Here is my piece in the December 2010 Pallet Enterprise Magazine on international pallet sizes.
When the line of supply stretched precariously across the Pacific during World War II, pallets, for the first time, came along for the ride and provided enormous material handling efficiencies. Today as supply chains increasingly become global in scope, so do pallets.
The transition hasn’t always gone smoothly. This can be seen by the spread of wood pests that led to the ISPM-15 treatment standard. Or more recently the TBA-contamination problem experienced by the pharmaceutical industry (see the article on page 44). I sometimes get asked if we are heading towards a single global standard. Given the complexities of local and global supply chains, it doesn’t seem that things are ever going to be simple enough to allow for one major global footprint standard to take hold.
For international shipping, size does indeed matter. (Read the rest of this report at Pallet Enterprise Magazine.)