Reusable Packaging News September 2017 - Page 11

Reusable Packaging News

RPN

No surprise for the Australian market, 44% of respondent companies reported that the cost of pallets in purchase or rental was a concern. The biggest pallet problem reported by respondents has to do with pallet control, involving the management of pallet inventory and the loss of pallets (selected by 66% and 41% of respondents respectively).

Other concerns, in order of frequency, were:

• Safety

• Quality

• Availability when required

• Poor durability/pallet life

• Limited choice of suppliers

• Managing repairs of pallets

• Contamination risks

• Poor customer service from suppliers

• Variation in sizes e.g. EU standard preferred

• Pallet disposal costs

• Theft.

As the world’s most mature pallet pooling market, pooling dominates in Australia, with two-thirds of respondents saying they use rental pallets. Flexibility and purchase avoidance were cited as benefits of pooling, along with the elimination of repair responsibility. According to the report:

The downsides to the rental model were identified as the exposure to ongoing fees for lost pallets (80%), the total cost of pallet operations (48%) and a lack of transparency regarding costs (32%). Other less frequently selected issues associated with rental were the lack of control over pallet audits, theft of pallets, and the limited selection of pallet types.

Plastic pallets also were touched upon in the survey. Around 22% of surveyed businesses said they expected to expand their use of plastic pallets over the next two years as a result of customer requirements and regulatory mandates related to product and worker safety. Hygiene and avoidance of contamination were primary considerations favoring plastic pallets. Key concerns about plastic included rackability and strength. When questioned on the major disadvantages of plastic pallets, the cost was identified as the primary issue, while rackability was noted by 36% of responses as a concern, followed by repairability and load capability.

Rodney Dangerfield, circa 1972. No respect.

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