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The Wall Street Journal does pallets and gets it right

March 26, 2011

The battle between wooden and plastic pallets - a fight as epic as the Hatfields and McCoys - landed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today. Better yet, Loaded Issue: Pallet Makers Sling Mud Over Who’s Greenest, the article by Jennifer Levitz, is a great read.

Like the analysts and academics quoted in the article, I find it a sad battle. As most people know, I grew up in the wooden pallet industry. While most end users would love to get around pallets, there are few products in the supply chain as simple, inexpensive and effective as a wooden pallet for getting the job done. They’re almost elegant in their simplicity.

At the same time, I was impressed with the new plastic pallets introduced by Orbis and Rehrig Pacific at ProMat this past week, and I’m an admirer of the iGPS plastic pallet pool. 

Let’s hope it’s over soon. In the meantime, if you want to read about how the battle lines have been drawn, check out Levitz’s article.

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About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


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