Why Do Pallets Matter in The Supply Chain?

Why Do Pallets Matter in The Supply Chain?

Read Time: 4 min. 

Pallets are the unsung heroes of the logistics industry. They help shippers lower costs, reduce breakage, and generally keep the supply chain flowing.

Pallets get all kinds of goods where they are supposed to be from, chemicals to consumer goods, fresh food, beverage alcohol, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, automobile parts—you name it. If you’re shipping quantities of goods from point a to point b, it’s safe to say that pallets are involved.

Why Do Pallets Matter?

Pallets make it easier for logistics providers to move goods from one place to another safely and securely. They make loading and unloading more efficient, and they stack well to optimize space in the warehouse. For ecommerce shippers and SMEs, palletizing goods helps reduce the cost of LTL as it enables them to ship more goods for less money.

But here’s the rub. Every industry on the planet has experienced massive disruption during the pandemic, and the pallet industry is no exception. Rising lumber costs, steel shortages (for nails), and a dwindling supply of wood treatments used to revive older pallets have led to a 400% increase in the cost of wood pallets.

When you consider other disruptive forces at work in the supply chain—container shortages, ships unable to enter ports, workforce shortages, and so on—it’s a perfect storm of complications that logistics companies must navigate on a daily basis.

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How Are Logistics Companies Affected by This?

With so much unpredictability in the supply chain, logistics providers find it challenging to manage their pallet inventory. Pallets are much harder to track these days. Even if pallets were equipped with RFID sensors to track them, knowing where they are might not help with immediate needs.

As the cost of pallets rises, most 3PLs pass on to the customer. It’s just one more reason why shipping costs are going up, and industry insiders suggest that the trend will continue well into 2022. Though lumber prices are starting to return to normal, we can expect to shoulder this burden for a while yet.

How DTS Helps

To combat the pallet crisis and other factors affecting costs in the supply chain, DTS is focused on doing everything we can to reduce costs and increase the integrity of our packaging. We monitor pallet prices constantly to ensure our customers receive the best possible rates and service.

To do this, we focus on palletizing, stripping, and hood-boxing.

Some items require a very specific packing approach, while others can be packed and handled to maximize space and convenience. We’ll consolidate, re-consolidate, or separate items as needed to ensure your cargo reaches its destination on time and as expected.

Any cargo that requires additional security is packed in wood-hooded boxes that are built precisely to measure. We are hands-on through every process, which allows us to minimize volume, reduce associated costs, and pass the savings on to you.

To learn more about how we help our customers succeed through logistics best practices, reach out today to request a quote. We’d love to tell you more about how we can help you grow.