Food manufacturers know the cost of a bad pallet. If a load of their products arrives at a retailer on a platform determined to be unacceptable in quality, manufacturers can expect fines from the retailer of anywhere from $5 to $25 per pallet. In some cases, the entire load may be rejected, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost products and wasted time. However, different retailers have different understandings of what constitutes a “bad pallet.” Understanding the top grocery chain pallet requirements makes it possible to minimize the risks associated with inadequate shipping platforms.
While the Consumer Brands Association (formally the Grocery Manufacturer Association) standards are a good place to start when it comes to breaking down what retailers are looking for, in many cases, the unique requirements of specific grocery chains will be much more stringent. That’s because a poorly packed pallet or one in poor repair can be indicative of damaged products and even potential contamination. And, as grocery retailers follow in the footsteps of warehouses and distribution centers by implementing automation, damaged pallets pose yet another risk because they threaten to jam and even damage automated systems. By establishing strict pallet standards, major grocery chains reduce the likelihood that they will accept unsuitable loads of products that could put their customers, employees, and equipment at risk.