Nailing supply chain issues with reusable plastic pallets
The last two years have been turbulent for supply chains across Europe. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders and restricted movement across the continent. While supply chains have started to bounce back, there is now a new challenge impacting the transportation of goods – the reliable supply of wooden pallets.
Wooden pallet prices have been volatile for some time, as we discuss in our blog Achieving stability in a volatile wood market. However, now there’s a new block in the road, and that’s the shortage of nails. These small and inconspicuous fasteners are causing big problems for wooden pallets production; and, ultimately, on the supply chains.
According to the German trade group, Federal Association of Wooden Packaging, Pallets, Export Packaging (HPE), approximately 90% of nails required for pallets are manufactured from Russian steel. The war in Ukraine and the subsequent European trade sanctions against Russia, have affected nail supplies and created a shortage. This is significantly impacting the construction of wooden pallets.
Each Euro pallet requires approximately 80 nails, and while these could ultimately be sourced from elsewhere, it will take time to firstly, adapt existing machines to any new type of nail and secondly, to import the new nails. For example, importing steel from Asia could be an option, but the delivery time would be roughly six to eight months.
So, how can you avoid the instability of the wooden pallet market and operate a reliable supply chain with minimal disruption? That’s where long-lasting, high-quality, reusable plastic pallets and containers can provide the answer. And when they are pooled, further supply chain efficiencies can be achieved.
Improve reliability with reusable plastic pallets
Using reusable plastic pallets instead of wooden ones ultimately means you can protect yourself from the fragilities associated with wooden pallets and benefit from more stable operations. They are a more sustainable and reliable carrier, so you can keep your supplies flowing smoothly.
Reusable plastic pallets are built to last. They are strong, durable, and can be used time after time; without breaking down or splintering. In fact, a reusable plastic pallet has an average lifetime of 10 years! And since they do not need nails to hold them together, they are more capable of resisting the challenges of material shortages associated with traditional wooden pallets.
Not only do reusable plastic pallets enable you to shield yourselves from the volatilities of wooden pallets, but when it comes to sustainability, they can help you improve your environmental impact. At the end of their service life, the pallets are fully recyclable, which prevents waste and helps conserve energy and save natural resources. All material is re-manufactured to make new pallets and crates. Additionally, by using these stronger and sturdier containers, you help preserve the quality of goods and prevent their waste.
Simplify your supply chain with pooling
Pooling also enables you to improve efficiencies through the supply chain further. In essence, you are ‘renting’ the pallets, which enables you to better control your budgets. You don’t have the high costs associated with purchasing, administering, and maintaining them, and you can protect yourself from any fluctuating costs due to supply issues associated with wooden pallets. By pooling rather than purchasing you can react quickly to change, and remain flexible and agile to limit any disruption. You can concentrate on other parts of your business operations.
Simplifying your supply chain is easy when you work with pooling companies like Tosca because we can manage your pallets for you, making them available when and where you need them. We are the largest pooler of reusable plastic pallets in Europe, with over 55 service centers, and ensure pallets are always accessible to you at the right time and in the right place.
Get in touch with us to find out how we can help protect you from the instability of the wooden pallet market and simplify your supply chain https://www.toscaltd.com/contact.