Alternatives to Wooden Pallets and Packaging

Wooden pallets are among the most common storage solutions in warehouses. They allow companies and businesses to use vertical space by stacking products safely and efficiently. Pallets also provide versatility — they’re available in various sizes, weights and styles to accommodate different products in warehouses and during shipping.

However, they’re inefficient when storing cylindrical objects because you must rely on pyramid stacking. This warehousing technique involves arranging items in a pyramid shape, with each tier narrower than the one below. The items support themselves, increasing the chances of accidents as you try to access products.

Cube stacking with roll cradles between the products is better than pyramid pallet stacking. This method is effective for arranging, storing and shipping cylindrical products such as medical films, paper rolls and fabric rolls. The cradles boast many other advantages, making them suitable alternatives to wooden pallets.


Roll cradles are a warehouse storage solution made from mixing water and pre-consumer corrugated clippings. The result is a thick-walled molded pulp curved to conform to your products’ cylindrical shape. These cradles separate the layers of stacked goods while ensuring stability and cushioning. They are strong enough to keep heavy cylindrical items in place during packaging, storage and shipping.

Roll cradles are ideal for numerous applications, including packaging:

  • Medical films
  • Pipes
  • Rolls of fabric or paper
  • Roofing material
  • Roll-up doors
  • Stretch wrap
  • Shrink film


There are many reasons roll cradles are excellent alternatives to wooden pallets. Below, we highlight why you should trade wooden pallets for roll cradles.


Roll cradles are cardboard, which does not require fumigation and resists humidity, moisture and extreme temperatures. These features make this alternative more suitable for packaging products from food to medical supplies.

Despite being a convenient and commonly used storage method in warehouses, wood is not the safest option, especially for sensitive products like food and pharmaceuticals.

For starters, wooden pallets foster bacterial growth. Packaging food and pharmaceutical products on these pallets predisposes them to contaminants like salmonella and E. coli. When undetected, these bacteria could cause illness or infection among consumers. The discovery of bacteria could trigger a widespread product recall.

Despite pesticide treatment, wooden pallets are susceptible to infestation by ants, termites and other pests. Additionally, wood’s porosity makes it prone to mold, mildew and bacteria growth, which could contaminate products.


Wooden pallets deteriorate naturally over time. They start developing splinters, cracks and eventually lose their structural strength, increasing the risk of hazardous situations in the warehouse. The splinters could easily injure someone or damage the products, while the lack of structural strength could cause your products to fall, causing devasting damages and losses.

Roll cradles are a safe alternative without splinters, staples or nails. Additionally, their grooves restrict the movement of cylindrical items, securing goods during storage and transportation.

This storage method uses cube stacking, which places the heaviest items at the bottom to improve stability and ensure they stay in place. It also aligns the center of gravity, minimizing the risk of shifting and rolling.


Roll cradles help you save space when packaging irregularly shaped products. They take up less floor space because they’re not as bulky as wooden pallets, plastic or foam. They are also easily stackable and nestable, which ensures they take up minimal vertical space in the warehouse. The compact storage footprint saves a lot of space that you can designate for other warehouse uses.

Unlike wooden pallets that mainly support pyramid stacking, roll cradles allow you to form evenly sized cubes that stack during storage and transit.


While wood may protect products from the outside, they don’t cushion them against collisions, which could lead to scratches, dents or breakages during transit.

However, roll cradles are soft, making them ideal for transporting fragile, high-value goods. Roll cradles don’t typically support the products’ weight but create a secure separation that keeps them in place on the stacks. You can add extra cradles to create more separation or provide extra cushioning and support to delicate products susceptible to damage.


Roll cradles are a much lighter and slimmer alternative to wooden pallets, which ensures they can move around freely and safely. Their light weight makes them easy to apply when packaging, stacking and unpacking. You can incorporate roll cradles in your cube stacks in a few simple steps:

  • Start with a wooden pallet as the base
  • Place the first pair of separated cradles on the pallet before stacking the first layer of rolls
  • Fold the cradle in half and place it on the first stack of rolls, ensuring you create a base with maximum support
  • Stack the roll layers, aligning them vertically
  • For the top layer, separate the pair of cradles and invert them
  • Layer on wood lattice on the inverted single cradle and secure with banding
  • Finish by stretch-wrapping the load to secure your rolls


The molded pulp used to create roll cradles is 100% recycled cardboard, which is environmentally friendly. This material is repeatedly recyclable to give it new life and reduce environmental waste. Manufacturing and transporting molded pulp doesn’t release high greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing your company’s carbon footprint.

Making roll cradles also follows sustainable practices to prevent potential harm to employees. The process doesn’t involve any chemical treatments, nor does it produce any splinters. Besides, the installation is safe for workers as it does not require stapling or nailing.


Rollguard roll cradles are the sustainable packaging solution you should consider picking over wood pallets. Our skid packaging helps you save time, money and floor space at your warehouse. We offer various easy-to-use roll cradles to provide superior protection to your cylindrical products.

We make custom roll cradles to fit your stacking requirements, specific applications and suitable for your storage and transport needs. Order your first batch of Rollguard roll cradles using our product configuration, or contact us to learn more about our roll cradles.

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