FREE PALLETS are typically found at trucking terminals or anywhere that trucks make freight deliveries - hardware and grocery stores, shopping centers, storage facilities, next to dumpsters.
Standard pallet size is 48 x 40 inches and approximately 5-6 inches high.
HEAT TREATED or PLASTIC PALLETS are required for international shipments. Look for the HT symbol branded or painted into the pallet, or for other signs that the wood is plywood or manufactured rather than raw and not having undergone a heat or chemical process that would have killed bugs, fungus, etc.
Plastic Pallets tend to be lighter in weight than standard wood pallets which are usually 40 lbs but can be heavier.
Most pallets are rated for 1500 lbs or more. If the pallet has solid runners connecting all corners and center of it's base, then it should have a rating of at least 2000 lbs and maybe as high as 5000 lbs.
Terminal Drops: Many shippers will call ahead to the terminal to confirm that they have a pile of used pallets available, for shippers to use. The shipper will then bring their boxes or pieces of cargo to the terminal, grab a pallet from the pile and stack their freight. The terminal will usually have shrink wrap available. Tip the dock worker and most will be happy to help. Carriers charge "accessorial fees" for residential and lift gate service. Palletizing at the terminal can save hundreds of dollars if you are shipping from a residence.
Always go around the base of the pallet several times with the wrap.