EPAL pallet production reaches record levels yet again in 2022
Düsseldorf, March 2023 – The success story of the European Pallet Association continued in 2022. Following the milestone of producing more than 100 million new EPAL Euro pallets for the first time in 2021, EPAL has increased production to a new record of 109.05 million EPAL Euro pallets. This represents a growth of 7.55% or 7.65 million EPAL Euro pallets yearly.
Strong growth in EPAL Euro pallets and EPAL Box pallets production
Repair volumes for EPAL Euro pallets were almost exactly the same as the previous year (-0.33 %). After the significantly lower return of used EPAL Euro pallets in the first half of 2022 initially led to a decline in repair numbers, this was almost completely reversed in the second half of 2022 by a positive development in repairs.
The production of EPAL Box pallets also developed positively. After significant growth of 66.7 % in 2021 to 288,000 EPAL Box pallets, production again increased substantially in 2022 to 340,400 EPAL Box pallets (+18%).
“EPAL faced many challenges in 2022,” Dirk Hoferer and Jarek Maciążek, Co-Presidents of EPAL, are jointly quoted in an EPAL release.
“The war in Ukraine impacted Ukrainian EPAL licensees on a personal level while many European supply routes for pallet timber and nails were disrupted. However, the significant commitment of EPAL licensees ensured they were able to overcome these difficulties and therefore meet the growing demand for exchangeable EPAL Euro pallets at all times. We would like to thank the more than 1,600 EPAL licensees producing and repairing EPAL pallets. They are the bedrock of reliable supply of high-quality new and used EPAL pallets to industry, retail and logistics.”
More than 650 million EPAL Euro pallets in circulation
The high quality of EPAL pallets is an extremely important factor in ensuring the safety of people and goods in logistics and the long service life of EPAL Euro pallets. Various studies have shown this to be between six and ten years. Based on an average service life of seven years and production data from recent years, there are currently substantially more than 650 million EPAL Euro pallets available through the open EPAL pallet pool.
“With more than 650 million EPAL Euro pallets in circulation, the open EPAL Euro pallet pool is by far the largest Euro pallet pool in the world,” said Davide Dellavalle, Vice-President of EPAL. “EPAL Euro pallet users have free access to an almost infinite number of high-quality used EPAL Euro pallets at any time and throughout Europe in addition to rapid delivery of new EPAL Euro pallets.”
Resilience of the EPAL Euro pallet pool
The resilience of the EPAL Euro pallet pool was also one of the key success factors for EPAL in 2022. Following experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the production of EPAL Euro pallets proved to be an essential activity for logistics. Every participant in the open EPAL pallet pool came to recognise that reliable availability of EPAL Euro pallets for industry and retail is the foundation of stable supply chains. Users from industry, retail and logistics can call on more than 500 EPAL licensees producing new EPAL pallets through the open EPAL pallet pool as well as more than 1,100 repair operations supplying users with used EPAL pallets.
“The tight EPAL licensee network in Europe, which is supplemented by many service providers and countless users, avoids having to rely on just one supplier and ensures rapid delivery over short transport distances,” commented Tatyana Sargsyan, Vice-President of EPAL. “There was therefore no adverse impact on user’s logistics processes and pallet logistics during 2022 despite the high levels of demand.”
The EPAL pallet pool – open and independent
EPAL states that its tight network of licensees and pallet users is the result of the openness and independence of the EPAL pallet pool. Every company can participate in the exchange of EPAL Euro pallets through its logistics operations and adapt it to suit its own requirements. At the same time, pallet producers and repair operations as well as service providers and logistics platforms have free access to the open EPAL pallet pool as EPAL is an independent association and is therefore not tied to any company with its own profit targets.
“EPAL licensees, EPAL pallet users and the many service providers in the open EPAL pallet pool have a mutual objective to ensure the quality of EPAL load carriers remains consistently high throughout the world,” concluded Jean-Philippe Gaussorgues, Vice-President of EPAL. “This ensures reliable use of EPAL pallets in all logistics scenarios from high-bay racking systems and automated conveyor systems, to shipping logistics, and typical applications in industry and retail. The combination of uniform load carriers for all logistics processes and trouble-free use is a significant cost benefit for users. The success of the EPAL Euro pallet as the leading European load carrier is based on this.”
Previous annual reports below
EPAL pallet production reaches record levels in 2021
Annual production of new EPAL Euro pallets exceeded 100 million for the first time in 2021
Düsseldorf, 3 May 2022 – The European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) maintained the continuous growth of the EPAL Euro pallet pool in 2021. More than 100 million new EPAL Euro pallets were produced for the first time in a calendar year in 2021.
Record result of 101.3 million new EPAL Euro pallets
The record result of 101.3 million new EPAL Euro pallets represents a year-on-year growth of 5.5 % (96.1 million EPAL Euro pallets were produced in 2020). There was also a significant growth of 7.6 % in repairs. The production of EPAL Box pallets, which grew by 66.7 % to 288,149 box pallets, is worth highlighting here. The total production and repair volume in 2021 for all EPAL load carriers grew by +6 % to a total of 130.8 million pallets.
“2021 was a year of profound challenges,” stated Robert Holliger, President of EPAL. “On the one hand, the economic upturn following the anticipated easing of the COVID-19 pandemic generated substantial demand for EPAL load carriers. On the other, the shortage of and considerable increase in the price of wood made the situation very difficult for producers and repairers of EPAL Euro pallets.
“We are therefore particularly proud that it was possible to increase production of EPAL Euro pallets, despite the shortage of wood. We would like to thank EPAL licensees and users of EPAL Euro pallets for this exceptional result.”
Maintaining industrial and retail supply chains
Concerns that it would not be possible to supply industrial and retail users with sufficient numbers of EPAL Euro pallets as a result of the shortage of and increase in the price of wood in spring 2021 proved, in hindsight, to be unwarranted. The EPAL Euro pallet pool continued to be a reliable partner in 2021 for industry and retail, and their supply chains and ensured the ongoing availability of EPAL Euro pallets.
“The high levels of trust users have for the open EPAL Euro pallet pool also proves how important EPAL Euro pallets are for the international logistics sector,” said Bernd Dörre, EPAL CEO. “In addition to guaranteeing the efficiency and safety of logistics processes, using EPAL Euro pallets also helps users achieve their sustainability goals. The reuse of EPAL Euro pallets protects wood resources and reduces CO2 emissions from production and transportation. The EPAL Euro pallet pool is an exemplar for a sustainable circular economy. It is, therefore, no surprise that the number of participants in open pallet exchange is continuing to grow and that this has led to the record number of EPAL Euro pallets produced.”
It is currently difficult to know whether this record result can be repeated in 2022 due to the significant impacts of the war in Ukraine. However, the growth in the production of EPAL Euro pallets continued in the first quarter of 2022. A secure supply of EPAL Euro pallets is therefore guaranteed.
As an international association, the European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) is responsible for organising the EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool. EPAL Euro pallets are the cornerstone of industrial and retail supply chains in Europe. The EPAL brand stands for quality, safety and sustainability in logistics.
There are currently approximately 625 million EPAL Euro pallets and approximately 20 million EPAL Box pallets in circulation making the EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool the biggest open pallet exchange pool in the world. More than 1,500 EPAL licensees produce and repair EPAL Euro pallets and other EPAL load carriers globally.
As a non-profit organisation, EPAL does not pursue any commercial interests. Founded in 1991 as the international association for exchangeable Euro pallets, EPAL is currently active in over 30 countries through national associations and representatives. The central focus of EPAL’s activity is the organization of the international EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool and the quality assurance of the production and repair of EPAL Euro pallets, EPAL Box pallets, and other EPAL load carriers.
The EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool, with its principles of reuse, exchange, repair, and recycling, has been an exemplar for a sustainable circular economy for more than three decades. Wooden EPAL Euro pallets make a significant contribution to protecting the climate. They store CO2, prevent waste and improve the carbon footprint of users in industry, retail and logistics through reuse, exchange, repair and recycling.
EPAL pallet production increases despite Covid-19 pandemic
A total of 123.5 million EPAL load carriers were produced and repaired in 2020
Düsseldorf, 13 April 2021 – The European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) has again recorded an increase in the production of EPAL pallets in 2020, after several years of growth. Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the hike in wood prices, production of EPAL pallets grew by 1.14% to 97.3 million pallets in 2020 (2019: 96.2m.).
Reported figures for repairs of EPAL pallets slightly decreased. Overall there was an increase in production and repairs of EPAL pallets of 0.5% to 123.5 million pallets (2019: 123m pallets).
“This positive development is particularly remarkable in view of the economic slump resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic”, remarks Robert Holliger, President of EPAL. “The adverse effects on national and international supply chains was an unprecedented challenge for producers and users of EPAL Euro pallets, which we successfully tackled together.”
EPAL load carriers: an indispensable link in retail and industry supply chains
The production and repair of EPAL pallets are classed as “essential” by many European countries because pallet logistics and, in particular, the open EPAL Euro pallet exchange pool is vitally important for goods transport. To maintain the supply of foods and other consumer goods to consumers, and to ensure the retail and industry supply chains, EPAL licensees were always, and still are, able to make deliveries at all times during the lockdowns.
“For us, it’s a particular mark of confidence that many transports of Covid-19 vaccines are made on EPAL Euro pallets. EPAL Euro pallets meet the most stringent requirements for safety and reliability for load carriers, and especially in extremely cold temperatures, such as with the transport of vaccines”, comments Robert Holliger.
Production of EPAL pallets at a high level in 2019 again
123 million EPAL load carriers were produced or repaired in 2019.
Düsseldorf, 9 March 2020 – EPAL’s total production and repair volume continued to increase in 2019 and reached 123 million EPAL load carriers. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of 1% or 1.2 million pallets more in 2019 (2018 total: 121.8 m.). Looking at production and repairing separately, the 2019 repair figures showed a slight decrease. In 2019 26.8 million EPAL load carriers were repaired, compared to 27.5 million in 2018. Looking purely at the new pallet production figures, there was an increase of 2.4%: in 2019, 96.2 million EPAL load carriers were produced, 2.3 million more than in the previous year (2018: 93.9 m.).
“Despite the economic slowdown in Europe, the need and demand for EPAL pallets grew in 2019,” commented Robert Holliger, President of EPAL.
Number of EPAL Euro pallets in the open pool at an all-time high
Currently there are more than 600 million EPAL pallets and 20 million EPAL Box pallets available to the global logistics industry and used by shipping agents, transport companies and large retailers. For many years the pool in Europe has been growing continuously. Due to the very high level of new production, the pool is able to serve the increasing quality expectations of the supply chain. As a result, quality classification levels A and B are also available in greater numbers. The EPAL system’s foundations comprise: independent quality assurance, international trademark protection, acceptance by all market participants, environmental responsibility and sustainability. The EPAL Box pallet also continues to have widespread acceptance in the automotive industry’s supply chain.
EPAL Records 121.8 Million EPAL Pallets Produced and Repaired in 2018
EPAL ended 2018 with over 100 m EPAL load carriers produced and repaired for the third consecutive year
Düsseldorf, March 12, 2019 – In 2018 EPAL again achieved a positive result with 121.8 m EPAL load carriers produced and repaired. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of 5.2% (2017 total: 115.8 m units). If you consider production and repairs separately, then in 2018, 93.9 m EPAL load carriers were produced, 6.3% more than in 2017. The repair figures stood at a solid 27.5 m units, like in the previous year. The increase in the production of EPAL Box pallets in 2018 was outstanding: with 408,076 Box pallets produced, this result was 30% more compared to 2017.
Christian Kühnhold, EPAL’s CEO commented, “Thanks to the hard work of all licensees, but also due to the solid strong demand in the FMCG sector, in general industry markets and the automotive supply industry, EPAL also had a correspondingly positive development. On this basis, we, EPAL want to work hard in all relevant areas and provide the tools, so that the open exchange pool develops even further. This concerns the further development of existing load carriers, e.g. intelligent EPAL pallets or the market launch of new load carriers, such as the independently inspected EPAL CP pallets.”
EPAL 2017 Results
Düsseldorf, January 19, 2018 – The European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL) has announced a record result for 2017 of 115.8 million EPAL quality load carriers produced and repaired. Compared to the previous year, this is an increase of nearly 10%. In 2017, production figures alone rose by 9.7% to 88.3 million EPAL pallets, while repair figures climbed to 27.5 million; a solid increase of 10% compared to the previous year.
As for pallets in other parts of the world, the EPAL Euro pallet is considered an early indicator for the economies of the markets it serves. The rising economic barometer in economically strong countries over the past few years has driven the demand for EPAL Euro pallets to a peak last year. EPAL producers and repairers have been working at full capacity for months. The persistently high demand for sawn timber led to a shortage of the raw material in 2017 and a huge price rise in sawn timber for pallets, increasing cost pressure for EPAL pallet producers.
“The current demand peaks can be cushioned with sound planning and a long-term partnership between EPAL pallet producers, suppliers, and customers,” stated Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL. “Trade and industry partners who planned at an early stage and who value long-term supplier relationships are being well provided for. The outstanding 2017 figures are the result of the joint work of all EPAL National Committees and licensees, and a sign that trade and industry are increasingly relying on independently tested quality and safety, which pay off in the long term.”