Pallet Rental and Hire Providers – International Survey
March 10, 2013
By Rick LeBlanc, About.com Guide
Since the earliest offerings in the years immediately following the Second World War, pallet rental and pallet hire continues to grow in importance for the consumer goods supply chain around the world. This article provides an introduction to some of the major pallet rental providers around the world.
CHEP, a Brambles company, first began business as the Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool back in 1946, an enterprise created to make use of surplus pallets, forklifts and other equipment left behind by the U.S. military at the end of the Second World War. CHEP has continued to grow, easily maintaining its position as the global industry leader.
As the global leader in managed, returnable and reusable packaging solutions, CHEP serves many of the world’s largest companies in sectors such as consumer goods, fresh produce, beverage and automotive. CHEP’s value proposition is one of enhanced environmental sustainability and increased efficiency for customers while reducing operating risk and product damage. The company employs over 7,500- plus people in the operation of its pool of 300 million pallets and containers, delivering value at 500,000 customer touch-points in 49 countries. Our customer brands include Procter & Gamble, Sysco, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Nestlé, Ford and GM. Its pallets are a distinctive blue color.
iGPS was launched during the first decade of the 2000s as the first major plastic pallet rental provider, while additionally offering RFID tags as a standard feature. A smaller European cooperative pool, Svenska Retursystem, offered a smaller scale RFID-enhanced plastic pallet rental program dating a few years earlier. iGPS enjoyed an enthusiastic response from the marketplace and rapid market growth, but a handful of issues related to pallet availability and flame retardant legislation have no doubt influenced its tact to take a slow growth approach for the last few years. iGPS pallets are black with white branding.
PECO began in the mid-1990s, based on an original concept of Denton and Pat Sherry of Nepa Pallet in Washington state. It was originally conceived as a pallet rental company owned by pallet companies, thus giving them better access to pallet sales and depot work that increasingly was being controlled by CHEP as pallet rental continued to rapidly expand in the U.S. PECO has enjoyed a slow growth strategy, and has recently benefited from additional growth in part from Costco’s decision to no longer accept stringer style pallets in its operations. In 2010 PECO was acquired by Pritzker Group, providing additional financial strength to support growth objectives. PECO pallets are painted red.
Loscam, which like CHEP began its pallet business in 1946, has long held the number two position in the Australian pallet hire market. In recent years in has turned its focus to several Asian countries, following several of its key Australian customers into the region to support the development of modern logistics infrastructure through its pallet hire program. Across the world, the rise of new economies has driven the need for modern logistics systems, including pallet rental provision. Loscam was given a huge boost in financial potential with its acquisition by the China Merchants Group. Loscam pallets are painted red in Australia, while the Asian block pallets are painted yellow.
Logipal was the creation of French pallet analyst and businessman Jean de Vulliod, operator of the www.planetpal.net website. Now owned by the Faber Halbertsma Group, both Logipal and LPR contest for the number two position in the European region behind CHEP. Logipal pallets are painted a “brick” or terra cotta color.
La Palette Rouge is the other major pallet rental provider in Europe. It has been recently acquired by the European cooperative container pooling organization, Euro Pool System. LPR, like other major European pallet rental companies, has enjoyed sustained growth in recent years, as pallet rental makes inroads among europallet or EPAL users.