"Pallet Quality: Poor Quality" Defect

4 min read

SWhat is "Pallet Quality" at Walmart? 

Pallet compliance is one part of SQEP's Phase 3 program, the others being Packaging and Load compliance.

In the updated Secondary Packaging Supply Chain Standards (SPSCS '23), Walmart defines "Pallet Quality" as "Non-complian[ce] with Grade A standards, non-compliant size, or other pallet quality defects." For more specific direction on how to stay compliant with pallet standards, see pages 230-233 of the SPSCS '23.

Note: these page numbers are the ones at the top of each page in the SPSCS '23, not necessarily the PDFs page numbers. 

What is the "Pallet Quality: Poor Quality" Defect? 

Walmart's Pallet Quality compliance is subdivided into three defects: Poor Quality, Fair Quality, and Non-Compliant Pallet Size. Of these three the most common is "Poor Quality," followed closely by "Fair Quality." Both represent roughly the same amount of dollars lost for suppliers.

Pallet Quality.png

"Pallet Quality: Poor Quality" is defined as "Did not meet Walmart pallet standards and is not suitable for use in the DC," meaning that the pallet cannot be processed at either the DC or the store level. The standards for pallet quality are on page 231 of SPSCS '23:

  • No raised nails

  • No leading edge boards missing more than 1.5" of wood

  • No broken boards

  • No unsecured boards

  • No leading edge board missing more than 1" width x 10" length

  • No blocks/ companion boards

  • No metal plates or corrugate repairs/ patched boards

  • No broken stringers across the height or doubling up on stringers

  • No Cracking on the top or bottom boards greater than 1/8" width x 15" length

  • No Stapling or Glue

  • No pallet restraining devices that touch trailer flooring

Other parts of the SPSCS '23 with relevance to correct pallet compliance are:

  • Pallet Labeling - Perishable Labeling Requirements:¬† p. 303

  • Pallet Labeling - General Merchandise: p. 206-210

  • Pallet Labeling - Direct Import: p. 276-283

  • Pallet Securement - Stretch Wrap: p. 229

  • Pallet Securement - Unitized Shipments: p. 239

  • Pallet Build - Unitized Shipments: p. 225

  • Pallet Build - Double Stacking - Inbound to Walmart: p. 222

  • Pallet Build - Direct Import: p. 276-283

  • Pallet Quality - Pallet Standards: p. 216-219

How to Prevent Valid "Pallet Quality: Poor Quality" Defects

On page 230 of the SPSCS '23, Walmart enumerates their "Minimum Grade A Stringer Pallet Standards" in detail:

  • Full pallet 48" +/- .25 x 40" +/- .25"; partial four-way entry.

  • Half pallet 48" +/- .25 x 20" +/- .25", for approved programs only.

  • Quarter pallet 24" +/- .25 x 20" +/- .25", for approved programs only.

The most important aspect for avoiding pallet quality fines is the pallet condition. Page 231 of the SPSCS '23 gives an exhaustive account of characteristics of pallets that have fallen out of compliance with Walmart's standards. 

Can the "Pallet Quality: Poor Quality" Defect be Disputed? 

Yes, in HighRadius, just like all other compliance fine disputes at Walmart. 

How to Dispute "Pallet Quality: Poor Quality" Defects 

If the fine is invalid, assign the FIXit ticket back to Walmart with the dispute reason. Sometimes FIXit tickets will disappear after this, if the dispute reason is valid and Walmart accepts it. Even still, it's a good idea to follow up in HighRadius with the ticket number to make sure that the charge disappears as well.

As always, attach any proof documentation to further validate the dispute reason. When filing a dispute, fill in the information for "Dispute Reason," "Amount to be Disputed," "Comments" (if applicable), and "Attachment" (for relevant documents). In the case of pallet compliance, the photos attached to tickets in FIXit will likely be essential to (1) knowing if the fine is valid in the first place (2) and for making a convincing case when the fine actually is invalid.

Disputes can also be monitored and updated in HighRadius under the "Disputes" tab. 

More SQEP: Continued Learning and Our Solution

For an exhaustive resource on all things related to SQEP compliance, download our SQEP Handbook.

If you would like more insight into your SQEP performance and a way to quickly and painlessly dispute invalid SQEP fines, schedule a meeting with a member of the SupplyPike team today!

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Written by The SupplyPike Team

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SupplyPike builds software to help retail suppliers fight deductions, meet compliance standards, and dig down to root cause issues in their supply chain.

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