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Industry experts discuss various topics of interest to the wood packaging industry. Learn what these thought leaders have to say on several issues, and share your comments.


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Top tags: pallet  market  industry  lumber  mulch  recycle  renewable  supply  wood  business  Canada  Costco  crating  custom  energy  engineered  environment  fasteners  forestry  global  green  housing  prediction  research  reuse  softwood  technology  tools  upcycle 

Predictions for the Global Pallet Market 2015-2019

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A recent in-depth study conducted by Research and Markets, one of the world’s largest and most respected market research companies, has revealed that there are some exciting times ahead for the pallet market. The report covers the global pallet market from 2015 until 2019. Undoubtedly, the outstanding statistic contained within the research report is the prediction of growth within the pallet market of an astonishing 4.57%.

The Evolution of the Global Pallet Market

The pallet industry as a whole has certainly witnessed a vast array of changes over the past fifty years. The materials used and innovative techniques employed in the pallet manufacturing process continue to evolve. Vendors are still investing heavily in research and development in order to produce pallets that satisfy a number of criteria, including being recyclable, friendly to the environment, cost-effective and durable. Of these qualities, it is a pallet’s durability and overall strength which is currently considered as the most crucial. This is because end users want to be able to use pallets on multiple occasions within the supply chain process rather than just for a single trip.

This shift in pallet demand towards multiple use has had a knock-on effect in other areas. With pallets now been used more than once, the instances of damage are also naturally on the rise. This unfortunately leads to overall supply-chain costs mounting too. As a result, vendors are now focusing their attention on developing pallets of the highest quality in order to meet the ever-increasing demands of clients.

Predicted Growth for the Global Pallet Market

Much of the predicted growth for the pallet industry over the next four years can be attributed to the recovering global economy. After a number of years when the financial stability of the world economy was uncertain at best, the outlook is now much brighter. With the majority of the financial superpowers now out of recession, consumer spending has begun to increase. In particular, the housing sector has been the recipient of a welcome boost, with the knock-on effect being that the construction industry is now on a more solid foundation. A rise in activity in the construction industry has naturally led to a surge in demand for pallets.

With activity in the housing and construction sectors now on the rise, demand for other associated products, such as durable goods and accessories, will also increase. Again, this can only be good news for the global pallet industry, as the demand for logistics services grows ever stronger.

Although the continuing shortage of raw materials is forecast to pose a major challenge to the industry, the outlook for the global pallet market as a whole over the next few years remains very positive.


Associated Pallets offer a wide range of wooden pallets and are currently working with businesses all over the UK to improve their logistics and supply chain processes.

Tags:  global  market  pallet  prediction  research 

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Market Commentary: Fasteners

Posted By Jim Boyd, Monday, September 21, 2015

Comments from Universal Fastener Outsourcing, LLC for PalletCentral July-August 2015

“The pallet crating market is changing toward fastening with screws,” commented WC Litzinger, managing partner and owner of Universal Fastener Outsourcing. He further explains: The main reason is the increased demand for environmentally friendly products that are inherent with repaired and recycled pallets. For containers, screws offer more flexibility when you have to unscrew a lid to inspect the shipment, and then reclose it. We see more manufacturing end-user customers request more screws because it saves time with fewer damages to the wood packaging. It’s a good idea to be proactive and address this issue with your customers as an option on all your orders. They’ll appreciate that you offered them a choice before they have to ask.

Jim Boyd, sales and marketing, continues with comments on market trends: We’re seeing growing demand for high load, large coils (900 per coil of screws). More companies want these to use in "Mounted Tools" where high volume projects are made. For example, if you wanted to make 10,000 of something rather quickly and more efficiently using screws, this would save huge labor cost giving you a lower production cost, adding more profit to a company’s bottom line.  

Another trend for pallet and crating market customers was noted by Boyd: There is the increase in requests for approval reports, similar to those we receive from Virginia Tech. We see this in subfloor and shear wall applications in the construction industry by the International Building Code and the International Residential Code as well. Our customers want assurances that our products are consistently made with high quality materials that have been tested, and approved, by the experts. 

(Written exclusively for PalletCentral, July-August 2015)

Tags:  crating  fasteners  market 

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Supplier Market Commentary

Posted By John Lieber, Monday, July 27, 2015
Updated: Monday, July 27, 2015

Custom-engineered tooling provide an opportunity for pallet manufacturers and recyclers to expand their bottom line by increasing machine utilization with alternative tooling. Historically, standardized pallet sizes have been the foundation of the stringer pallet industry, but block pallets and custom pallet opportunities have taken the lead. Pallet usage for custom-sized pallets is already half of the market. As this business segment matures those working in this market are seeing opportunities to not only increase custom pallet sales but also consider products in ancillary markets to increase sales and profits.

Pallet customers that buy tools to be used on their machinery for either manufacturing or repairing pallets have found new markets in industries that may need ‘non-pallet’ wood parts. As a result they use their standard machinery and add custom tooling utilizing their machinery more. Some of these ancillary markets include fruit and vegetable wood box parts, specialty stringers requiring non-standard notches, custom matting for railroad crossing applications, bedding, mailbox posts and assorted stakes.

Profile Technology's business model for supplying custom engineered tooling for our customers to increase sales and profits is evolving. We help our customers make their operations more efficient. Our standard inventory products continue to sell well as we are able to show our customers cost per cut evaluations. Our focus continues to be centered on providing our customers with efficient and practical custom engineered tooling, and that keeps changing with our customer needs to meet new markets or optimize their plant efficiency.

(Comments published for the July-August 2015 edition of PalletCentral magazine.)

Tags:  custom  engineered  technology  tools 

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Lumber Commentary

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 23, 2015

By Todd Askew, Mill Sales Biewer Lumber

Over the past 7-8 years, Biewer Lumber has seen significant changes in the softwood market that have greatly impacted the landscape from a buying perspective. Operating four sawmills right in the heart of red pine country—two Michigan mills and two in Wisconsin – Todd Askew, mill sales at Biewer Lumber, identifies two key factors that are impacting the market:

1) Offshore business is important, but not as much as domestic demand.

  • Overseas destinations, China most importantly, have a great impact on the market.
  • Softwood lumber exports are down through 2015 Q1.
  • Domestic housing starts are expected to top 1 million units, a level that should be able to support more available material.
  • The slow start to housing in 2015 was largely weather driven; pent up demand should sustain the market well into the fall.

2) The Canadian/US Exchange rate has encouraged US buyers to import, but this could change.

  • Canadian softwood manufacturers have been getting a better return by shipping to the US because of the 120+% exchange rate.
  • The “Softwood Lumber Agreement” between the two countries is applying a tax on Canadian shipments, payable by the mills.
  • So far the advantageous exchange rate has outweighed any applied tax.
  • The tax is likely to increase. It is based on a rolling average of the Random Lengths Composite Price. In 2015, expect to see the tax be brought up to its maximum level.
  • Some Canadian producers may see a reduced return in shipping the US because of this.

(written for PalletCentral July-August 2015)

Tags:  Canada  housing  lumber  softwood  supply 

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Recycling Timber & Construction Mats

Posted By Kipp Marstall, Friday, July 10, 2015

Market for Crane Mats?

This post is to begin a discussion on the Crane Mat market, submitted by industry colleague interested in  timber mat recycling. Please share your comments/opinions below.

"I was curious as to if anyone has tapped into this market before or if anyone had any insight on the topic. There seems to be a lot of excess decommissioned mats out there that just get burned or thrown in landfills. I would like be more green at the same time possibly make some profits. Shredding these oversized pallets to mulch or biomass seems to be best answer."

Tags:  business  industry  mulch  pallet  recycle  renewable  wood 

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Pallet Industry Report

Posted By Administration, Monday, January 19, 2015

Submitted by Amy Angellotti, Rose Pallet

Our account manager, David Sexauer, explores the wooden pallet shortage and its impact on the quality of pallets in circulation in an article he authored entitled, “Is This the State of Affairs?” Below is an excerpt from this pallet industry report:

Many pallet manufacturers and recyclers will tell you that the 90’s were their best overall years in business, though their numbers began to level off when the market became more equalized after enough consecutive years of whitewood, CHEP, and plastic competition. It wasn’t until the mid-2000’s that the real challenges to the industry occurred. During a “normal” pallet cycle, companies that primarily buy used or reconditioned pallets would bolster their inventories by purchasing new pallets during their high shipping season (October – December). This influx of pallets would help replenish the pool for the following year and give life to the recycling industry. As the economy took a turn for the worse, many companies skipped out on their annual splurge of buying new; instead, opting for more reconditioned pallets. The most severe case occurred in 2008 when virtually none of these companies bought new pallets relative to prior years. This skip in the cycle caused a ripple effect that depleted a pallet pool already feeling pressures.

In January 2011, Costco, one of the largest purchasers of new whitewood pallets in the United States, decided to forgo buying stringer pallets and elected to go with CHEP, the rental block-style pallet. Without the large quantities of new pallets to replenish the recycled market, the downward spiral of the pallet life-cycle worsened. In addition to Costco, many other companies sought out standard #1 and high-grade #2 pallets. This high demand and low supply became a recipe for disaster. In order to compensate, manufacturers were forced to keep pallet cores in the overall pool much longer than before and continually recondition these pallets as much as possible, which ultimately lowered the quality of #1’s and #2’s into something virtually recognizable.

Click the "Download file" below for a full copy of this article to learn how market conditions and the quality of pallets are slowly improving and what your company can do to help the process and, in turn, drive down costs.

Amy Angellotti, Director of Sales & Marketing and Co-Owner, has over 9 years of experience in the wooden pallet industry. She has dedicated her career to serving the pallet management needs of Fortune 100 and 500 companies, both at regional and national levels. Currently, she focuses on national growth, building relationships, and developing new accounts. Amy also assists in running day-to-day operations and works closely with the sales team. Amy holds a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, attending Chicago Blackhawks games, and painting.

David Sexauer, Account Manager, is a seasoned sales professional with experience in various industries including medical, education, and information technology. His primary focus is developing regional and national pallet management programs for his customers across the country. David enjoys interfacing with clients throughout the supply chain; this helps him to better understand challenges and effectively respond with the right solutions. During his free time, David participates in and follows various athletic events, plays piano, and recycles.

Download File (PDF)

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Costco  industry  market  pallet 

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Common Myths About Forests And Lumber

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 17, 2014

By Mitchell Kamps, Kamps Pallets 

Companies that rely on products harvested by the lumber industry continually face criticism for perceived bad environmental practices. But do the construction, flooring, and pallet industries contribute to deforestation or the degradation of wooded areas and other ecosystems? carbon cycle Here are two questions we routinely hear about lumbering and the manufacturing of lumber-based products:

Doesn’t lumbering destroy forests and soil?

Forests in the United States are managed entirely differently than they were in the past when clearcutting rebuilt the city of Chicago after its great fire. Instead, Reduced-impact logging, or tree-specific logging, can reduce carbon emissions by up to 30%. As a result, America’s commercial forests are actually growing, even with lumbering and loss to tree diseases or insect predators. We now have more trees in our national landscape than we did at the end of World War II.

Currently forest acreage in the United States numbers 751.2 million acres, but the nation’s privately owned forest reserves are actually more endangered by agricultural or residential development than by clearcutting. On government-owned land, lumber companies pay to replant trees after they are done cutting to ensure a constant replenishment of trees and the continuation of ecosystems. Foresting and protecting biodiversity do not have to be conflicting goals. Lumbering businesses understand that without a continuous supply of trees to harvest, they will be out of business. They are highly incentivized to maintain healthy and productive forests.

Isn’t wood a less environmentally friendly building material than plastic, cement, or brick?

Wood is a renewable resource and requires a limited amount of energy investment to use. In terms of air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, it’s the best choice. It weighs significantly less than steel or cement, so it can be transported using less fuel. Processing lumber into furniture, flooring, or pallets does not require complex chemical processes with toxic byproducts. Unwanted wastes created by lumbering and wood-products manufacturing can easily be used for mulch or wood pellets. In fact, wood pallets themselves are made from the unusable trims of milled logs. While plastic products are often useful and can be environmentally friendly, wood products often have a lesser environmental impact.

The supply of wood used by wood-product industries is continually being renewed, and scientists understand better every day how we as a society can leave less of an impact on our lands and forests. Remember: wood is a natural product used by man for thousands of years for any number of purposes. In many ways it’s an ideal material. Frankly we should be using lumber for more purposes in our society, not less.

Tags:  environment  forestry  lumber  renewable  supply  wood 

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Wondering How to Recycle a Pallet? Here are Five Easy Ways

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 17, 2014

By Steve Yelland, J.F. Rohrbaugh Co., Inc.

You’ve been working with pallets for years. You’ve bought them, re-used them and repaired them, meeting the demand for outbound shipments. Over time, you’ve accumulated pallets that simply can’t be used and are taking up space in your yard. Hesitant to send them to the landfill in a dumpster or, worse, let the pile grow in your yard? Don’t sweat it: there are multiple ways to recycle wood pallets, all of which are environmentally clean, financially sound, and helpful for others.

  1. Energy Recovery. For anyone with stores of pallets leftover during the winter, burning pallets for heating purposes is a great way to conserve energy costs and make use of old pallets. Be careful, though—avoid burning pallets that have been chemically treated, because the toxins released can be harmful to both you and the environment. Most pallets are heat-treated rather than chemically treated, so burning normally isn’t a problem.
  2. Landscape Mulch. Natural mulch is one of the best uses for recycled pallets. In addition to emitting a pleasant earthy smell in a garden, mulch helps seal in moisture for growing plants and protects them from extreme temperatures. Pallet mulch is completely organic, meaning it decomposes naturally and even looks nice in a garden — natural reds and browns complement greenery much better than inorganic mulches.
  3. Soil Enhancement. While mulch is used more for landscaping, it can also be used to enhance soil in green spaces. Naturally colored mulch is used in forest pathways and backyards to protect soil from harsh weather conditions and moisture, which keeps it healthy, regardless of whether it’s clay-based or light, earthy soil.
  4. Wood Particleboard. Many pallet recycling plants separate the pallets from the metal nails, creating wood chips ready-set for a second life as furniture, walls, or even more pallets. Particleboard is a dense type of engineered wood created from compressed wood chips and is often used to create inexpensive wood furniture—think of IKEA as a prime example.
  5. Compressed Wood Pallets. Certain manufacturers have designed new styles of pallets made from particleboard: they’re lighter, more ergonomically designed, and just as sturdy as regular pallets. They’re also exempt from ISPM 15 regulations because they’re created using glue, heat, and pressure.

Bonus: Interior Design. “Shabby chic” is in, haven’t you heard? Pallet sofas, pallet shoe racks, pallet bedframes, and pallet shelves have skyrocketed in popularity. A popular pastime for frugal or DIY designers, it’s possible to strip apart a pallet and create an entire living room set out of it. See Pinterest for details.

There’s no reason useable lumber should wind up in a dumpster. Even if your pallets have lived a good life and are now beyond repair, to simply throw them out without first considering green options would be a financial and environmental mistake. There are plenty of options that lie comfortably between the extremes of the trash can and allowing the pile of discarded pallets to consume space in your yard: it’s just a matter of which route you choose.

As President of J.F. Rohrbaugh Co., Inc., Steve is a well respected strategic visionary who continues to focus on upholding the company traditions and values that have made the family business successful since 1880.

Tags:  energy  green  mulch  pallet  recycle  reuse  upcycle 

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