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Alternative Materials Pallet Guide Provides Insight into Non-Wood Pallet Markets
alternative materials guide, plastic pallet, steel pallet, aluminum pallet, corrugated pallet, composite pallet, custom pallet, nesting, racking, export pallet
Date Posted: 11/1/2010
Since the Pallet Enterprise published its alternative materials (non-wood) guide last year, the alternative materials pallet market has not seen any notable growth. Some materials handling companies have even discontinued their pallet lines. However, the industry still offers pallets that meet a wide range of transport packaging needs. This guide is the most complete resource of its kind - a great tool to assist pallet companies in finding niche pallet products for specialty needs.
Plastic continues to hold its place as the leading alternative material offered by 66% of suppliers on our guide. Corrugated pallets have also held strong in second place provided by 28% of listed companies. Companies also offer pallets made of steel, aluminum, metal, and composite materials.
According to a number of suppliers, a major driver in the plastic pallet arena over the last few years is Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS), the all-plastic pallet pooler. iGPS has been purchasing a lot of pallets from various suppliers, being a strong source of new business in a pretty tough market for some manufacturers. At the same time, the flood of iGPS pallets into the general grocery pool and the illegal reuse of these pallets had reduced the number of orders for some other new and used plastic pallets.
As the tables in the guide show, there is a wide variety of alternative pallets available in the market place today. Designs include block-style as well as stringer pallets, two-way entry or four-way entry, from the standard GMA footprint to custom sizes. Dynamic strength may vary from as little as 250 pounds up to 30,000 pounds. Prices range from just $3 to $5,000. Many pallets are also capable of nesting and racking. At least 77% of the companies claimed to offer export/expendable pallets. Exemption from heat-treatment or fumigation requirements remains a major sales advantage for some alternative materials pallets.
Though most companies provide standard pallet styles, the emphasis on being able to provide custom pallets is increasing. Over 35% of the companies provide custom pallets and 18% list them as their primary pallet. Several manufacture pallets only to the unique specifications of each of their customers.
Pallets made of alternative materials, especially plastic, clearly have a niche in material handling and logistics. Reusable pallets, whether made of wood or other materials, are well suited for such applications as pools or closed loops as well as captive pallets used in warehouse racks, etc.
There are many different designs and molding technologies used for plastic pallets. Some are one piece construction while others may be two or more pieces that are fastened or locked together. Plastic pallets are available with various features, such as coatings or designs to increase slip resistance, features for containing spills, and more. Some also feature metal reinforcements. In addition, some companies manufacture plastic material by extruding profiles that can be cut or sawn like lumber and assembled in similar fashion as wood pallets.
No matter what you are looking for in terms of alternative pallet materials, this guide is the most complete resource to help you locate the right supplier to fit your needs.