Long held as an example of how cooperative pallet pooling could work, ultimately the 38 year old Canadian Pallet Council did not, and earlier this week, it’s fate was sealed. A long planned special membership meeting convened to consider the Board’s request to put CPC to rest, and that its members did. The meeting was “lightly attended” according to a few of those present, including the thoughtful invitation of a number of its stalwart participants from over the decades – around 35 people in total showed up, according to one estimate. With recent changes to the Association bylaws requiring a smaller quorum, that quorum was reached with only a few objectors from the ranks of pallet supplier members.
Overall, the dissolution of CPC has seemed from the outside to be have been handled very professionally, from earlier soliciting opinions from members to exploring possible survival options, and then the announcement last September that is intended to terminate operations in the first quarter of 2015.
CPC was, after all, a collaborative effort between grocery products manufacturers, distributor/retailers, transportation providers, and pallet vendors. It was initially launched by a grocery industry that needed an industry pallet solution where previously there had been none in the years immediately before rental pooling began to make its presence felt in the Canadian market. CPC was a solution that worked initially very well in Central Canada, and by the early 1990s had become a presence in grocery pooling across the country. Over the succeeding years its market share gradually eroded, although in some applications, such as the liquor industry, it remained strong. With decreased volumes and quality issues, the Association began to lose the support of grocery distributor/retailers for its interchange model.
“At a vote taken on March 23rd, 2015, at a Special General Meeting held in Toronto, members decided to dissolve the CPC,” Belinda Junkin, CPC’s President & CEO wrote to members a few days later. “The closure is the result of the loss of members over the last few years, and most significantly, the recent loss of all major distributor support. There is no longer a viable network of members willing or able to exchange CPC pallets.”
Junkin continued that “immediate steps are being taken towards the closure of the CPC with the expectation that all active operations will cease by the end of May 2015.”
Dates of note include the termination of the CTSWEB pallet/asset tracking system effective April 30, with closure of the CPC office the same day. CPC operations and member support will terminate as of May 29.
CPC will continue to respond to members during this period, however response times are expected to be longer. The CPC will also continue to sell it standard Bills of Lading during this period so long as it has inventory.
CHEP and PECO have gradually replaced CPC in many applications. As CPC pallets are property of member companies, they have the option of continuing to use them internally or with receptive trading partners – of course without CPC trademark protection and oversight,not to mention the discontinuance of CTSWEB.
iLogic, the developer of CTSWEB, has been in contact with CTSWEB users to offer to transition them from the CPC software to its new offering for industry at large, its masLogic solution, a sophisticated tracking program capable of tracking pallets, containers and other reusable distribution assets. For more information on masLogic, visit www.ilogic.com.