Pallet Control Tower: new online platform matches the collection and delivery process for Europallets and other RTIs across Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
We recently reached out to Bart Meijnen, CEO of Pallet Control Tower bv and Hans Bours, Marketing & Communication, Pallet Control Tower to fill us in on Pallet Control Tower. Here are their written responses.
1 What are some of the frustrations being felt in the supply chain regarding pallets or other RTI that Pallet Control Tower can help companies resolve?
From more than 20 years of experience, we know that not being “in control” of your pallet flows is becoming an increasingly important issue with larger pallet users. Not knowing which pallets are in your possession, not knowing which pallets are where, mutual calculations in Excel that are incorrect, not knowing the value of your pallet stock, etc. From both a sustainability and cost (accountancy) perspective, it is important to be ‘in control’. Trucks with empty pallets driving halfway across the continent is no longer acceptable. One-way pallets is no longer possible. And writing off lost pallets for thousands of euros/dollars can no longer be done.
2 What is Pallet Control Tower and how does it address these frustrations?
PCTO is a 24/7 online platform that matches the collection and delivery process of Europallets and other RTIs across Europe, the United States, and Asia. We do this with an underlying VAT-fee e-Credit system, following the independent EUWID index for the most up-to-date price trends.
With PCTO, any company, or better yet, a network of companies (the chain), can move from single-use pallets and other RTIs to multi-use pallets and other RTIs. But also, if you already use Europallets, PCTO delivers added value. With Collection (buying) & Delivery (selling) – matching – and the e-Credit, everyone in the chain benefits. Handling transactions becomes easier, and transparency means fewer discussions with all parties involved. Mutual balances can easily be settled with e-Credits. In case of discussion, our regional account and quality managers can provide a solution. Our 24/7 logging provides accurate data. And PCTO is connectable to most EMS and WMS systems.
We anticipate the new Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive from Brussels, which will also affect exports from the U.S. to Europe. All this to eliminate frustrations and get a more sustainable society. In short: to make the supply chain smoother.
3 Can you give some examples of fictional or real use cases where PCT would help customers?
There are two examples on our LinkedIn page: “Efficient pallet management and sustainability thanks to PCTO” and “Optimizing pallet management with PCTO: The story of John, supply chain manager at a retailer.”
Just recently, a large non-food retailer with several hubs in Europe commissioned the Collection of 30,000 Europallets. The order was carried out by a pallet depot in a neighboring country. The system automated the entire transaction. The e-Credits “cashed” by the non-food retailer are used to purchase Europallets in another country for another hub of the non-food retailer.
4 What is the e-credit and how does that work?
An e-Credit is a virtual currency and represents the value of 1 used Euro pallet in A-quality. The value in Euros (or Dollars) is linked to the independent index of the German EUWID (www.euwid.de).
e-Credits are freely transferable between balances of all PCTO users. They are credited to the balance after Collection, debited at Delivery and used in the Current Account. In addition, e-Credits can be repurchased from PCT.
The e-Credits are not subject to VAT and also solve the international VAT issue that sticks to Collection & Delivery.
5 Why did you think it was important to lean on EUWID Index pricing for PCT?
The EUWID is an internationally respected standard for determining the value of used Euro pallets in various categories. The EUWID is determined every six weeks by an independent institute on the basis of current price developments in the market. It also gives still the possibility to do a “virtual” exchange. One pallet for One e-Credit.
6 What types of businesses or supply chains would benefit from PCT?
Everyone who uses pallets in the supply chain benefits from the platform. Both pallet depots/manufacturers/traders and carriers and distribution centers as well as pallet users, in any industry.
7 If there are discrepancies regarding numbers shipped and received, how is it resolved?
In the first instance, it is up to the parties to resolve disputes among themselves. Thus, the system features photo upload capabilities to present as evidence. Ultimo, one of our account managers will visit the site to take a look and give an opinion/judgment based on facts.
8 What is your current market area and could it work in other parts of the world such as North America?
The system was developed for the European market but also works for the U.S. market. Where American pallets need to be exchanged for European pallets. But also in the American market there is a disruption in the logistics chains because the value of “lost” pallets becomes a material issue between parties. Or simply because pallet users want to buy or sell pallets quickly, easily or sustainably on the best terms. PCT runs locally, in Europe, North America or Asia but also gives the possibility to go intercontinental because of the USP of the e-Credit.
9 Who are the leaders behind PCT and what experience do they bring to the solution?
Behind PCT are three major Dutch/European pallet companies with a wealth of experience in pallet production, repair, trading and pooling. Years ago they noticed the frustrations of poor pallet administration and stagnating pallet flows. Especially during the Corona pandemic when Europallet prices rose to € 25 per pallet. But also the fact that Europe is committed to Re-use, Recycle and Repair of packaging materials was one of the reasons for starting PCT Online.
10 What is your call to action for companies experiencing frustrations around pallet administration?
Join our system. It’s free. By creating an account and filling in your information, you can immediately place a Collection or Delivery order. Even if you are a trader looking for Europallets, for example. And it is especially convenient if you are a company with multiple hubs in multiple countries/states. Using e-Credit, you can exchange balances between them.