Onsite pallet manufacturing isn’t something you hear about frequently, so it caught our attention when BSW Group members BSW Timber and Scott Pallets announced that they have joined forces to design and produce innovative timber pallets that will help Mowi to reduce its carbon emissions at its Blar Mhor, Scotland flagship production facility. Mowi is the UK’s largest supplier of farm-raised salmon.
By way of background, 65,000 tonnes of fresh salmon are chilled, packed, and shipped annually from Mowi’s Blar Mhor location on timber pallets throughout the UK and abroad. Mowi approached Scott Pallets to support a move away from the more traditional forms of pallet supply.
This led to a successful collaboration with BSW Timber, which installed a pallet production line at Blar Mhor to manufacture pallets specifically for Mowi’s Scottish salmon.
This strategic move means Mowi’s pallets are not just being manufactured in Scotland, but the timber is also being grown in the country, enabling Mowi to benefit from a secure, local supply of timber pallets for its production line. Ultimately, this has helped to solve the challenge of ensuring a continuous, reliable supply of sustainable timber pallets to this remote location from just a few miles away.
Onsite pallet manufacturing, local timber supply
From seed to finished pallet, the materials and labor involved are all within the northwest of Scotland. This saves the transportation of timber to a separate pallet manufacturing site and again saves the transportation of the manufactured pallets to Mowi’s processing facility – that’s 290 miles saved for one load of pallets. During the course of a year, with 140,000 pallets used, this equates to roughly 43 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved.
Having a reliable source of pallets in such close proximity means that Mowi no longer needs to order a full load of pallets and store them but can call off smaller quantities as and when they are required.
“Mowi has nearly completed its expansion and upgrade of its salmon processing plant in Fort William with the latest equipment that advance our sustainability goals detailed in our Leading the Blue Revolution Plan,” said Scott Nolan, Mowi’s Sales and Operations Director. “This business partnership with local Lochaber companies, Scott Pallets and BSW Timber, complements numerous initiatives that will help lower our carbon footprint while also securing delivery of the UK’s top seafood choice.”
“We’re proud to be supporting this major employer in the Scottish Highlands with a collaborative approach that achieves really positive environmental gains,” added Robert Blaikie, Sales Director at Scott Pallets. “This project is a perfect demonstration of how BSW Group, and UK businesses generally, can work together and create a reduced-carbon economy.”
To be certain, postponing pallet assembly until arriving at the point of use is definitely advantageous for reducing transportation and associated CO2 impacts, especially for remote locations. Some high-volume pallet users manufacture pallets to meet their needs or contract with a supplier to manufacture pallets onsite. Postponement may not be attractive for companies that do not wish to be distracted by non-core activities or do not have the space or expertise to set up and operate a pallet assembly line. No two use cases are identical. The most important theme of this story is how the various parties collaborated to create a custom solution.