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Out of all wood used in the US each year, 15.7 per cent is used for transport.

Leaving the woods: Why plastic pallets are a better choice

The logistics world is addicted to wood.

The most recent industry report published by the United States Department of Agriculture revealed that in 2011, 15.6 per cent of all timber in the US was used for pallet shipping purposes, second only to residential construction! It seems obscene, but Phil Araman, researcher for the US Forest Service calculated that there could be over 2 billion wooden pallets in the US alone – not including the millions that are sent to landfills each year.

Mr Araman alleged that only a quarter of the half-billion pallets binned each year are actually recovered, with around half a billion new wooden pallets constructed annually.The level of waste is surprising but also unnecessary when there are more environmentally friendly options available.

Plastic pallets are tipping the scale

A 2015 report from the Freedonia Group suggests that demand for all types pallets in the US will increase on average 1.7 per cent annually as economies around the world develop and begin to increase their export industries. But there is some good news.

Demand for plastic pallets will increase far more rapidly than demand for pallets in general, Freedonia asserting that the environmentally friendly option is the fastest-growing alternative in terms of market share. But this is not the only reason Eco Pallets are the better solution.

Eco Pallets have a multitude of benefits that their wooden counterparts do not.Eco Pallets have a multitude of benefits that their wooden counterparts do not.

Some lesser known advantages of plastic pallets

Each plastic pallet is 20 to 30 kilograms lighter than its wooden counterparts, so shifting to Eco Pallets can procure greater fuel efficiency. Considering that around 50 pallets can fit on a 16-metre truck, using Eco Pallets could reduce the gross load for every domestic Australian shipment by over a tonne, reducing fuel costs by 1 to 2 per cent annually.

Second, when shipping across borders, Eco Pallets do not need to be treated. They are a totally dry and inorganic product resistant to insect infestations, unlike their wooden counterparts that must either be fumigated or heated to fend off unwanted insects hitching rides.

Finally – and this is a big one – Eco Pallets last 10 times longer than the average wooden pallet – that’s up to 10 years as opposed to one! This is great in its own sense, but it also means that Eco Pallets can theoretically be listed on your balance sheet as a depreciated investment. Who would have thought that you could use pallets to reinforce your tax shield?

If you’re not sold on the environmental and economical benefits listed here, there are plenty more advantages of plastic pallets. If you want to know more, get in touch with the Eco Pallets team.

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