Costco’s New Year Resolution: No More Stringer Pallets

Speaking at the Regional Meeting of the Canadian Pallet Council (www.cpcpallet.com) this week in New Westminster, B.C., CPC President and CEO Belinda Junkin reported that effective January 1, 2011, Costco will no longer accept stringer pallets in Canada. This is a policy change that also affects U.S. and Mexican operations.

In Canada, neither CPC nor CHEP Canada offer block pallet programs. CHEP Canada does accumulate some U.S. block pallets from shipments originating in the U.S. White wood block pallets meeting the standard will be accepted on a one-way basis.

In the U.S., Costco will no longer allow good quality stringer style 48×40″ white pallets. Given the price of acceptable block pallets and the ruling out of pallet exchange, the only possibility for pallets outside of CHEP, PECO and iGPS pools would be for the emergence of a new block pool, perhaps the PIMS pool proposed by NWPCA. Possible scenarios are outlined in the September edition of Recycle Record.

The Costco change is reportedly targeted at increasing transport and crossdocking efficiencies, allowing for multiple sideways facing pallets to be loaded at a time by pallet jacks.

Belinda indicated that CPC had recently met with John Thelan, Sr. VP Operations – Depots at Costco, but he was not swayed by CPC concerns.

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