Design and Build the Perfect Pallet

Optimize Designs, Reduce Manufacturing Costs and Lower Environmental Impact

The solution is the Pallet Design System™ (PDS), an analysis, design and marketing tool available exclusively from the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA).

Designing a pallet by hand or through the use of a CAD system can be time-consuming and prone to over-design or errors. Testing of that hand-drawn or CAD designed pallet to ensure it meets your clients’ weight carrying specifications and performance requirements is generally cost-prohibitive for the average pallet manufacturer.

For any given application, PDS can design the optimum pallet by scientifically determining the safe load-carrying capacity, performance and material quantity needed. PDS takes end-user requirements into consideration as it uses fundamental engineering principles to calculate and examine each possible solution. The pallet manufacturer can design the best, most efficient and cost-effective pallet for any specific need, and can integrate PDS with assembly machinery and ERP systems. PDS leads users through the complete specification of the pallet type, size, and style, from dimensions and arrangement of all components to all the materials used to construct the pallet.

PDS helps with the pallet production order in several ways, including waste reduction, assembly set-up and complete pallet drawings/blueprints. The visual drawings take the guesswork out of the deck board placement on a custom pallet and helps significantly in the quality control phase.

PDS is backed by over 30 years of fundamental and empirical R&D performed in collaboration with Virginia Tech and the US Forest Service. Continued R&D (totaling more that $1 million in investments) is leading to state-of-the-art enhancements to PDS, including a novel approach to a unit load analysis. This analysis will provide an understanding of how different packaging and packaging configurations affect stress distributions on a pallet. With this information, PDS users can design more efficient and cost effective unit loads, not just pallets

PDS requires more than just information on wood species, but a fastener specification as well. Through comprehensive research we know that fasteners effect both the strength and durability of a pallet, so PDS includes a structural and durability analysis that you cannot find anywhere else.

PDS helps with product damage reduction in terms of structural, durability and physical analysis.

PDS also helps with pallet performance testing. It omits the need for testing by trial by error. Performance comparisons can be done by pallet design, wood species and grades, fasteners and component dimensions.


In terms of implementation and training, no one comes close to NWPCA with software set-up and support.

Additionally, all the documentation produced with PDS make very impressive and useful presentations to customers. All PDS materials clearly display the company name, address and other contact information for both the PDS provider and the customer. Any special or custom notes you wish to add can be displayed on the pallet specification sheet. To make PDS even more effective as a marketing tool, guides to the PDS specification and analysis are created as customer handouts.