, and 48 inches long. Over time, though, many companies make exceptions to the specification such as lumber type, use, and thickness. It’s become less cost-effective to buy brand new pallets when lower grade and recycled pallets are available that can do the same job at a much lower cost.

Differences Between a New and Recycled GMA Pallet

Naturally, there are differences between a new and used pallet. This is an important aspect of what to know about GMA pallets. Aside from the original GMA standard pallets mentioned above, companies have turned to using the recycled or refurbished GMA pallets. There are two grades for these recycled pallets. Grade A recycled pallets are lightly used pallets that have only needed some repairs on the deck boards. The stringers should already be in good enough condition that they don’t need repairs. This also means the strength is still comparable to a new one. They will, however, potentially have a mix of hardwoods and softwoods because the repair process uses different lumber types. Grade B pallets are more worn and have sustained damage including cracks, breaks, and product spills. Grade B pallets will have a broken stringer or runner which has been repaired with a companion stringer. These damages make them less clean-looking compared to GMA standard pallets. Their main resemblance to GMA standard pallets is they’re still 48 inches x 40 inches and they’re commonly used in the grocery industry.

First Alliance Logistics offers pallet solutions for small businesses to larger manufacturing and distribution companies. Here you will find new pallets and used pallets made from the highest quality of wood materials and treating. Get your pallets from a pallet vendor you can trust today.