HIRSCH – Pallet market in general
February 3, 2012
The market for transport packaging is seeing many changes.
Trends currently towards sustainable reusable systems.
Up until about ten years ago disposable pallets made of a variety of materials were predominant, but meanwhile reusable pallets are fast gaining ground. The total number of pallets is reckoned to be about four billion worldwide, 90% of which are made of wood. Annual production of new pallets is estimated at 850 million, some 18 million of which are plastic.
The pallet market in EUROPE
Over the past ten years, the total number of reusable pallets circulating in Europe has increased by 25% from 280 million to about 370 million. Here the EuroPallet (standard transport pallet made of wood measuring 800 x 1200 mm and weighing 20-24 kg, held together with 78 special nails) is most widely used with a share of over 300 million. Plastic pallets account for about 6% of the market. Every year around 36 million new EuroPallets are produced throughout Europe to replace damaged ones. In total some 50 million new reusable pallets are manufactured annually, three million of which are made of plastic. Given the excellent properties of plastic pallets and the export regulations governing wooden pallets, the market for plastic pallets is constantly growing.The growth potential for plastic pallets is between 3-5%.
The pallet market in the UNITED STATES
The total number of pallets in North America is around two billion, with about 90% wood and 2% plastic. Annual production of new pallets lies in the region of 450 million, 360 million of which are wood and nine million plastic. The annual growth rate for plastic pallets is 3-5%.
The pallet market in CHINA
In China, annual production of new pallets is roughly 200 million. Plastic pallets account for six million with the figure increasing by 5% annually.