Counterfeit EPAL Pallets apprehended in Belgium
Several truckloads of counterfeit EPAL Euro Pallets were seized in Belgium this May, according to the European Pallet Associaton (EPAL). The successful operation came as a result of close cooperation between EPAL and Bureau Veritas, its independent inspection and quality assurance provider. Bureau Veritas routinely undertakes unannounced quality inspections.
Identifying marks to help determine EPAL authenticity
Authentic EPAL Euro pallets can be identified by the EPAL logo on all four corner blocks, while newer units additionally have either a yellow or black control staple embossed with the ‘EPAL in oval’ marking on one of the middle blocks. Counterfeit pallets, on the other hand, are typically missing the EPAL control staple, and almost certain to have significant quality defects.
“Currently, we have a large number of cases, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium, whereby counterfeit pallets have been found,” stated Bernd Dörre, the lawyer responsible for all legal questions on the use of EPAL Euro pallets.
Be cautious about low prices and dubious sources
“We, therefore, think a reminder to refrain from ordering pallets with the EPAL branded marking from questionable sources is worthwhile,” Dörre added. “If new or like new, used EPAL Euro pallets are offered at prices clearly under the standard market prices, they are almost always counterfeit. The same applies in cases where used EPAL Euro pallets are ordered, but new or as new pallets are delivered. In these cases, the pallets should be carefully inspected. If there is a reason to suspect that pallets are counterfeit, EPAL should be asked to check the pallets.”
In October 2015, EPAL advised stakeholders about the legal consequences connected with importing, storing and selling counterfeit EPAL Euro pallets.
Ahrma launches uniquely constructed smart pallet
According to Netherlands-based Ahrma Holding BV, its new pallet combines the best characteristics of both wooden and plastic pallets. Its process involves spraying the polyurethane coating Elastocoat® C of BASF on a specially developed wood composite inner structure, produced by Greenpanel. The result, says, Ahrma, is a pallet with superior strength. The company claims that it is more durable and lighter than other types of pallets. The pallet is produced in components and assembled with a special adhesive. This resin is developed bespoke by Henkel.
The unique compressed wood inner structure is made of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and PEFC certified MDF or medium density fiberboard, which is CARB2 compliant. This material is used for both the internal vertical structure as well as the pallet faces.
The embedded transponder in each pallet offers both a long-range protocol for factory and warehouse-wide coverage as well as a short-range protocol for smartphone scanning. Transponders communicate with intelligent, low-cost receivers that are mounted at strategic places at customer sites.
The company states that its solution has the potential to set the standard in the market, as all assets can easily be tracked and traced in real time with modest operator input, as well as with minimal costs and minimal investments in infrastructure. The transponder allows for measurement of acceleration, temperature, and weight, which lets users obtain valuable operational data through the Ahrma Supply Chain Big Data System.
Ahrma Holding BV was founded in 2014. Headquarters and the production plant are located in The Netherlands(Deventer).