A Critical Review and Survey of the US Wooden Pallet Industry: Focusing on Market Segmentation & N. American Trends

IRG/WP 11-40545

M H Freeman

This paper reviews the history and current and predicted future use values in N. America. Included in this work is historical data on rationality and wood species used to manufacture wooden pallets in the USA and an ongoing current market survey sent to the 1000 largest manufacturers and re-manufacturers in the USA based on SIC Code 2448(Standard Industrial Code Classification). Although CHEP, the largest leaser and re-manufacturer of pallets with 145 million pallets currently in their system uses the SIC Code 7359 with sales of $33 million dollars in their pallet leasing sector. Trends in the Industry include a reduction of use of hardwoods in the wooden pallet industry, with 20% of all hardwoods produced in the USA in 1982 going into pallet manufacturer and today less than 8 % of the hardwood annual production is going into the wooden pallet production. Also included in this work is discussion of combustion values of wooden pallets based on species and species mix as compared to hydrocarbon based (Plastic) pallets. Also discussed in this paper is the current trend in N. America for all multiple use pallets to be added biocide free.

Keywords: pallet, survey, market study, wood species, combustion, fuel value, plastic, specifications

Conference: 11-05-08/12 Queenstown, New Zealand

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