What's to blame and how can I avoid this from happening?
Don't feel bad, people in production facilities all over the world find themselves asking the same questions throughout the year. To find the answer, we'll address 4 variables for the unit load pictured above.
- The wood pallets appear to be clean but...
As you know, wood comes from a living thing. Even if it is treated and appears to be free of dirt and mold, every wooden pallet still has some degree of bacteria and moisture present.
- What does my product have to do with mold...
Does your product come off the line warm? If so, it may be using that heat to draw out moisture from the pallet. So, what if the warm bags are on a slip sheet or a piece or corrugate and they aren’t even touching the pallet? See the next point...
- Wood Pallet + Warm Product + Stretch Wrap = Mold Incubator
That's right. Warm product combined with a wood pallet that's been sealed tight with stretch wrap can trap the warmth and promote mold growth. Obviously, this can be exacerbated by high summer temperatures (variable #4) which was the case in the picture above.
What Happens Now?
In some situations, it may be possible to save your moldy wood pallets. Other times conditions simply don't make for a fair fight. In this particular case (pictured), the facility immediately opted to switch over to plastic pallets to avoid sending mold-damaged product to customers.
Have you experienced similar mold issues on pallets? Tell us what did you do to fix the problem or ask for expert advice in the comments below.
Post by: Mike Cunneen, Director of Sales & Marketing