Você está na página 1de 34

Overview of the US Pallet Industry

Marshall S. White, PhD


Director, Center for Unit Load Design
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State
University
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061 USA
mswhite@vt.edu
ISO TC51 Special Seminar
November 1, 2004 -- Seoul, Korea

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)


main campus. 26,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Eight
Colleges including the College of Natural Resources and the
Department of Wood Science & Forest Products.

Center for Unit Load Design


www.unitload.vt.edu

W.H. Sardo Jr. Pallet


& Container
Research Laboratory

Unit Load Testing


Laboratory

700 M2 of laboratory and office space.


Six full time staff and several students

Examples of On-going Research Projects of the


Pallet and Container Research Laboratory:
www.palletlab.vt.edu

Expanding the design capabilities of the Pallet Design System


(PDS) CAD program.
Developing chemical enhancements for wood and wood
composites used in pallets and containers.
Developing repair and recycling procedures for returnable pallets
and containers.
Studying the properties of wood from the tertiary recycling of
pallets and containers.
Studying the cushioning characteristics of pallets and containers
and determining how unit load bases interact with packaged
product during handling and transportation.
Evaluating the properties of plastics for use in pallets and
containers.
Comparing the performance of pallets fabricated from timber,
wood composites, corrugated fiberboard, honeycomb, plastics,
and metal.

Technical Assistance Programs Offered by


the Pallet & Container Research Laboratory

Maintenance of the Pallet Design System (PDS) software package


used throughout the world for selecting efficient pallet designs.
The Telephone/Fax pallet design service for those not using the
software in-house.
Evaluating the quality of fasteners used in pallet and container
fabrication.
Offering pallet, packaging, and unit load design short courses.
Contract testing programs to assist with new product development.
Drafting pallet and container product, performance, and testing
standards.
Publication of the Pallet & Container Laboratory bulletin series.
Off-campus lectures and instruction.
General technical assistance based on one-on-one contacts.

Beginning in 2004:
A new undergraduate program in
Packaging Science leading to a Bachelor
of Science Degree.
Future Plans Include:
A new graduate program in Packaging
and Logistics Science program leading
to Master of Science and Doctor of
Philosophy degrees.

Capability of conducting pallet testing according to ISO 8611 and ASTM D1185. Pallet
bending and creep tests can be conducted at high temperatures for plastic pallets.

The uniformly distributed airbag load applicator described in


ISO 8611-1 Tests 3a and 3b.

Inclined impact tests on pallet deck edges.

Inclined impact test of pallet blocks or posts.

Corner drop or diagonal rigidity test

Fatigue tests of plastic pallet posts at high and low temperature.

Vibration tests of pallet fatigue and load stability.

In the US, 1.9 to 2.0 billion


pallets are in use every day.

Annual Pallet Production in the U.S.


(millions of pallets)
New
Wood
Pallets

Repaired and
Used Wood
Pallets

Plastic
Pallets

Corrugated
Paperboard
Pallets

Metal
Pallets

Total

1995

411

125

3.5

1.0

0.7

541.2

1999

454

233

6.1

4.0

1.0

698.1

2004
(est.)

500

300

8.3

5.5

1.1

813.8

Common Pallet Sizes in the U.S.


Pallet Size

1996 Production
(%)

Industry Used

(inches)

(millimeters)

48x40

1219x1016

30.0

Food

42x42

1067x1067

5.7

Chemical

48x42

1219x1067

4.7

Chemical

40x48

1016x1219

4.0

Government

48x48

1219x1219

3.7

Chemical

44x44

1118x1118

3.5

Steel

40x40

1016x1016

3.1

Dairy

36x36

914x914

3.0

Beverage

48x36

1219x914

1.7

Paper

Many different pallet sizes and designs are in use in the U.S.

Most pallets in use in the US are designed


to meet the specific performance
requirements of the customer.
This is easily accomplished for wood
pallets using the Pallet Design System
(PDS), developed by the Pallet &
Container Research Laboratory at Virginia
Tech.

PDS is a computer model of a wood


pallet. This Computer Assisted Design
tool can be used to select the most
efficient wood pallet design for almost all
unit load supply chain logistic systems.
For more information about PDS,
www.palletcentral.com

The most common pallet used in the US.


48x40 inch (1219x1016 mm)
3 notched stringers, non-reversible pallet

The Chep North


America Pallet
Rental Pool is
currently about 90
million pallets

The Chep
North America
rental pallet is a
48x40 inch
(1219x1016 mm) ,
9 block,
perimeter base
wood pallet

The US Wood Pallet Industry in 2000


Total US New Wood Pallet Manufacturers
& Recyclers

3031

Percent Manufacturing New Pallets Only

44%

Percent Manufacturing New and Recovering


47%
Used Pallets
Percent Recovering Used Pallets Only

9%

Estimated Volume of New Solid Wood


(Lumber, Cants, and Parts) used by the US
Pallet & Container Industry (M3x106)
12
10
8
Non-Coniferous
Coniferous

6
4
2
0

1992

1995

1999

In 2000, The Wood Pallet Industry was


Operating at 58% of Capacity.
Average Daily Production

Number of
Pallets

Average daily production of new and used


wood pallets per firm, per shift

1337

Average daily production capacity of new


and used wood pallets per firm, per shift

2321

Typical Wood Pallet Manufacturing Sequence

Non-coniferous hardwood cants


(Eastern US) or coniferous
softwood dimension lumber
(Western US)

Stringers are notched

Lumber is
cut to
length

Short lumber is
ripped into pallet
parts

Assembly using nailing machines


or pneumatic hand-held loads

Typical Pallet Repair Process

Damaged pallets for


repair

Broken components are


manually replaced

Damaged parts are removed or pallets are


disassembled

Stringers can be repaired using metal


connector plates

Severely damaged pallets


are ground up for mulch

Companion stringers
may be used to repair
broken stringers

Very few wood pallets become solid waste

Typical U.S. markets using plastic


pallets today

Automotive and Supplier Industries


U.S. Postal Service
Dry Grocery and Produce Industries
Meat Processors
Beverage & Beverage Container Industries
Pharmaceutical Industry
Warehouses using captive pallets

The Market Share of Plastic Pallets in the U.S.


According to the Manufacturing Process

Process
Thermoforming
Singlesheet
Twin-sheet
Structural foam molding
Injection molding
Rotomolding
Blow molding
Profile extrusion
Compress. Molding
Total

Number of
Units
(millions)

Avg. Pallet
Weight
(kg)

Total Mass
(millions Kg)

0.75
2.0
2.5
0.25
0.25
0.1
0.1
0.1

9
14
18
18
23
11
23
20

6.8
27.3
45.5
4.5
5.7
1.1
2.3
2.1

6.05

95.3

Plastic Resin Used to Produce Plastic


Pallets in the U.S.
Polyethylene

99%

Polypropylene

0.5%

Other Resins

0.5%

Automotive
Industry

U.S. Postal
Service

U.S. Dry Grocery


Industry

48x45-inch
(1219x1143 mm)

48x40 inch
(1219x1016 mm)

48x40 inch
(1219x1016 mm)

Structural foam
injection molded

Twin sheet
thermoformed

Twin sheet
thermoformed

U.S. Industry Standards for Pallets


U.S. industry
standard for wood
pallets (general)

Pallets, Slip Sheets, and Other Bases for Unit Loads


ASME/ANSI MH1 Parts 1 to 10
www.asme.org

Electronics Industry

Electronics Industry Pallet Standard EIPS-2000


1200x1000 and 800x1200 mm
http://packaging.hp.com/eips

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry shipping Pallet Guidelines


1200x1000, 1300x1100, 1140x1140 mm
International Association of Packaging Professionals
www.iopp.org

Automotive Industry

Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) RC-8


Single and Multiple Use Container System
Guidelines
www.aiag.org

Pallets and Trade with North America

The 1100x1100 is a poor fit to the U.S.


warehousing and distribution system.
The 1200x1000 is a good fit to the U.S.
warehousing and distribution system.
The U.S. will require compliance with the
International Standard for Phytosanitary
Measures ISPM #15 beginning September 16,
2005 for all imported solid wood packaging
material.

For more information regarding pallet


manufacturing in the U.S., contact:

The National Wooden Pallet & Container Association


(NWPCA) www.palletcentral.com
The Canadian Wood Pallet & Container Association
(CWPCA) cwpca@canadianpallet.com
The Reusable Plastic Container and Pallet Association
(RPCPA) of Materials Handling Industry of America
www.mhia.org
The Reusable Pallet and Container Coalition
http://www.rpcc.us