If you buy hardwood pallets, you have most likely seen a price increase in the past 6 months. The pallet hardwood supply is being stretched this winter unlike anything in recent memory. Raw material prices are at all-time highs, and even at the current prices, there are shortages. Prices are expected to go even higher in the near future.
- Convert to another wood material.
Possible options include softwood pallets or used lumber remanufactured pallets. These materials can be substituted in many applications, but make sure you have an equivalent design that meets the strength and durability capacities of your hardwood pallets. The Pallet Design System (PDS) software is a good tool to use for these design comparisons.
- Consider plastic pallets.
In years past, plastic pallets were typically more expensive than wood. But there are lower-cost designs available today. Plastic pallets are readily available throughout the US. Even if they didn’t make sense in the past, with rising wood prices, plastic pallets deserve another look.
- Reevaluate the unit load design.
Look at the overall pallet design to see if there are opportunities to make changes and keep costs stable. Ask your pallet supplier to look for overall cost savings with the associated unitization, packaging and transportation costs. Often savings in these areas can more than offset any pallet cost increases.
We want to hear from you. How have hardwood price increases affected you? Let us know by commenting below.
Post by: John Clarke, Technical Director