Paper Pallets: We’re Not Out of the “Woods” Yet

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” comments Sterling Anthony dryly in his column on paper pallets, which is to say that wood pallets still constitute roughly 90% of the market. Presenting this update on paper pallets, Anthony itemizes some of the competing pros and cons of wood, plastic and paper pallets. Readers may justifiably argue some of the points, but this is how Anthony sees the negatives:

About wood pallets

paper-pallet-Hexacomb paperboard pallet

Paper pallets have improved performance

  • weight
  • uncleanliness
  • uniformity of sizing and materials
  • subject to infestation
  • splinters and protruding nails
  • need for repair
  • requirement for accounting of whereabouts
  • majority ending up in landfill
  • ISPM-15 heat treatment requirement

About  plastic pallets

  • expensive
  • heavier than paper
  • not as readily recyclable

About paper pallets

  • water and humidity sensitivity
  • durability
  • load capacity (improving)

Anthony notes that racking performance of paper pallets is improving, but he observes that while the ability of a paper pallet to carry a load is a requirement for consideration of use, it is not necessarily sufficient enough reason to be chosen. The end goal is to optimize supply chain and logistics operations.   This may require avoiding a “one material fits all” approach and looking to see where a paper pallet might make best sense, such as for a retail displayer.

See also: The Hexacomb Billboard Paper Pallet

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