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FAQ - Ask Mr. OptiLedge

Question:  Is the OptiLedge as tough or durable as a normal wood pallet?

Answer: It is true that the OptiLedge will not perform the same way as a wood pallet during handling. But it is also important to remember the benefits of the OptiLedge. It is much lighter and more adaptable. Also, the OptiLedge will take up much less space when not in use than a wood pallet. Wood pallets are a fixed size.

While they are not as durable as a wood pallet, they perform well under normal and proper handling practices. There are over 17 million OptiLedges in use every year, so it is clear that they perform well under normal conditions.

There are several important things to keep in mind when using the OptiLedge. OptiLedge loads should not be pushed or dragged across the floor. Loads must be lifted up before they are moved.

Click here to download Handling Instructions

One final note- we have had situations where large companies have implemented the OptiLedge on a worldwide basis. In one case, a shipper found that shipments going to North America were having more damage than shipments going to Europe.

Instead of blaming the OptiLedge, the customer talked to their freight-forwarder and asked them to explain this. They found that the handling practices were the problem and not the OptiLedge. Once the proper techniques were improved, the customer found that there was no problem.

Bottom line: The OptiLedge will perform well under normal handling conditions and they do so thousands of times every day all around the world. When customers see product damage, this may be a sign that proper procedures are not in place.

Question: Will the OptiLedge work with our racking system? 

Answer: OptiLedge loads can be stored in racking systems as long as they are placed on ‘slave’ pallets or captive pallets.

Most operations we see have spare pallets available to be used as slave pallets. Even IKEA uses this method. The key point is that heavy wood pallets are eliminated from transporting goods from one location to another. By replacing wood pallets during transport with the OptiLedge, transportation savings occur because the OptiLedge is lighter and is exempt from international fumigation requirements.

Racking can also be adapted to work with the OptiLedge. At OptiLedge we can assist customers with this.

Finally, many loads that are placed on OptiLedges are not standard sizes, so they don’t fit in racks anyway. Many are floor stacked.

Question: Will the OptiLedge work with our conveyor system?

Answer: OptiLedge can work with many conveyor systems but the system may need to be modified.

IKEA vendors use the OptiLedge in highly automated environments including with conveyors. The point is that the spacing on the conveyors must be close enough to work with the OptiLedge feet.

See slides 32 to 35 on the attached training presentation

Many examples of the OptiLedge with conveyors and automation can be seen on Youtube

As an alternative, a slave deck may be used with the OptiLedge load to allow it to be used on conveyors.

Question: If we are floor loading containers using the OptiLedge won’t that lower the number of products on the container?

In our experience, even with a loss of cube, or loss of some products in the container; the OptiLedge still creates savings for most customers. We have a business case analysis tool that will allow us to confirm this prior to shipping.

By using the OptiLedge, significant labor savings occur and these savings more than outweigh the cost of the OptiLedges and any ‘loss of cube’ in most cases.

Question: Is the OptiLedge more expensive than a traditional pallet?

We can work with customers using our business case tool that was developed by Deloitte. In most cases we can show savings when all factors are considered.

In addition, compared to custom pallets, the OptiLedge is often less expensive.

Allowing us to perform a business case analysis can answer this question and creates no risk for customers.

Question: Can we stack OptiLedge loads more than two high?

Answer: For this situation each case needs to be considered on its own. Often, larger or non-standard size loads are not stacked more than two high anyway. In cases where they are, we can look at specific packaging solutions to overcome this objection.

Question: Can OptiLedges be re-used

The OptiLedge is designed for single use. With wood pallets it is relatively easy to inspect pallets after use and repair any defects or damage. With plastic platforms like the OptiLedge, visual inspection is more difficult. In addition, because the OptiLedge is nestable and readily recycled, most of our customers find that it is more economical to simply recycle the OptiLedge after one use. Having said that, we do have some customers who do re-use them.

Question:  Can the OptiLedge be recycled?

Answer: Yes. One of the features of the OptiLedge is that it can be very easily recycled. It is made from Polypropylene which is readily accepted by most plastic recyclers. In fact, in most areas, the OptiLedge can be recycled at curbside.

Question: Where is the OptiLedge manufactured?

Answer: The OptiLedge is manufactured in Texas, the Czech Republic and in China.