Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


IKEA to phase out wooden pallets

Home furnishing retailer says it can save millions in transportation costs.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
November 30, 2011

Costco is not the only major retailer to take a hard look at its pallet program. Last month, IKEA, the iconic Swedish home furnishings retailer, announced that it will phase out wooden pallets on a global basis. Wood will be replaced with a shipping platform IKEA is calling the material area paper pallet.

“The objectives of this change are to decrease costs and create a more sustainable business by having less impact on the environment,” IKEA explained on its website. “This change will impact all functions within supply chain as well as all stores and suppliers in Europe. For example new handling and storage solutions need to be installed in store racking and supplier plants need to rebuild or adapt the packaging lines in order to use of alternative handling material.”

IKEA has been experimenting with alternatives to wooden pallets for several years now. Modern described how IKEA was using three standard, unique pallets at its operations near Savannah, Georgia as well as the Optiledge, a unique, recyclable plastic shipping platform that makes more efficient use of the space inside shipping containers.

According to a report from Rick LeBlanc of PackagingRevolution, the elimination of wooden pallets will “involve the upgrading of IKEA’s racking storage systems through the company to support unit loads built on paper pallets and the [plastic] Optiledge system.” LeBlanc added that “IKEA believes that it will achieve better fill rates in ocean containers and trucks.” Other reports indicate that IKEA believes it can save $193 million a year in transportation costs.

Both Costco and IKEA are examples of how leading companies are looking beyond the low hanging fruit for the next round of cost savings. They are also examples of the importance of a continued focus on the basics of materials handling that many companies take for granted.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

This complimentary white paper addresses areas of potential benefit to a grocery distributor considering an investment in automated case picking technology.

In 2015, a new era in shipment pricing will go into effect when major carriers implement dimensional ("dim") weight pricing for all ground packages regardless of their size. This complimentary white paper, "Dimensional Weight: Don't Let it Weigh You Down", can help you optimize your packaging operation to minimize the financial impacts of dimensional weight pricing.

Replacing older, less-efficient lift trucks at the right time can reduce your maintenance costs, improve your productivity and, most importantly, save money and maximize your return on investment. So how do you determine the right time to make a new, significant purchase? Download this complimentary white paper for guidance on how to determine the ideal time to replace lift trucks and how planned replacement can benefit your operation.

The prolonged operating hours of automated distribution operations leave limited time for maintenance. For tightly-scheduled fulfillment operations, unplanned downtime not only cuts into slim profit margins, it jeopardizes future business and customer loyalty. Download this complimentary white paper to learn five mission-critical benefits of implementing a resident maintenance program.

Debut of Pharma EXPO plays crucial role in increase.

Article Topics

News · Packaging · Pallets · Pallet Report · Costco · IKEA · All topics


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA