Palltronics, the maker of a trackable shipping pallet, has selected Mocksville NC for its first manufacturing facility. The highly-anticipated pallets are already sold out for the first three years of production, according to a press release from Davie County Economic Development.
The Michigan-based company has leased a new 253,000 square foot industrial building and plans to invest $25-$30 million in equipment and upfitting to create a world-class advanced manufacturing facility capable of producing more than four million pallets annually.
We are moving rapidly into an era of intellectual problem solving driven by data harvesting. Today’s technological world is rapidly changing knowledge and creating continuous improvement to our everyday lives.
Palltronics expects to create 200 new jobs by the time the plant opens during the third quarter of 2022. Hiring for the innovation center, which will be tasked with continuously improving the pallet’s materials and technology, will begin in early spring ahead of its May opening. Hiring for the assembly plant will begin in June.
While the company did not qualify for any state incentives, it could receive local performance-based incentives of up to $181,848 from Davie County and $68,222 from the Town of Mocksville over the next three years.
The company purchased the assets of Lightning Technologies in May 2021. Palltronics, is an investment group consisting of some of the original shareholders of Lighting Technologies, according to a Capstone announcement.
Palltronics: Not Your Average Pallet
The Palltronics shipping pallet is embedded with an electronic chip that offers sophisticated tracking. Using technology much like the GPS on a smartphone, each pallet can be traced in “real-time” anywhere in the world. This electronically-advanced pallet also includes temperature and humidity sensors and an accelerometer that helps clients ensure that their perishable products arrive at their destination at peak quality. The accelerometer indicates any unusual disruption or shaking that fragile foods or sensitive electronic devices may have experienced. All information is stored in the Cloud and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.
“These measurements are highly beneficial to our customers,” explained Palltronics President Marty Difiore, using the example of an egg producer. “Because of temperature excursions (readings outside of the recommended range) and shock to their product while it is being shipped they often incur a lot of damage-related expense. Knowing where the damage or temperature excursion occurred in the distribution channel is highly advantageous.”
The Palltronics hybrid pallets are manufactured from a wood substrate coated with a proprietary formulation that contains Microban® technology, an antimicrobial/antifungal agent, making them lightweight, cleaner & virtually indestructible. Unlike typical wooden pallets that last 2 to 3 years with multiple repairs, Difiore said that testing simulations indicate that Palltronics pallets will last 10 years.
The pallets are designed for high-velocity distribution channels such as protein, produce, and pharmaceuticals. In those industries companies don’t buy their pallets, they rent them from a shared pool. Pallets are leased for as long as needed and then picked up, inspected, and delivered to the next customer. A pallet could hold candy or packaged food one month and perishable food or delicate electronics the next.
Mocksville Provides Talented Workforce & Ideal Location
Difiore said that after purchasing the assets of Lightning Technologies in May 2021, it immediately began the search for the ideal location to begin production. It was looking for a location on the East Coast and considered North Carolina desirable because of its proximity to the ports for inbound freight, its logistical location and access to trucking companies for shipping finished pallets. The area also boasts a highly-trained workforce well-versed in wood products because of the furniture industry.
Company officials looked at a few locations in the Charlotte area and were actually on the way to look at another facility but it was taken off of the market the day they landed. “Our broker told us he had a place in Mocksville that we should look at, and as soon as we got to the area we fell in love with it,” said Difiore. “We found the perfect building, a talented workforce, and the ideal location logistically. We were thrilled with the welcome that we received from the community and the landlord and are really excited to begin producing and manufacturing our state-of-the-art pallets in Mocksville.”
“We are moving rapidly into an era of intellectual problem solving driven by data harvesting. Today’s technological world is rapidly changing knowledge and creating continuous improvement to our everyday lives,” said Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission. “Palltronics’ new production facility in Mocksville will deliver this highly advanced product to the market.
“We’re delighted that such a leader in innovation has chosen our county for its first manufacturing facility. The creation of 200 new jobs and its financial investment is a tremendous economic boost to the community.”
Bralley considers this another win for Davie County’s speculative building program which has brought thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment to Davie County and at no financial risk to the public. “Most counties would love to have what we have in terms of a spec building program. While some communities have taken public funds to compete with other developers, we’ve taken the opposite approach; supporting private sector efforts and partnering with private developers rather than competing with them.”