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Articles appearing First In The Pallet Profile Weekly

By Staff Writer
Date Posted: 2/1/2000

Pallet Profile Weekly
Front Page News

Appeared First In The Pallet Profile Weekly

Pallet Pallet – The End is Finally Here!

Back fence discussions about Pallet Pallet,its past dealings through its wholesaling division, and the future of thecompany have been widespread. Any casual visitor to the Pallet Board — theInternet discussion site for the wooden pallet industry that we established atour Web site, www.palletenterprise.com — is aware how deeply feelings run.

People have been saying for a long time thatthe demise of Pallet Pallet is imminent. Well, the year is ending, along withPallet Pallet.

Although details about the shut down of PalletPallet are sketchy, some facts are known at press time. One of the reasons givenin the past for optimism was the fact that most of Pallet Pallet’scompany-owned manufacturing and recycling operations reportedly have beenprofitable. While the company was bleeding red ink for a variety of reasons,individual locations could have run profitably on their own. (PalletProfile, Dec. 24, 1999)

Internet Bids Slated for Pallet Contracts

FreeMarkets, the company that conducted acompetitive bid over the Internet for pallets to be supplied to Quaker Oats Co.,is lining up electronic auctions for a couple more pallet-using clients in early2000.

FreeMarkets is planning Internet bidding forpallets for Owens Corning Jan. 27-28 and for Honeywell on Feb. 9. Owens Corningis looking to award a one-year contract to purchase pallets worth about $30million. Honeywell is looking to award a three-year contract to buy about $5million worth of pallets annually.

Pallet suppliers that participate in theprocess enter bids over the Internet via special computer software supplied byFreeMarkets. The process allows officials from the company that is awarding thecontract to receive and view the bids as they are made.

Pallet suppliers that want to participate mustgo through a screening process that is overseen by FreeMarkets. (PalletProfile, Dec. 24, 1999)

New EPA Regs Would Scrutinize Lead in Nails

The Environmental Protection Agency hasproposed a regulatory change that potentially could impact both nail suppliersand pallet manufacturing businesses. The EPA proposal could force companies tojump through more, costly hoops.

Under current regulations, companies that usecertain amounts of various toxic chemicals and metals in their productionoperations must file reports that are used to notify local communities.

For example, companies that use 25,000 poundsof lead are required to file reports. The EPA has proposed lowering thisthreshold to a mere 10 pounds of lead.

The figure applies to lead that is containedin other metals, like steel. "Anybody that uses a normal steel, and uses 83tons annually, will be obliged to report" under the rule change because ofthe lead content in steel, explained Kimberly Korbel, executive director of theAmerican Wire Producers Association.

According to our estimates, 83 tons of steelwould be the equivalent of three truck-loads of pallet nails. A good many palletcompanies use at least that many nails in a year. (Pallet Profile, Dec.17, 1999)

Fire Code Compliance Urged for Plastic Pallets

The National Association of State FireMarshals has issued a safety alert bulletin urging compliance where plasticpallets are used.

The association is especially concerned aboutthe use of noncompliant plastic pallets in so-called ‘big box’ discountretail stores and warehouse environments.

Plastic pallets made with commodity plastics,polyetheleyne and polypropylene, ignite readily when exposed to flame. They meltquickly and form a liquid pool fire, which is difficult to extinguish. Firecodes and regulations require a commodity class upgrade when using standardplastic pallets, which can require costly sprinkler suppression system upgrades,cut-off rooms and other warehouse restrictions.

The organization of fire marshals is seeking the cooperationof affected industries to determine the nature and scope of the potentialhazard. The group wants companies to contact their local code enforcementofficials. (Pallet Profile, Dec. 17, 1999)

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