Export Plastic Pallet Selection Trends 2016
Plastic pallet vendors report continuing to see year-on-year gains in their sales. Such is the case for Mathew Busby, owner of Calgary, Alberta-based Ak-West Inc. His company offers plastic pallets, bulk boxes and reusable containers to Canadian pallet buyers from its facilities in Calgary Alberta and Mississauga Ontario. “We are the single source for all reusable shipping containers and pallets across Canada,” Busby stated.
When it comes to sales of lightweight plastic pallets, Busby reported, his business is definitely “picking up.” and more customers are enjoying the benefits of plastic pallets. “There isn’t much of a price difference anymore when comparing plastic against wood export pallets,” he said, attributing the increased interest in plastic to concerns about potential quarantine issues when importing or exporting your product. “Plastic pallets allow the shipment to cross borders easily,” he stated.
While the conversation may start around price, typically an appreciation for performance eventually becomes part of the conversation. “They may call you up and ask for your cheapest products, then call back a few months later asking for something more suitable,” Busby remarked.”Either way, reusable pallets and packaging are becoming the norm.”
Hartson Poland of New Jersey-based PDQ Plastics agreed with the observation that plastic pallets continue to find favor for export. He said there is “a shrinking of the Delta,” in terms of wood and plastic pallet price differential. With the price of a new GMA style heat treated pallet costing shippers “in the low teens, there are plastic pallets that can challenge that price quite easily.”
“The domestic market in the UK is the best it’s ever been for plastic pallets,” reported Steve Ridlington, Executive Director of Plastipal International, Ltd. “The international market is now showing signs of a positive move towards plastic pallets. Price has always been an issue, but there are some very good quality one-way plastic pallets that are now competing very well with new wooden pallets, plus the plastics are lighter.” He stated that this helps with airfreight, with 95 percent of fish flown to the UK from Iceland is now on plastic pallets.
Two new products of note in the export category come from PTM and Cabka respectively. PTM launched its One Way Pallet, and Cabka introduced its BigBag Divider.
“PTM continues to innovate new products that support the strategies of our customers, providing products that help them achieve cost-effective and sustainable solutions,” stated David Gonzalez, Sales Manager at PTM.
Gonzalez added that PTM’s new One Way Pallet has been very well received. “It´s attractive for many sectors, not just food and beverage, also pharma, retail, and in general to any company exporting goods.”
The BigBag Divider from Cabka-IPS was designed to facilitate block stacking, without any worries of sharp edges or splinters, while protecting bags from abrasion and damage. Four-sided fork shafts optimized forklift stacking of big bags. Forks are shielded from bag contact during entry by the tunnel design of the BigBag Divider.
Plastic pallets, vendors note, can make especially good sense for shippers that are having trouble entering specific countries, or in the case of shippers that have been previously identified by customs officers as having pallet compliance issues. When shippers have a history of compliance problems, they are likely to receive closer scrutiny – in which case it might make sense to switch to a less risky option.
Read more about export pallets: