In the week when the Circular Economy Roadmap für Deutschland was published, German industry has signaled a looming crisis in timber supply that could impact supply chains all over the country. With the supply of timber to industry challenged for a whole range of coinciding reasons and events (COVID, globalization, German wood beetle, US and China demand, etc) the requirement for more efficient use of this natural resource comes into focus.
As highlighted during the COVID crisis, wooden pallets are an essential ingredient of every supply chain. The storage and transportation of goods the world over rely on an adequate uninterrupted supply of pallets to keep the world’s integrated supply chains on the move. The shift to pallet reuse is at a tipping point. Businesses that have opted for multi-trip return and reuse pallet solutions are reaping the benefits of that decision. Circularity in pallet application has firmly arrived.
“We have been championing pallet recovery and reuse for years. It feels like the market has caught up with the message.”
– Melanie Linger
The management team at one business has been at the forefront of that message for over three decades. Before ‘sustainability’ and ‘circular economy’ became standard business terminology, the team at Boomerang Retour was beating the drum for greater resource efficiency in pallet management and ‘design for reuse’ as a standard approach for high-volume pallet using businesses.
Boomerang Retour specializes in the niche market of reverse logistics for pallet and RTP reuse solutions for industry sectors where non-standard pallet specifications are essential. Based in Germany but operating internationally, Boomerang establishes cost-effective return flows for customer-specific pallets.
Boomerang’s data-driven pallet recovery service optimizes pallet pool efficiency through prompt collections and the full service includes pallet inspection, repair, and return to the plant of origin for reuse. This circular approach places a ‘reuse’ value on a resource that previously would have been added to the industrial waste stream. In a market where timber supply and cost are so volatile, the Boomerang system establishes an additional, more sustainable line of pallet supply that significantly and reliably reduces business exposure to such volatility.
Melanie Linger, Business Development Director at Boomerang Retour says, that interest in the service has skyrocketed in recent months. “Our team is currently flat-out retrieving pallets from the supply chain on behalf of our customers,” she said. “We are collecting pallets at record speeds once they are no longer under load, and processing them through our operations centers as quickly as possible to support our customer’s plants in pallet supply.
“In the meantime, new inquiries are coming through at an increased pace requesting information on how and where the service works. Travel restrictions due to Covid don’t make the challenge any easier. We have been championing pallet recovery and reuse for years. It feels like the market has caught up with the message.”