LPR and CARREFOUR Collaborate to Reduce Empty Pallet Cartage

One of the ongoing challenges of a single trip rental program is how it to make it more efficient than a retail distribution distribution center in terms of transportation for local pallet transactions – given that excess truck capacity often already exists for pallet movements. This has long been one of the arguments put forward by pallet exchange programs such as the Canadian Pallet Council (CPC), one that I raised almost 20 years ago in a study I did for CPC.

Over time, we can expect relatively simple systems such as single trip rental to add complexity in order to increase efficiency. Routing is one of those examples of growing complexity, becoming increasingly sophisticated. It is therefore not surprising to see rental companies in Europe make changes to their one way systems to address this issue, as is the case with LPR and grocery retailer CARREFOUR.

CARREFOUR and LPR-La Palette Rouge have set up a new operational plan to pool the return transport of empty pallets, one that they say will reduce 30 tons of CO2 emissions generated by the collection of empty pallets. The objective was to reduce the number of trucks and miles traveled on the road.

“The project started with a joint discussions between CARREFOUR and LPR and how best to circulate the pallets from one user to another and reduce the impact of activity on the environment,” said Alain de Cussy, Director of Assets LPR.

de Cussy explained that the LPR pallets, rather than going back to the LPR depot, are now sent directly from CARREFOUR warehouses to customers, thus reducing transportation requirements.

The scheme must manage the complexity of matching LPR customer requirements with the variable flow of empty pallets made available by CARREFOUR.

LPR has been one of the first vendors to offer PEFC certified pallets, ensuring that the product comes from sustainably managed forests. The group commissioned a carbon footprint in 2011 of its business in Europe, corroborating a study by ADEME that found the pallet rental system is have the lowest environmental impact.

For more information, visit www.lpr.eu.