The European shipping pallet turns 50 this year. It's easy to overlook shipping pallets as an amazing innovation because it plays no direct role in any of our daily lives. But we shouldn't dismiss them so easily.
Shipping pallets make heavy cargo loads movable with a forklift and transportable in cargo containers. They're the unsung heroes of our global economy. Without the creation the pallet, it'd be a lot harder to transport items around the world that we use in our daily lives.
And while the European pallet enters into its golden years, we prefer its older American sibling, on account of it being the original ('MERICA!), and the fact that it properly fits into international sea containers (the EuroPallet needs specially designed containers).
But anyways, these things are great: they're cheap, they're durable, and they can be reused over and over again—even outside the cargo industry. Take furniture, for example: you can make tables, desks, bed platforms and plenty more. Someone even made a house from these things! And because they can handle a load up to 1500 pounds, you'll never worry about a properly constructed pallet falling apart on you.