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The Pallet Report

07 Dec 2017

Wooden and plastic pallets are an essential element in the warehouse and logistics environment. From storage to deliveries, pallets ensure stock stays safe. But while logistics technology and the products in the supply flow have changed dramatically over the year, the pallets used have not. The design and materials used as well as the appearance of the humble pallet are much the same as they were 50 years ago. And the recently published plastic pallet report, which is based on 274 qualified responses, supports the idea that the pallet is here to stay.

pallets stacked

Choosing the Right Pallet

Besides staying power, the plastic pallet report also highlights the decision factors in play for companies purchasing pallets. Price and strength were both reported by around 55% of buyers as the primary factor, followed by perceived durability reported by 50% of respondent and re-usability close behind. These results are more or less consistent with the same survey conducted in 2016. Out of all respondents, 93% said they used wooden pallets and almost half used plastic pallets. Wood composite and metal pallets were used by only 10% of companies. However, wood alternatives such as plastic, composite and metal have risen sharply in popularity. This is likely due to their greater ease of cleaning, which means foodstuffs and medications can also be transported with the same pallet type.

Choosing the Right Pallet for Your Business

These figures tell us several key things. Customers are looking for cleanliness to meet more stringent guidelines going forward towards 2020, durability and long-term planning are becoming more attractive as the financial markets have recovered, and plastic pallets are quickly becoming as big a player in the transportation environment as the wooden pallet. In essence, the plastic pallet can be used for almost every product, whereas wooden pallets cannot. When choosing new pallets, businesses are becoming more aware of plastic’s value.

Planning Ahead with Plastic

The highlights of the report show us that plastic, metal and composite pallets are proving a popular pallet material choice for certain companies, especially those supplying food and medicine as well as technology supplies. What’s more, around 67% of responders are still using the same number of plastic pallets as they were the year before. In addition, around 15% are using fewer and the same number is using more.

Planning for the year ahead, plastic pallet usage looks to be rising year on year. There are many reasons for this – not least financial ones. Plastic pallets offer a better level of cleanliness and durability than wood pallets without the added cost of steel or aluminium. But whether companies choose plastic, wood or metal, all the reporting warehouses and DCs are still using and investing in new pallets. It seems there is still no alternative for protecting and transporting products.

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