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Stats About Pallets in the USA
More than two billion pallets are in circulation at any given time in the United States, according to industry analysts. Approximately 94 percent of consumer and industrial goods in the United States travel on a pallet at some point in their movement from the production or manufacturing plant to the facilities where they are distributed to the final customer.
The demand for pallets has been in an expansion phase. “The recovery of the US economy from its sluggish phase has led to an increase in hiring, production and sales activities,” says Raj Sharan, an analyst at market research firm Technavio.
These increases are driving demand for material handling activities and products, including pallets. The global pallet market will grow at a CAGR of 4.6 percent between 2014 and 2019, predicts Technavio’s Global Market Pallet 2015-2019 report.
There are other trends affecting the pallet industry. Changes in consumer purchasing habits, for example the growing popularity of small shops and direct-to-consumer sales, are influencing pallet sizes. More companies are concerned about the impact of pallets on the environment, leading to more attention to sustainability and reuse.
In food transportation, pallets with the ability to maintain a clean, contamination-free environment are attracting attention. In addition, several carriers are looking for technical capabilities that allow them to control the movements of pallets throughout the supply chain.
The pallet industry is also expanding into other supply chain-focused industry groups, including trucking and warehousing associations and government agencies charged with issuing pallet standards. With the proliferation of social media, misinformation about the environmental impact of pallets can spread rapidly. “As an industry, we have to dispel misinformation,” Meeks warns.
Identifying an optimal pallet solution starts with clear and comprehensive communication between the pallet supplier and the carrier. They both need to know how the pallets will be used, and in what warehouse system and business model they will operate.
For example, the appropriate solution for a closed-loop system – where pallets move from a company’s distribution center to its own stores and vice versa, all through a private fleet – will likely be different from the solution for a closed-loop system. in which pallets are moved from a company’s manufacturing plant to independent wholesalers and to a variety of other locations.