BlogNewsPallet PoolingPlastic Pallet Benefits over WoodCostco using iGPS plastic pallet

Costco is a leading advocate for sustainability in the supply chain. This is why their decision to be the first to announce the migration of their supply chain from wood to plastic pallets makes perfect sense.

Costco’s plan is to complete by the end of 2021, which makes them the first retailer in the world to confirm their preference for lighter, more durable plastic pallets, rather to continue to receive wooden pallets. Costco’s 2019 Global Packaging Plan clearly reinforces their commitment to reduce operational waste and improve efficiencies, including the expanded use of recycled plastic pallets.

iGPS is the largest pooler of plastic pallets in North America – and we’re proud of our 13+ year partnership with Costco, working together with a growing number of their vendors to essentially re-write the pallet pooling model that has been dominated for more than half a century by wood.  At their annual Supplier event in September 2019, Costco leadership shared their vison, by asking their vendors to take a serious look at changing from their ‘normal’ heavier wooden pallets to lighter and more efficient plastic pallets. The durability and stronger structure of a plastic pallet means that significantly fewer get damaged – compared to wood – which means that a high percentage can be efficiently inspected before being shipped directly to vendors, from Costco’s Depot network. Costco’s decision also reduces the number of trucks on the road and decreases fuel costs and greenhouse emissions created. All of these benefits will remain unique to plastic and are not achievable by continuing to use the aging wood pallet model. iGPS has worked closely with Costco’s team for the last decade, challenging the many paradigms protecting wood pallet domination by creating simple, effective, and lasting change that creates measurable positive benefits, not just for Costco, but all of us working to improve the supply chain.

Critics of plastic pallets assume there will be higher costs but they fail to acknowledge the long-term fiscal benefits of Costco’s transition to plastic pallets, which will reduce Total Cost of Business over time. The iGPS pooling model keeps pallets moving smoothly through the supply chain with minimal waste. The plastic pallet initiative opens new doors in the supply chain, introducing wide-ranging and long overdue benefits, as well as new thinking and technologies to improve safety, reduce costs, and create lasting sustainability that is not achievable by continued use of wooden pallets. Working in close partnership with Costco, iGPS has successfully pioneered the creation of a completely new pallet pooling model … arguably the most significant change to happen in an industry that for far too long has been dominated by larger, less nimble competitors, who are far less willing to support change.

Pooling with iGPS plastic pallets is a fast way to implement continuous process improvement in the supply chain and lower total cost of business. To discover our program’s benefits, call 1-866-557-0184, email a specialist at [email protected], or visit our contact page.