Custom Pallets & PDS

Since its beginning in 1970, APC has been a full service manufacturer of wooden pallets, rough-cut lumber, dunnage and crates. The company cost-effectively crafts quality pallets of all sizes and specifications for a variety of clients. As a green manufacturer who recycles, APC also remanufactures wooden pallets on request.


To best meet the needs of its customers, APC utilizes the Pallet Design System (PDS), a computerized engineering program used to design pallets, to meet a client’s exact product specifications, by taking into account the weight and size of items being shipped.

What is PDS?

The Pallet Design System (PDS) is a product specification and engineering design tool developed as a software package specifically created for the wooden pallet industry by the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) for its members. Since its introduction in 1984, PDS has cultivated a highly respected reputation throughout the material handling industry.

The Good News about PDS

In November, 2016, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred Program announced that all coated and uncoated wood pallets manufactured with the NWPCA’s Pallet Design System are now recognized by the USDA’s BioPreferred Program. Wood pallet manufacturers that use PDS, including APC, may now affix a USDA Certified Biobased Product label to PDS-made pallets showing they are 100% biobased products.

Bio Preferred Label

Why is this important to our end-users?

This new biopreferred designation is important because all U.S. federal agencies and their contractors have a sustainable product acquisition mandate to purchase biobased products identified by USDA’s BioPreferred program.

Among other features, the Pallet Design System calculates the least expensive, most effective specifications for a customer’s pallet requirements which enables wooden pallet manufacturers to assist their customers in significantly reducing costs and product damage while increasing safety throughout the unit load handling system.

Understanding the PDS Process

  1. The Pallet Design System 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. This includes wood species, recycled components, types and sizes of nails and staples that are required in any pallet design.
  2. PDS then creates a pallet specification sheet, fully-dimensioned 2-D drawings with top, bottom, side, and end views, and 3-D drawings. The PDS Unit Load Specification and drawings provides complete details on the unit load, including 2-D and 3-D drawings, plus drawings that show the interface of the containers and pallet deck.
  3. If a structural, durability, or physical properties analysis is desired for the pallet, PDS leads users through a series of questions about the intended conditions of use. Loads to be placed on the pallet, either uniformly distributed or concentrated, can be indicated.
  4. The engineering in PDS enables users to quickly and accurately determine pallet performance under the intended conditions of use without time-consuming and expensive testing or trial and error. Comparisons in performance are easily made between different pallet designs, wood species or grades, fasteners, and component dimensions.
  5. The PDS structural analysis and safe load estimates reduce concerns over human health and safety, and reduce or eliminate product damage which can result from inadequate pallet strength, stiffness, or durability.

Source:, National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA)

APC Forest Products
338 E. Washington Drive
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

PH: 256-248-3322
F: 256.248.3323