In September 2018, an annual survey by Modern Materials Handling of companies using pallets to ship their goods revealed that the price of pallets is a top factor for CEOs and logistics managers shopping for pallets. This isn’t a surprise at all, of course; the cost per unit of a pallet has been the biggest worry of most logistics decision makers for as long as anyone has been keeping track. What did come as a surprise to many was that pallet strength finally tied with cost as the most important factor in pallet decision making for those surveyed.
Supply chain trends are part of the reason for this. Logistics systems are getting more efficient and relying on ever greater levels of automation. As a result, tolerances are tightening. Cheap but flimsy used wood pallets cause downtime and expensive machinery damage if they come apart in an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) or palletizer. Strong plastic pallets are more durable than wood pallets of any kind and ideal for the automated systems and high storage racks that maximize efficiency in modern logistics systems.