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An article published in The Guardian on Tuesday 26th February 2019 titled ‘Unpalatable news? UK faces pallet crisis if there is a no-deal Brexit’, explained how the UK is facing a shortage of the “right sort” of pallets to import and export goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

By the “right sort” of pallets the article is referring to heat-treated, ISPM15-compliant wooden pallets, something that is not currently required for the 3 million pallet movements between the UK and he EU every month. The government are now entering talks with UK distributors to discuss how to keep distribution flowing, with a focus on the movement of household goods and the consequential threat of food shortages.

A message from Andrew Phillips

“Whilst a paper pallet or shipping crate might sound insignificant to those who are unfamiliar with the concept, and unfortunately something that suffers from a mis-association with cardboard, the use of paper, glue and honeycomb structures is not something be sniffed at. Home-grown UK-based manufacturers such a PALLITE® have developed strong, lightweight, ISPM15-exempt and sustainable pallets and pallet boxes to address issues such as those outlined in the article. PALLITE® pallets and pallet boxes are experiencing adoption in supply chains in many sectors including FMCG, food, automotive and pharmaceutical amongst others.

With all the capabilities of ISPM15-certified wooden pallets and the capacity to increase current UK supply without increasing prices, these award-winning innovations could be a significant contributor to the pallet crisis threat being discussed next week with the government.

There are significant benefits to be had by exporters in addition to of ISPM15-exempt too by using a PALLITE® pallet or pallet box. Logistics professionals are all too aware of the fact that space plus weight equals cost, and our honeycomb-cell pallets look to save in both elements. Add to this climate change, which is a global problem from which the logistics sector is not immune, and it’s easier to see why there is a growing movement away from traditional wooden pallets and shipping crates towards lighter and more environmentally-friendly alternatives that also save money.

Alternative pallets started to be circulated as far back as the 1960s when the first plastic pallets entered UK supply chains. But why is it that almost 60 years later, we are still relatively unprepared for the present-day eventualities?

The talks that will take place next week will hopefully give some reassurance to UK distributors but it is fair to say that whilst efforts can be made to meet the demand for traditional heat-treated, ISPM15-compliant wooden pallets and shipping crates, the time has come to focus on alternatives PALLITE®’s paper pallets and pallet boxes offer a significant contribution to resolving the issue – for the immediate future and beyond.

This is not just about a no-deal Brexit – this is the near future. Pallets are not going to be a commodity forever, any more than an internal combustion engine is. The world is changing and there is pressure on businesses to change too. Dirty heavy pallets will not be acceptable for long. This is an incredibly easy problem to fix but the alternatives are in limited supply.”