Although they’ll not receive the maximum amount of attention as ERP systems or refrigerated trucks, for instance, pallets are critical to distribution and logistics. they’re key links in most companies’ supply chains, essential for transporting everything from T-shirts to automotive parts to pharmaceuticals. When outfitted with the proper technology, pallets can also provide visibility into the movement of the products they carry. “Pallets are the cells of the availability chain,” says Glenn Meeks, director of sales and marketing with Bettaway Transportation Logistics and Pallet Systems.
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More than two billion pallets are in circulation at any given time within us, consistent with industry analysts. Approximately 94 percent of commercial and commodity within us travel on a pallet at some point in their movement from production or factory to distribution facility to finish customer.
Demand for pallets has been on the upswing. “The U.S. economy’s recovery from its sluggish phase has led to a rise in procurement, production, and sales activities,” says Sharan Raj, an analyst with marketing research firm Technavio. These increases are driving demand for handling activities and products, including pallets.
Several other trends are affecting the pallet industry. Shifts in how consumers get products—such because of the growing popularity of smaller stores and direct-to-consumer sales—are influencing pallet sizes. More companies are concerned about the impact of pallets on the environment, resulting in a greater specialize in sustainability and reusability. In food transportation, pallets with the power to take care of a clean, contamination-free environment are garnering attention. additionally, more shippers are trying to find technical capabilities that enable them to watch pallet movements through the availability chain.
The pallet industry is also engaging in additional outreach to other industry groups focused on the availability chain, like trucking and warehousing associations, also as government agencies charged with issuing regulations that impact pallets. With the proliferation of social media, misinformation about the environmental impact of pallets can spread quickly. “As an industry, we’d like to dispel false information,” Meeks says.
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Identifying an optimal pallet solution starts with clear, thorough communication between the pallet provider and therefore the shipper. Both got to skills the pallets are going to be used, and during which warehouse system and business model they’ll operate. as an example, the proper solution for a closed-loop system—where pallets travel from a company’s distribution center to its own stores and back again, all via a personal fleet—likely will differ from a system where pallets move from a firm’s factory to separate wholesalers and on to a spread of other locations.