Survey Looks at Spain’s Pallet System: 355 Million Movements Annually

EPAL pallets

New EPAL pallets. Euro style pallets account for 41 percent of recycled units.


Good pallet statistics are often difficult to find, so here are some interesting numbers from Spain. For the sake of comparison, Spain has 47 million people versus 316 million in the U.S. (2013 numbers), while U.S. has a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around $53,000 versus approximately $29,000 for Spain,

fedemcoPallet production has been on the increase across Europe, including Spain, where new pallet production increased by 14 percent in 2013. The amount of pallet movements was also reported, and this was up by 7 percent.

FEDEMCO carried out a survey involving 300 packaging and distribution companies, revealing that the Spanish market generated over 355 million movements of new and used pallets in 2013, 7 percent more than in 2012. Of that total, 47 percent of the total movements were associated with rental pallets, up slightly from the past, while , a 53 percent corresponded to all non-rental pallet movements.  Total pallet production rose to over 41 million pallets, 14 percent more than in the previous year, 2012.

Economic sectors that use pallets were identified as “wholesale trade and intermediaries” and the sector of “production of other non-metal mineral products” (including the production of ceramic products, cement, plaster, lime, concrete, glass, etc.). The demand for rental pallets was strongest in the “beverages”, “food” and “retail trade” sectors.

Excluding rental pallets, approximately 69 percent of the more than 186 million movements of other types of pallets are also pallets that have been reused either by the user (53 percent) or by a recoverer manager (16 percent). 18 percent of the remaining 31 percent corresponds to new pallets, and 13 percent corresponds to imported pallets in trade deals overseas.

According to FEDEMCO, in 2013 Spanish pallet recyclers reintroduced around 31 million pallets on the market, 7 percent more than in 2012.  And while many North Americans tend to think of Europe as a pallet market standardized around the Euro pallet, only 41 percent of the total number of pallets recovered were European type pallets, 12 percent are originally disposable pallets and 46 percent are other types of pallets.