Posts Tagged ‘alternative packaging’

Corrugated Versus Wood Pallets: The Bottom Line Difference

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

There’s been a lot of talk lately about corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, many of which include cutting costs, product and packaging waste reduction, environmental sustainability and a push towards greener supply chains. GreenLight’s Twitter this week included a supply chain tip along these lines: replacing material, reducing packaging, eliminating steps, cleaner processes, and of course, improved efficiency.

According to a 2007 survey by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Packaging Digest magazine, 73% of 1,255 respondents involved in packaging stated that their companies were emphasizing sustainable packaging. In doing so, companies aimed to minimize their carbon footprint through initiatives related to transportation, alternative fuels, and packaging. Now, where does the pallet come in?

One of the easiest solutions for greening the supply chain is to choose recyclable, reusable and customizable pallets. More than two billion wooden pallets are used every year in the US alone – the equivalent of approximately one million acres of hardwood forest. Industries shifting to reusable and green non-wood pallets and containers are realizing substantial cost savings benefits, as well as reduced risk of damaged goods in transit, improved safety, reduction in waste disposal fees and elimination of wood-born pests.

palletWe’ve provided below a simple savings scenario in dry freight costs using corrugated versus wood pallets:

A 53 ft high cube trailer can hold approximately 48000 lbs of product and 30 wood pallets weighing 2100 lbs.

The weight difference between a 12 lbs corrugated pallet and a 70 lbs hardwood pallet in a truckload is 1740 lbs.

This 58 lbs per pallet-difference in LTL equates to one free truckload for every 27 truckloads shipped.

The bottom line: An average LTL cost of $.50/lbs, which includes fuel surcharge, creates a savings of $29.00 per pallet shipped.    Now that’s quite a difference.

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