World views of Dr. L. Allan Austin

Plastic Pallets – The Future of Shipping Materials
December 4, 2010

The future of shipping materials is changing, but don’t worry bubble wrap isn’t going anywhere. What I am writing about is a change in the shipping industry choice of materials. In the United States the majority of goods are transported on semi-trucks through the vast interstate system. Goods that end up in stores are packed on pallets which have been designed to work in this trucking system. The system is effective and it works well, goods are transported and pallets which can easily be loaded or unloaded with the proper equipment. At least that’s how it used to be but now the system is changing because of the materials used in pallets – wood.

The end of wood pallets and the beginning of plastic pallets

The era of wood pallets is winding down, mostly because of environmental concerns. Wood pallets represent a large portion of the timber being consumed today, which has very serious impacts on the environment. The lumber industry still uses outdated methods of rapid deforestation to harvest the wood needed for pallets. Also because the consumption rate of timber was larger than the replenishing rate of the forests, the price of wood began to rise. It was these factors which combined to create an industry ready for The end of wood pallets and the beginning of plastic pallets.

The Positives of Plastic Pallets

Once the first plastic pallets were introduced to the industry their added benefits became obvious. Plastic unlike wood will not retain the odors of the materials being shipped. This makes plastic pallets ideal for food or other aromatic goods, because they can be used with any different types of materials without odor stains. Plastic pallets are also easier to clean because they can get wet without the fear of rotting. Plastic pallets also have a longer lifespan than wood, and when they do break or get dropped they can easily be recycled.

The Future of Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets were designed with the future in mind. Plastic pallets can be easily outfitted with RFID chips, the latest technology in inventory tracking. They can also be scanned with bar codes to comply with current tracking methods. Plastic pallets are also display ready which means that they can be placed straight on the display floor. This saves time and money by skipping the inventory steps.

Plastic pallets are stronger, more environmentally friendly and last longer than wood. If businesses aren’t using plastic pallets then they are losing money.

For more information on plastic pallets visit
By dana h

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