U.S. – Canada ISPM-15 exemption to end, challenges for used wood HT pallets, new products and more
What is the best pallet to choose for your export program, or should you be palletizing at all? Over the last several years, the floor loading of consumer products has been a popular measure to improve container payload. Such an approach, however, can mean additional labor and time at critically congested facility docks. For some facilities, this can be a serious problem. In the final analysis, the choice about whether or not to palletize depends on the application.
For pallet selection, compliant wood pallets remain the most popular choice for export, while plastic pallets continue to make gains. Of more recent concern is the expected termination of the ISPM-15 exemption for Canada-United States shipments over the next few years, which means that pallets flowing between the U.S. and Canada will have to be compliant with ISPM-15 requirement. Also of note, more attention is being placed on the compliance of used wood pallets for international shipment.
Export Pallet Statistics
In order to make your best choice about what type of export pallet to use, it can be illustrative to look at overall industry trends. There are a lot of goods moving internationally, to the tune of 151 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) in 2011, translating to about 1.2 billion tons of dry goods, according to Laszlo Horvath, Director at the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design at Virginia Tech.
Stepping back to 2003, an academic study from that date pegged the export pallet market in the United States at about 70 million pallets per year, with the market share of alternative materials such as plastic, presswood and paper totaling about 10 percent of that amount.
The Modern Materials Handling pallet surveys also track export pallet usage and provide some insight into the marketplace. Keep in mind that the Modern survey is with respect to the percentage of respondents saying they use a particular pallet to any degree, and does not reflect actual pallet market share. For example, the 2015 survey reported that 60 percent of survey respondents say they ship internationally, with 12 percent acknowledging the use of alternative material pallets to do so, while 39 percent employ heat treated (HT) pallets. A 23 percent segment say they use wood pallets from their own pool (presumably also HT) while 4 percent use pallets from a pallet pool for international shipments. Another 23 percent indicate they do not do anything differently for international and domestic shipments.
Follow the links to Page 2 of this article: Wood Pallet Export and in Developing Nation Trends or Page 3: Export Plastic Pallet Selection Trends 2016