The Missing Pallet Headlines of 2012: Fizzled or Fast Forward?

Here are some of the headlines I thought we would have run in 2012, but they didn’t materialize. Fizzled out or fast forward to 2013? We’ll have to wait to see how it all plays out.

The elimination of the exemption would require timber pallets to follow the same ISPM-15 protocols as they must for international shipments. Agreement on the long awaited official timeline for the termination of the exemption was expected, but has not materialized, and numerous preparations around that eventuality, including HT kiln capacity for wood pallets as well as supply of non-timber export pallets such as presswood, plastic and paper pallets have been left in limbo.  With the delay felt to be associated with the November federal election, perhaps the announcement will finally be close at hand.

  • Other Retailers Following the Costco Block Pallet Mandate

Costco’s decision to refuse the use of stringer style pallets in its facilities may have been the tipping point for an already tenuous used pallet or core supply for wood pallet recyclers. It’s rationale was based on material handling efficiency considerations. As such, there was some expectation that other major retailers might have followed that tact, but announcements have not materialized.

IKEA switched to paper pallets in order to improve logistics efficiencies, a move that generated considerable interest. If logistics efficiencies sound like a familiar objective, see Costco above.  An important distinction, while Costco, at least initially, was primarily looking at efficiencies related to handling pallets on the 48-inch face at the warehouse dock, IKEA’s approach had to do with transportation efficiencies in terms of cube utilization and elimination of empty pallet haulage in its global supply chain, in addition to loading and unloading efficiencies.

  • iGPS Next Generation Pallet Announcement

There were rumors earlier in the year that something was in the works, but iGPS has been relatively quiet in terms of public relations this year.


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