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Pallet Market Set to Boom

16 Oct 2014

According to a recent study, sales of pallets worldwide are expected to rise by almost 5% each year until 2017. Following the slow activity between 2007 and 2012, this acceleration is likely to result in gains across the board, particularly in the more mature markets such as Western Europe and North America. In terms of value, this demand is equivalent to a growth of approximately 7% annually, due to higher sales and a move towards increased use of the more expensive pallets on the market. The number of pallets in use is likely to grow in line with unit demand. It is expected that the number of pallets discarded will decrease as longer-life plastics rise in popularity, alongside better pallet management and an increase in the number of used-pallet dealers.

China Leading the Asia-Pacific Region

Those countries going through the industrialisation process will see market growth, but not solely as a result of production output. The overall size of the construction, warehousing and manufacturing sectors will typically limit pallet utilisation in these countries. As growth continues, however, the pallet markets will become more competitive as a greater number of potential users strive to make operations more efficient and to decrease product damage during the shipment process.

China will lead the Asia-Pacific region in terms of increases in unit sales and is expected to experience the biggest gains within the global markets, accounting for a huge one-fifth of demand by 2017.

Demand for Plastic Pallets Grows

As we go into 2017, the product likely to experience the largest increase in demand will be the plastic pallet. This is mainly due to the ease with which these can be cleaned, making them a more attractive option than alternative pallet types, particularly in the food and drinks markets. Plastic pallets also benefit from greater durability and resistance to damage compared to many other types of pallet. In addition, they are not only more likely to be made from recycled materials, but also to be recyclable themselves. This is a very attractive benefit for those companies working towards becoming more environmentally friendly.
However, wooden pallets will still top sales in the majority of areas, accounting for about 90% of demand globally.

The Food and Beverage Market Continues to Show Highest Demand

As a result of the recent recovery, construction and a number of other miscellaneous markets are expected to grow by the highest percentage. However, the largest market for pallet use is set to remain the food and drinks market, which currently accounts for more than half of pallet demand worldwide.

The Freedonia study ‘World Pallets’ contains more detailed information about the findings, including historical data regarding demand from 2002, 2007 and 2012. The study also contains projected data for 2017 and 2022.

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