Greystone Logistics highlighted the pallet industry in the United States, noting its contribution to U.S. trade and transportation.
By way of preamble: pallets are devices used to move and store goods. A pallet is used as a base for assembling, storing, stacking, handling and transporting goods as a unit load.
Also, a pallet is constructed to facilitate the placement of the forks of a forklift truck between the levels of a platform so that it can be moved easily.
Pallets are used around the world to transport goods and are primarily made of wood. According to Greystone Logistics, an estimated 80-90% of all U.S. trade is transported on pallets, which is about 2.6 billion pallets in circulation daily in the United States.
It is also estimated that wood pallet manufacturing consumes more than 45% of total U.S. hardwood production.
The company indicated that the pallet trend is projected to expand due to the overall demand for pallets resulting from the growing U.S. economy and the current U.S. government administration’s efforts to shift manufacturing capacity back to the United States.
The performance problems presented by wooden pallets have been tolerated to date, as there has been no viable alternative of sufficient size to replace them.
A report on the North American pallet market by Zoe Biller, industry analyst for Freedonia Group, offered the following on wood and plastic pallets:
Although not highlighted in her report, Biller estimates that about 60% of wood pallets are used and about 40% are new. These percentages could tilt in favor of new pallets in the future, as the industry has reported a shortage of quality used pallets, known as cores, for about a year now.
Nearly five years ago, Costco announced it was moving completely to block pallets.
The move to plastic appears to be driven by companies that can control their pallet fleet and take advantage of the longevity of plastics, as well as by “growing hygiene concerns related to wooden pallets,” Biller says.
According to Persistence Market Research, growing demand for alternative pallet types is expected to drive the growth of plastic pallets in the global pallet market.
In a June 2018 article, Persistence Market Research published a paper that non-wood pallets are likely to experience a massive increase in demand worldwide. Among them, plastic pallets are expected to be the most attractive option. The main reason behind the rise in popularity and demand for plastic pallets is the ease with which they can be cleaned.
In addition, they are made from recycled materials. This is a very attractive advantage for companies working to be more environmentally friendly. This factor is creating a positive impact on the plastic pallet market.