The Profitable Plastic Pallet Market
25 Jan 2016
The plastic pallet industry is growing and growing. Companies worldwide are recognising the advantages that plastic pallets have over traditional wooden pallets and are responding by purchasing ever more plastic. Demand for plastic pallets is growing steadily and is predicted to continue to do so throughout 2016 and 2017. In fact, it is predicted that in 2017 one in every ten pallets sold will be made of plastic, and that the plastic pallet market will be worth $51.6 billion dollars, an increase of 5% on the 2014 market.
Plastic is not the right choice in every single circumstance – there are times when wood pallets are better. Plastic does, however, offer some considerable benefits, and many businesses are switching to plastic because of these.
Plastic pallets are lighter than wooden pallets. This means that transporting plastic pallets costs less in fuel or that more products can be transported at any given time. Air freight costs in particular show an immediate and considerable reduction. Saving money on fuel is good for the company and good for the planet.
New plastic pallets cost more initially, there’s no doubt. But they are tough and durable, and they can be used and re-used many more times than wooden pallets. Some plastic pallets last for ten years. So, over time, they become a cost-effective transport solution and more than repay the initial cost. Because they are so long-lasting, buying used plastic pallets can be a way of saving money for firms that want to test the benefits of plastic.
Ease of Handling
Because plastic pallets are lighter than wood, they are easier to handle while still being able to bear heavy loads. They also don’t splinter, which means they are safer for people to shift around. They have benefits for automated handling systems: they are uniform in size and shape, and although machines don’t get hurt by splinters, they can get jammed by them. Plastic pallets make automated handling more efficient.
Plastic pallets are impervious to water and fungus and to many adverse weather conditions. This makes them more hygienic, as they can’t harbour parasites, harmful bacteria or mould. They’re easy to wipe down – or hose down – and then can be used again with confidence.
Plastic pallets are not subject to the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, which require wooden pallets to be fumigated or heat-treated to ensure that they don’t transport bug infestations as well as cargo. This can represent a considerable saving in time and money for importers and exporters alike.
Wood currently dominates the industry, but plastic is catching up.