Wooden Pallets Still Booming in Europe
11 Jan 2015
Over the past few years, plastic pallets have increased in popularity. However, the latest data shows that this isn’t necessarily taking market share from wooden pallets. In fact, the market for wooden pallets – both new wooden pallets and used ones – is still booming within Europe.
The European Pallet Market
The latest information released by the Spanish ONS shows that in 2013 there was a 14% increase in new wooden pallet production: there were more than 41 million manufactured over the year. In addition, data put together by FEDEMCO indicates that there were 7% more movements of both used and new wooden pallets in that year compared to 2012. These figures are just for one country, but they show that the popularity of these types of pallets is still increasing and that they offer numerous benefits for the international trade sector.
The majority of these movements were of reused pallets, which shows that wooden pallets can be used effectively more than once. Around 69% of the movements of pallets that were not rented were reused by one of the sources along the route. 31% of the movements across the year were made by new pallets.
The recovery of pallets by specialist companies has also contributed to the increased use of wooden pallets throughout Europe. About 31 million were reintroduced in 2013 (the earliest available figures), which is up 7% from the previous period. This has enabled more wooden pallets to remain within the industry, increasing the numbers that are available for use. 41% of those pallets that were recovered were EPAL Euro Pallets. There were also 12% that were disposable, and the remaining 46% were other pallet types. This dominance of the Euro Pallets reinforces the popularity of this particular type, which has seen a growth in usage over the last year.
Reinforcing the ISPM15 Regulations
When wooden pallets are recovered and reintroduced to the market, it is an extremely cost-effective measure. However, it’s vital that suppliers and customers continue to ensure that the ISPM15 regulations are still being followed, especially when pallets are entering the UK from overseas. The regulations were brought into force to stop the likelihood of infestations occurring, and this can become more of an issue with international trade.
One of the ways of ensuring that this happens is for tree purchasers to get all of their stock from reputable nurseries. These suppliers will have stricter bio-security measures, significantly decreasing the possibility of pest infestations.
Pests can be a costly issue if they enter the UK system. A report issued by the Countryside Restoration Trust highlighted that the cost of pest invasions could be around £1.7 billion to the UK economy. Therefore it is essential that any risks are minimised as far as they possibly can be.
The international trade network is a key way for foreign species to enter the UK ecosystem. With the continued popularity of wooden pallets, it is in everyone’s interest to keep a check on pallets that are coming into the UK from abroad. This will help to keep the sector in good health and stop the risk of infestations affecting the UK market.