Updated March 28, 2018.
With more than 225 network facilities and 2,400 employees, 48forty starts fresh, committed to Pallet Management Made Simple™.
When Brambles Limited announced plans to divest itself of its North American recycled pallets business last August, it indicated that CHEP Recycled’s growth outlook would improve under alternative ownership.
Less than five months later, Grey Mountain Partners, a Boulder, Colorado-based private equity firm, seized the opportunity to purchase the spinoff and completed the acquisition of CHEP Recycled on February 14. The former CHEP Recycled is now executing a bold new name and brand image that positions it for growth while celebrating its position as the leader in one of the foundational businesses of the supply chain and logistics industry.
The new company is 48forty Solutions, the largest pallet management services company in North America. The name is as clever and quintessential as it is practical: a standard wooden pallet is 48 by 40 inches. The logotype also underscores the nature of 48forty’s business: solid, authentic, and up to the task of managing 90 million pallets a year for 2,700 customers across a variety of industries.
Kyle Otting has been named Chief Executive Officer of 48forty Solutions. The 14-year veteran of CHEP Recycled will oversee the company’s operations from its new headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. This includes more than 225 network facilities, of which 45 are company-owned and operated pallet recycling facilities, 30-plus onsite customer facilities, a fleet of 4,500 trailers, and nearly 300 power units. The company operations in Canada will continue to operate under the existing Paramount Pallet brand.
“We’re excited about our new brand, but even more excited to get back to the basics of serving our customers,” said Otting. “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do—from our technology to our plant network—everything we build is for them.”
And build they have: late last year, the company introduced a state-of-the-art customer portal, Paltrax™, which offers customers complete account management and the ability to place orders right from their mobile device. In addition, the company has made significant investments in their industry-leading Quality Management System as well as implementing Lean Manufacturing processes throughout their network designed to create a safer environment while driving cost efficiencies for the customer.
The company’s technology includes an electronic signature module. “All of our drivers have a tablet, a DOT requirement around electronic logs,” explained Hillary Femal, Vice President Sales Marketing. “We were also able to include some of our own software. When a load of pallets is delivered, the customer can sign the tablet.” She observed that while companies like Fedex and UPS have using such field technology for years, it is new for the pallet sector. “The nice thing about it is our customers can get access to that data and that signature in real time. We get access to it in real time.”
Femal noted that delivery paperwork for consumables such as pallets too often gets lost. “It has really streamlined things, made things easier from a payables perspective because they can get the information they need much more quickly.”
Added Otting, “We understand the complexity of our customers’ supply chains, and we’re here to make pallet management simple. We’re committed to providing cost efficient pallet solutions, the consistent quality our customers require, and a better customer experience.”
Otting also stressed that while 48forty is a new company in terms of its brand, the roots of its successful operations go back for more than 20 years to when PalEx established its network of pallet companies and then broadened after it was purchased by IFCO in 2000. Otting first joined IFCO in 2003.
“We have 70 years experience on the leadership team,” Otting said. The leadership team is experienced and tenured, and we have a tremendous amount of tenure operating our plants. We have the same infrastructure and same transportation network. Our offering is well established. We are simply putting a fresh face on it, and now we are ready to run.”
And as another positive, the cash generated by the business will no longer be diverted to support previous non-core activities such as RPC or pallet rental. Now, the company is totally centered on offering value to its customers. “Over the course of the last 15 years our purpose has been for the greater good of other entities,” Otting said.
“This is the first time in many years we are able to get back to our roots to operate as a stand-alone recycler with our own purpose,” Otting added, “of offering creative and unique cost efficient pallet management programs for the retailer and the manufacturer, operating without the constraints of the large global corporate.”
48forty will continue to focus on end-to-end solutions, from pallet supply and retrieval to on-site retail services to custom sized pallets, growing its business by making pallet management as simple as possible.