You've still got a fairly expensive asset sitting idle.
Perhaps, but look outside any active distribution center and you'll find acres of idle trailers. I know Walmart even uses them as long term storage.
Then there's the extra labour to move one box at a time
If you're already moving one box at a time, because you're building the pallet, you may as well move one box at a time directly into the container. That was the whole point I was trying to make. There is no extra labor. The container itself is the unit of transport, rather than the pallet.
with ladders. You might be eight feet tall, but most people aren't.
Large molded plastic step stools, actually.