Wooden pallets, over the years, have been known to be a massive contributor to deforestation. The reality, however, is slightly different. Timber pallets require the harvest of special natural resources for sure, but most manufacturers are making their practices as sustainable as possible to ultimately work towards an eco-friendly planet. This is done by way of planting new trees for every 1 harvested and by using softwood instead of hardwood. Businesses, in general, are constantly looking for opportunities that can help them become more efficient, and that surpass the requirement to only lower overhead and streamline processes to meet a commitment to sustainability at the end of the day.
The Responsible Nature of Pallet Timber:
If you’re thinking about moving wood around via plane, road, or rail, you will require pallets. Made of different materials, including plastic, the best (and most durable) type of pallet is definitely wood. As a natural resource that grows out of the earth and requires only sunlight and water to flourish, wood is one of the most eco-friendly resources you can ever lay your hands on. Some of the factors that show how responsible pallet timber is for the environment include:
- Forest Sustainability: Standing today, around one-third of the U.S. is forested, and there are almost 20% more trees now than what was nearly fifty years back. Through several sustainable management practices and drives pertaining to wood as a renewable resource, more than 1 billion trees end up being planted in the U.S. each year. This means that even when wooden pallets reach the end of their lifecycle (which they do after a few years), virgin pallets can be derived without leaving any negative impact on the environment.
- Job Growth: If we look at things from a different perspective, we will see that even beyond the broad range of environmental benefits that the usage of wooden pallets gives us as part of the supply chain, there are several economic advantages to the same as well. As per a study by the Center for Manufacturing Research in 2018, the wooden container and pallet industry in the U.S. has generated an economic impact of around $31 billion in economic activity. Directly or indirectly, the sector has also affected 173,000+ jobs over time.
- Positive Carbon Impact: This is one feature that has been overlooked over the years, especially when we talk about the types of pallets to use to lower the company’s carbon footprint. However, if you think about it, you will see that every time wood pallets are chosen over plastic or other materials, less carbon is emitted to the atmosphere. Once the pallet has reached the end of its lifecycle, it is repurposed to fuel, which ultimately reduces the requirement for natural gas, thereby adding to the reduced carbon impact in the atmosphere.
- Recyclable: The best part about pallet timber is that it can be recycled several times and used in several ways. To think of it, around 95% of wooden pallets are repaired after recovery and recycled. When, after several recycles, the pallets reach the end of their lifespan, the worn pallets are disassembled first, and the components are sent to create new materials. This ultimately means that wooden pallets can be used even after their life cycle is over!
Increase in Pallet Timber Price List:
Even during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the European Pallet Association ensures that there is a ‘smooth flow’ of goods in the logistics world and that there have been more than 600 million EPAL Euro pallets used. Due to the constant demand and the lack of material, there has been a continuous increase in the purchase prices of pallets in the past year. Now, since the wood cost is over 70% of the price of a wooden pallet, the price of the pallet inevitably increases. As per the United Fresh Produce Association, the shortage of wood and lumber products has ultimately increased the cost of raw lumber by 200% to 350% and is also increasing the cost of wood pallets. The fundamental causes of this increase include:
- The high demand for wood by China and North American construction markets
- The reduced supply of wood due to the pandemic
- The adverse weather events hindering the supply of wood
- The increase of other raw material prices (such as nails)
- The lack of trucks for the transportation of pallets
Since wood prices are constantly changing every 15 days, the price of wooden pallets is also changing, and the best way to deal with this situation is to stay updated with the regular changes. Timber Exchange offers you an excellent market data hub which includes indexes specially meant to track such pallet industry data. Subscribe to the platform for details.