NWPCA’s Newest Release of PDS Takes the Power of Pallet Design to the Next Level

PDS v6.6 Includes Unit Load Analysis for Drums and Pails, ERP Integration, Carbon Impact Declaration

December 7, 2022: The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) releases Pallet Design System (PDS v6.6) software with three significant additions: unit load analysis for drums and pails, a more robust ERP integration, and a carbon impact declaration for wooden pallets.

With over 849 million new and recycled wooden pallets manufactured annually, having the ability to design and analyze the performance of a pallet for drums and pails means that pallets are more reliable and efficient with optimal material utilization.

“Pallets are currently designed using a uniformly distributed load (UDL) to determine the load capacity, which often leads to overdesigning a pallet, using more wood,” said Kristen DeLack, PE, PDS structural engineer. “Because of the shape of drums and pails, you now can design, analyze, and significantly reduce the deflection of the pallet in all support conditions compared to a uniformly distributed load.”

With the newest release, PDS now adds further integration capabilities with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. “The overall goal with ERP integration is to help manage all aspects of the business, from sourcing to pallet design, production, and delivery,” said Brent McClendon, NWPCA president/CEO. “This is a

In addition, a carbon impact assessment in the PDS design analyses estimates the CO2 footprint of a typical pallet in the United States. The basis for the declaration comes from the Environmental Product Declaration for Wooden Pallets, third-party certified by UL Environment.

“We’ve been working on sustainability initiatives and unit load solutions over the past several years, investing millions with support from the Pallet Foundation,” commented Brad Gething, PhD, NWPCA vice president of science & technology. “The ongoing research and development have led to cutting-edge science that is found only in PDS, ensuring that PDS continues to meet the evolving demands of our industry.”

The release of PDS v6.6 completes a suite of unit load analysis options of corrugated boxes and plastic and steel pails and drums. In 2019, NWPCA released Unit Load for Corrugated Boxes. All unit load analyses in PDS include a pallet strength utilization number that reports the structural performance of the pallet under the specified load in addition to the Pass/Fail rating.

Read the product release for more information on Pallet Design System™ (PDS) v6.6.


The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA) is the largest organization of wood packaging professionals in the world, with over 700 company members around the world who manufacture, repair and distribute pallets and wood packaging in unit-load solutions, or who supply products and services to the industry. Read more about NWPCA at www.palletcentral.com.

About the Pallet Design System™
The Pallet Design System™ software provides fully engineered and safe pallet designs, delivered in a professional manner. Nearly 500 major pallet manufacturers in more than 30 countries around the world use PDS to create 3-D designs that are comprehensive, detailed and efficient. In addition to predicting safe load capacity and deflection under load, PDS provides detailed specifications in 2-D and 3-D drawings for virtually any wood pallet design. PDS is a proprietary software of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association. For more information on PDS, visit www.palletdesignsystem.com.


Brad Gething, PhD
Vice President, Science & Technology