Roll Cages (“Roll Pallets”)

Types Available

There are all manner of shapes and sizes of roll pallet, 2 sided, 3 sided and 4 sided, A-frame, Z-frame, tight wire mesh cage or spaced apart rods. Most have nesting capabilities.

Low Volume Rentals

Roll pallets can be rented on by time x volume or on a trip x volume basis (or various complicated variations). You may be required to pay a deposit.

High Volume Rentals

A rental company may agree to purchase a new distinct fleet just for your supply chain. In fact, a rental company may come into existence with the sole purpose of renting roll pallets to you.

If they are to own the roll pallets, they will want the final say on the design. They will have one eye on extending the rental service to other companies, subject to the agreement you have with them. If you have an interest in the rental company attracting more users, you may need to compromise on the design so that it is not too exclusive.

High Volume Purchasers

Most important: get the design absolutely right, remembering always that the design can never be right.

This contradiction is a reflection of the tremendous cost in retrofitting, scrapping or trying to sell off a fleet of unwanted roll pallets versus the cost of the resources required trying to get the specification right.

Low Volume Purchasers

If you only require a limited quantity of roll cages it may be best to look at the second hand market. There are plenty of roll pallets of all types available. Many are mothballed and awaiting a purchaser, so expect a bargain – but don’t expect them to be in pristine condition.

The Best Deal


Before deciding on which company to use it is important to consider what you are trying to achieve. You are trying to reduce your cost per trip, right?

Compare the new cost/benefit scenario with the current cost benefit and don’t get too hung up on comparing supplier with supplier.

Don’t forget CPT – cost per trip!

Have a well prepared tender. Do not get hand-held and coached by the supplier. You are in charge. If you do not have in-house expertise, then hire a good consultant.


You need to know who is out there and what kind of organisation they are. Do you buy in from a lower cost source overseas or buy from closer to home?

DON’T re-invent the wheel! You may not need to commission a new product. Used roll pallets are continuously being put onto the market. You may not need to buy new.

It is important to consider what will happen in the future. Is this a lifetime purchase or do you see the new roll pallets being upgraded or swapped in a few years? Which supplier can provide decent models for distribution trials? What is their track record?

If you decide to use radio frequency tagging (RFID), do you develop/procure the chips/system/hardware and get the RF tag manufacturer to fit them, or do you ask the roll pallet manufacturer to do this (or something in between). Do you have RFID expertise to contribute to the tender? Please note that RF tags (and/or the roll pallets) need to be adapted if they are to be used on a metal surface.

Make sure the tender is detailed and well prepared. Call us to help/advise on tender compilation. Contact details here


Roll pallet manufactures will buy in the castors, which make up a considerable proportion of the total cost of the product. You can leave the castor specification and procurement entirely up to the roll cage supplier or you may wish to be more “hands-on” in this area. Just remember that the quality of the wheels will have considerable impact on the maintenance that will be required and on your operation. In fact, correct castor selection is vital.

A significant aspect to consider is noise. Roll pallets can be noisy in a confined space, especially where the floor is metal and stippled. If you convert from, say a all pallet/hand-ball operation to roll cages you may face claims from your staff over excessive noise or even from neighbours.

Also, consider what the castors are expected to do: in many operations roll cages do not travel great distances – a few metres to a marshalling area, a few metres onto the vehicle etc. They may not go far, but may be subjected to varying qualities of terrain. If they are to be pushed across uneven rough ground you will need to ensure that the castors (and their mountings) can withstand this. In many cases, castors should be considered more for their short-term robustness than their long term wear. It is no good having a roll pallet whose wheels will last 500 miles but fail over rough terrain.


2- or 3-sided roll cages usually require some restraining mechanism on the open side(s). This is usually in the form of straps that are anchored to the left vertical post and secured to the right vertical post by a hook.

Roll cage strap and hook stretched from the left vertical pole to the right vertical pole
Deployed roll Cage strap/hook

Roll cage straps/hooks are available at Packsource. They are 25mm in width

Other restraining methods can be used, such as a harness.

Load Suppressor
Load Suppressor/Harness

Roll Cage Maintenance

Consideration of maintenance is essential when purchasing roll pallets. How costly are spare parts? What are the order lead times? Who will carry out repairs? What training is required?

Watch that you don’t swap a low capital outlay for a high revenue cost. If parts are expensive and have to be shipped in from Lithuania at 3 months order lead time, then you could be faced with a some problems!

You may wish to contract the manufacturer to also repair/refurbish roll pallets. There is an obvious conflict of interest here. However, it may make sense if the manufacturer has the expertise and can buy in parts more cheaply than you or another contractor. It may be worth considering a lease deal where the manufacturer guarantees you the supply of a certain number of roll pallets in good working order. They would be responsible for all repairs etc and would own the fleet at all times. If such a deal were to be agreed, the manufacturer would need to take account of the write-off cost and would need to factor this in to the deal, OR would need a long enough contract to ensure that the fleet was already paid for if and when you longer needed them.

New Innovations


Roll pallets are usually made of steel. There are some plastic versions on the market and increasing amounts of roll pallets made of both metal and plastic (e.g. metal sides with a plastic base).

RFID Tagging is an increasing feature. Please see above

Roll Cage Covers

You may occasionally need to temporarily store or distribute products in a chamber set to a temperature that is not appropriate for that product. Roll cage covers insulate the contents, protecting them for at least 8 hours. They are easy and quick to fit on and to remove and store. Contact us to purchase or rent roll cage covers.