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Pallet Survey: The pulse on pallets

From wood to plastic to pallet pools, our readers tell us what’s important in pallets.
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
November 01, 2012

The who, what and how of pallets
Who is using pallets, what are they using, and how are they using them?

For starters, most respondents (58%) are involved in manufacturing, with a variety of industries represented. Wholesale distributors (17%) and retailers (6%) are also represented.

The respondents represent a solid mix of large companies with revenues exceeding $1 billion (17.5%), mid-size companies with revenue of between $250 million and $999 million (12.2%) and small companies with revenue below $250 million (70.3%).

For these users, a number of factors go into the decision to buy a certain type of pallet, but the purchase price is still the most important factor, cited by 63% of readers. The cost per use is cited by 35% of readers, suggesting that readers are getting more than one trip out of their pallets.

Other factors include:

  • 55% strength

  • 49% durability

  • 43% customer requirements

  • 38% reusability

  • 33% availability

Wood pallets are still predominate. They are used by 94% of readers—no surprise there. However, pallets manufactured from alternative materials are in the mix, with some readers also using:

  • 40% plastic pallets

  • 17% wood composite

  • 8% cardboard/corrugated

  • 7% metal

While there was a large demand for plastic pallets a few years ago following the introduction of a pool of plastic pallets by iGPS, demand for plastic pallets among Modern’s readers is largely unchanged in the last year. While 27% report they are using more plastic pallets, 13% are using fewer and 60% say there has been no change in their use of plastic.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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