Pallet Survey: The pulse on pallets
November 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial
We suspect that non-wooden pallets are being used in niche applications, such as captive pallets in a manufacturing operation, to ship back and forth to regular suppliers or customers or as a result of a customer requirement.
The 48 x 40-inch pallet is the most commonly used size, cited by 81% of readers. No surprise there either. What did catch our attention was that nearly 10% of respondents say they are shipping on a 24 x 20-inch half pallet. That is a relatively new size developed for the beverage industry, but it may also have applications for end-of-aisle displays.
Our readers’ pallets are circling the globe: nearly 57% of readers say they are shipping to both domestic and international customers; 39% of readers are only shipping domestically; and 4% are only shipping internationally.
The leading recipient is Canada (74%), followed by Mexico/South America/Caribbean (66%), China/Asia (57%), Western Europe (48%) and Eastern Europe (36%).
International business does require a different pallet strategy for most shippers, with only 21% reporting that they don’t do anything differently for international and domestic deliveries. Readers reported that 48% treat their pallets; 20% use alternative materials other than wood that don’t require treatment; 16% use wood pallets from their own pool; and 3% use a pallet pool for international shipments.
Watch the number of treated pallets in the future, especially if Canada and the United States finally agree on a proposal to treat pallets traveling between the countries in the future. That will lead to more readers treating their pallets or shipping on alternative materials.