World views of Dr. L. Allan Austin

Pallet and Warehouse Standardization
August 13, 2011

The pallet has become the cornerstone of the entire materials handling industry. It is the means by which the manufacturing, transport and distribution functions are united into a single gauge.

The Australian Experience In the early 1950′s materials handling in Australia was labor intensive and cumbersome process.

This was radically changed, when it was realized that the pallets left behind by the U.S. army after World War II could be used to efficiently transport foodstuff.

The concept spread as producers, manufacturers and retailers realized that the pallet offered many advantages:

  • Goods could be handled faster
  • Labor cost was reduced
  • Damage to goods in transit was significantly less.

Today Australia has a pallet pool of approximately 10 million pallets which accounts for approximately 85% of the total pallet use. Because of the original pallets left behind by the U.S. Army were of standard size and design, all the facets of warehousing and distribution were standardized from the outset.

Standardization in Warehouse Racking
Pallets could be transferred from the producer to the manufacturer and to the retailer with the minimum need to handle products.

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