Revolutionary Pallet Offers Best of Both Worlds.

SaN Pallets introduces a distinctly NEW Plastic Pallet that incorporates the advantages of wood and the economy of plastic. Historically, buyers and end users have had to choose between heavy expensive plastic pallets with full runners or lighter nesting pallets without runners. Today, SaN features a remarkable line of pallets that has full runners and ALSO nests for economic return.

With our patent pending design, SaN Pallets offers the first pallet with this dual personality. At 27 pounds light, it holds 2400 pounds and returns nested 2.1 to 1 for efficient economic use. This pallets’ life-cycle trip cost is under $2.00 compared to average per trip cost of over $3.00 for other plastic pallets. This is a revolutionary “CROSS-OVER” pallet that retains ALL the safety advantages of full-window frame runners, conveys on ANY roller system and NESTS for economic return trips.

U.S./Canada pallet makers prepare for ISPM 15

The following is from the 16 March 2011 edition of the “American Shipper”.

Many U.S. wood pallet makers say they are ready for requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that will require all wood pallets moving between the countries to be treated in line with international
standards against wood-eating pests.

“It’s coming,” said Bruce Scholnick, president and chief executive officer of the Alexandria, Va.-based National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, in an interview. “Heat treating is a well regarded and effective instrument against non-native invasive species.”

The elimination of the U.S.-Canadian bilateral agreement on wood pallets was a key topic at the NWPCA’s annual conference in late February. “Our members are prepared,” Scholnick said.

On Dec. 2, 2010, APHIS proposed regulations to remove an exemption that allows wood packaging materials from Canada to enter the United States without first meeting treatment and marking requirements that apply to these materials from all other countries. The agency said the action is needed to prevent the introduction and spread of pests via wood packaging materials from Canada.

In 2004, APHIS amended its treatment regulations for imported wood packaging materials, such as pallets, crates, boxes, and blocking and bracing, to correspond with standards established by the International Plant Protection Convention’s International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) 15. This standard requires these materials to be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and marked with the approved IPPC symbol.

APHIS said the less restrictive requirements for Canadian wood packaging materials were initially based on the premise that U.S. forests share both a common boundary with Canada and, to a reasonable degree, the same forest pests. However, a recent agency risk analysis found there are unique forest
pests and pathogens to Canada that have the potential to be introduced or reintroduced into the United States via the movement of untreated wood packaging materials.

Among the pests of concern for APHIS in the U.S.-Canadian cross-border trade are the brown spruce longhorned beetle, European oak borer, emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, European woodwasp, the fungus Ophiostoma tetropii, and vascular wilt.

CFIA agrees with APHIS on a need for a “harmonized approach” to ending the exemption from ISPM 15 on wood packaging materials moving between Canada and United States.

While APHIS has yet to set its final implementation date for the rule ending the ISPM 15 exemption for Canadian wood pallets, the agency said there will be a period of “informed compliance.” During this time, wood packaging material that is not treated will be allowed to enter. However, the carrier will be notified that the materials will be required to comply once ISPM 15 is fully implemented, which is expected after a period of 32 months, Scholnick explained.

“What is important for shippers to know is that during the ‘informed compliance’ period, if insect infestation is found, loads will either be refused or treatment required prior to entering,” said Gary Sharon, vice president of Litco International. “For companies shipping back and forth between Canada and the U.S., now is the time to convert to ISPM 15 approved export pallets and other packaging to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.”

It is the association’s hope that eventually the federal government will require all pallets — both those engaged international and domestic commerce — meet the ISPM 15 standards. “APHIS needs to make the global standard the only standard, which would help get rid of these various state quarantines that currently affect the pallet industry,”

Plastic pallets 101

“Plastics!” If you’re old enough to remember “The Graduate,” plastics was the one-word piece of career advice offered to Dustin Hoffman after college graduation.

Things may not be quite that dramatic in the pallet industry – wood is still by far the material of choice for pallets by most shippers. The last time Modern surveyed its readers, fewer than 9% were using plastic pallets. But the interest in plastic pallets is clearly growing.

In part, that interest is the result of regulatory concerns in the food and beverage industry as well as a highly-publicized product recall by Johnson & Johnson that was blamed on a chemical treatment used in wooden pallets produced overseas. “Companies in the food industry, especially the agricultural industry, are converting to plastic because of FDA regulations.” “Plastic is non-porous, so nothing will seep in to contaminate the pallets, and they’re washable.” When hygiene counts, plastic has real advantages over wood.

And in part, renewed interest is being driven by the plastic pallet pooling system. The pool allows end users who can control their assets to rent plastic pallets on a per trip basis that’s comparable to wooden pallets. “We are seeing some organic growth, but the companies that are converting from wood to pallet are participating in a pool.”

Ergonomics: As a general rule a plastic pallet weighs less than a comparable wooden pallet designed to handle the same load. That can result in fewer lifting-related back and shoulder injuries.

Safety: Plastic pallets are not only washable, there are no nails, splinters or wooden shavings that can damage product or injure an employee.

Long life: While some wooden pallets have delivered years of service, they will have been repaired multiple times over that period. The expense of repairs has to be factored into the overall cost of using wood pallets.

Sustainable: Like a wood pallet, plastic pallets can be recycled at the end of their useful life. Are they green? Wood pallet manufacturers will argue that plastic pallets are a byproduct of petroleum and treated with flame-retardant chemicals, making their green bonafides suspect. Plastic pallet manufacturers will argue that wood pallets are the result of cutting down valuable hardwood forests, are also sometimes treated with noxious chemicals and can transport pests and bacteria. We’ll let end users sort through those arguments with their in-house sustainability experts. Depending on your corporate priorities, both wood and plastic have pluses and minuses when it comes to sustainability.

Still, there’s a reason that plastic remains a niche option for pallet users: A plastic pallet is significantly more expensive than a new or used wood pallet. “If you can’t control your assets return that plastic pallet into the supply chain, you can’t justify the difference in price between a wooden pallet and a plastic pallet.” And, if your pallets don’t turn very often, you may not see a return on investment.” Likewise, if you need a rackable pallet, plastic pallets can be reinforced with steel, but they’re costly if they’re not part of a pallet pool.

Where, then, do plastic pallets fit? Here are some factors to consider:

Closed loop supply chain: Whether you own your plastic pallets or participate in a plastic pallet pool, you have to control the asset to make it work. It’s one thing to lose a $10 wooden pallet; it’s another thing entirely to lose a $35 – or more – plastic pallet. Beverage manufacturers, for instance, will use plastic pallets for direct to store delivery, where they can pick up an empty pallet when they drop off a pallet of new stock.

Inside the four walls: While most pallets are used to ship product across the supply chain, pallets are also used for strictly internal processes. Examples include slave pallets that are used for storage or captive pallets used for storing work-in-process between manufacturing processes. In those situations, a plastic pallet can deliver a longer life than wood. Likewise, a number of retailers prefer plastic pallets to wood for their in-store floor displays.

Automated systems: Since plastic pallets are highly-engineered and manufactured in a mold, they are more consistent than even new wood pallets. That makes them ideal for automated storage and conveyor systems. Since there are no deck boards to break or stringers to collapse, they are less likely to fail during use and stop the line. 

Whether those benefits will justify the added expense of a plastic pallet will be determined by individual users’ processes. “Each customer’s economics are different.” But what it usually comes down to is how many times you can turn the pallet during the year. If you’re turning your pallet one or two times a year, plastic will have a hard time competing. If you’re turning that pallet 4, 5 or 6 times a year and you can control you’re supply chain, it gets more interesting.”

Steady growth trend for plastic pallets

When it comes to specialty pallets for niche applications, there are more money-saving pallet alternatives than ever.

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor, Modern Materials Handling 
September 01, 2010

When it comes to versatility and cost, wood, plastic and steel pallets are still the kings of the hill when it comes to the materials used for pallet construction. Together, they account for more than 90% of the pallets on the market.

Still, increasing freight costs, new export regulations, and growing concerns over product contamination have pallet users looking for alternatives to traditional pallets.

“All of our major customers, especially in the food packaging and pharmaceuticals industries, are asking how can we replace wood,” says Ron Lanier Jr., sales and marketing manager for Sonoco Transport Packaging. “They’re concerned about contamination, the cleanliness of the facility, and the ergonomics of handling 60-pound pallets.”

The good news is that there are more proven alternative pallets on the market today than at any time in the past. Let’s be clear: None of these products is as versatile or as economical as a wood pallet in all applications. They are niche products. But, in the right application, they are one more tool in the materials handling toolkit. Here are four examples of alternative pallets currently available:

Coated foam pallets: For manufacturers shipping high-value products, like consumer electronics, by air freight or even by sea, the freight cost of shipping a heavy wooden pallet with a load may exceed the cost of the pallet. Enter Airdex, which manufactures a lightweight, high-performance pallet from coated foam material that is popular with some name-brand manufacturers of computers.

The pallets cost around $25 in volume, depending on the size of the pallet, or about three times the cost of a wooden pallet. However, it weighs just 7 pounds and can support a racked load of 2,300 pounds, a dynamic load of 3,600 pounds, and a stacked weight of 12,000 pounds. “We’re taking between 25- and 30-pounds of weight out of a typical palletized load,” says CEO Vance Seagle, who patented the technology used to make the Airdex pallet in North America.

The weight savings alone is enough to justify the cost of the pallet on one use, and some customers have a pallet recovery program in place to get multiple uses from their pallets, Seagle says. The pallets can be produced anywhere there’s a nearby foam plant. “Our machine fits in 40-foot container,” Seagle says. “If you want a pallet in Botswana near a foam plant, I can set up a machine that will turn out 17,000 pallets a month.” Airdex is working with AT&T to introduce a pallet equipped with a battery-powered GPS transponder that will communicate its location in real time as the pallet moves through the supply chain. “We will be able to provide the world’s first real-time tracking of a pallet, regardless of where it’s located and without passing through an RFID portal,” Seagle says.

Corrugated, plastic and composite pallets: For the past five years, Sonoco Transport Packaging, a global packaging company with more than 300 facilities in 33 companies, has been researching and developing a line of five alternative pallet solutions that includes corrugated, plastic and composite materials. Each was developed for a specific situation, ranging from a corrugated sheet with two split corrugated cores (tubes) to accommodate lift truck forks designed to handle bulk bags to a high-performance corrugated pallet that can support 2,800 pounds in an open rack to plastic pallets to composite engineered-wood components (blocks and lead deck boards) that add strength and durability to a traditional wood pallet. The real selling point to all of these products, says Lanier, is that Sonoco can bring a customer’s products into its packaging test facility and design the right pallet and industrial packaging for that customer’s needs. “We can evaluate the different pallets and packaging available and design a total system for their product,” says Lanier.

Presswood pallets: One of the first users of the Inca presswood pallet from Litco International in North America was the postal service. The pallet, manufactured from wood fibers and synthetic resins and molded into shape under high heat and pressure, has no moisture content that can be absorbed by paper products. Today, the pallet is popular for export because it’s guaranteed to be free of bugs, bark and mold without any further treatment.

“Many people think that heat treating a pallet is enough to make it mold resistant for export,” says Gary Sharon, vice president. “While that may be enough to kill insects, it’s not enough to kill mold for export.” Because the pallets are nestable, they also save space over conventional wood pallets. More than 1,000 Inca pallets will fit on a truck, compared to 500 wooden pallets, and 50 pallets stack 7 feet high, compared to about 17 to 20 wooden pallets. For companies with sustainability programs in place, Inca pallets have been cradle-to-cradle certified as sustainable.

Plastic pallets gain ground in an eco-conscious world.

Publication: Plastics Technology
Low-cost wood is still king, but plastics’ reusability is a growing attraction among manufacturers looking for sustainable material-handling options. The one major hurdle is today’s high resin prices.

The iconic wood pallet remains an omni-present force in transportation, distribution, and storage of manufactured products throughout the world. Its pre-eminence has been dictated largely by cost, but plastic pallets continue to make inroads because of their durability, reusability, and light weight. Plastic pallets made by injection molding, structural foam, thermoforming, rotational molding, and compression molding are gaining acceptance in a range of markets including foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, groceries, automotive, and the U.S. Postal Service.

The difficulty and cost of wood pallet disposal has always been a concern, but today’s focus on the environment is fueling a renewed interest in the plastics alternative. Reusability is a major attraction. Several plastic pallet makers have capitalized by coming out with low-cost versions that compete favorably with wood. One method of holding down costs is to use recycled resin and scrap regrind. Also favoring plastics are international regulations that require treatment of wood to reduce pest migration in export pallets. Meanwhile, the industry’s first plastic pallet “pool” system has been launched. These RFID-enabled pallets play to plastics’ reusability, making them more economically feasible on a cost-per-trip basis.

“The sustainability issue is front and center and has given plastics an advantage,” asserts Bill Mashy, general manager of the materials handling group for injection molder Rehrig Pacific Co., Los Angeles. “But at the end of the day, it ultimately has to he the economics; I haven’t seen where industry will sacrifice economics for sustainability.”

Many observers envision plastic pallets playing an even larger role as companies adopt greater levels of automation in their warehouses. Greater automation requires repeatability and reliability, and plastics’ tailored designs and consistent dimensions and weights offer a distinct advantage over wood pallets, which are vulnerable to splintering off shards and pulling apart as nails loosen.

Material Handling Headlines

Stricter Wood Pallet Regulations Expected
02/26/2010

Stepped-up U.S. regulations on pallets and other wood packaging are likely on the way, though it’s unclear when, industry officials say.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture set the wheels in motion in August, asking for feedback on ways to reduce the risks of spreading insect pests that hitch rides on wood packaging. The public comment period ended Oct. 26, and potential rule changes remain under consideration, according to the USDA.

“We are reviewing comments and considering the next steps,” Alyn Kiel, spokeswoman for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said.

Bruce Scholnick, president of the Alexandria, Va.-based National Wooden Pallet & Container Association, says it’s only a matter of time before new rules are adopted.  “I’m convinced it will happen,” Scholnick said.  He said the USDA is moving “too slowly.  These critters are going to keep moving, and we can’t stop them,” Scholnick said.

There are about 1.2 billion wood pallets in use in the U.S., according to the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association.  Businesses that make, sell and repair the pallets generate about $5 billion revenue a year, Scholnick estimates.

The USDA aims to halt the spread of pests, primarily the emerald ash borer and the Asian long-horned beetle, that hide in wood packaging shipped from state to state. These insects pose “a serious threat to U.S. agriculture and forests,” according to a USDA statement prior to a series of public hearings that began last fall on the issue.

Options under consideration include requiring wooden pallets used in the U.S. be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide.  Another option would require pallet pooling. Under a pooling system, packaging companies lease pallets to interstate shippers while retaining ownership of the individual pallets and employing “rigorous inventory tracking and management,” according to the Aug. 27 USDA statement.

Read the full story at: thepacker.com

Wood Pallet Safety

By Arnold Anderson, eHow Contributor
According to the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, more than 1.2 billion wooden pallets are currently in use in the United States. Worker safety, public safety and workplace safety all may rely on the proper use and storage of wooden pallets at one point or another. Though you may easily take wooden pallets for granted, failing to follow the proper safety procedures for handling pallets can cause worker injuries and even danger to the public.

1. Cleaning
          In 2009, the FDA established a potential contamination link between pallets and the food products they carry. Over time, a wooden pallet can pick up contaminants from the plastic wrap used to secure products, or bacteria from the products themselves that can grow and get into new products packed with those same pallets. Clean pallets before each use, even if the pallets look almost brand new. Follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for scrubbing pallets clean and help prevent bacteria from getting into the food transported by your company.

2. Stacking
          Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how high your company can safely stack pallets. Prior to adding a pallet to a stack, check the pallet over to make sure it remains in good condition. If it requires repair, take care of those repairs before forcing the pallet to take on the weight of a pallet stack. If a pallet has sustained damage beyond repair, set it aside for proper disposal and do not allow it to become a workplace hazard. Improper pallet maintenance and stacking can cause worker injury.

3. Fire
          Wooden pallets carry the potential for a fire hazard. Keep wooden pallets away from areas of high heat, and far away from manufacturing areas that produce sparks and other fire starters. Do not stack pallets near hot water pipes or any other hot piping. Prohibit smoking around pallet stacks in the workplace. Even a wet pallet can burn.

Read more: Wood Pallet Safety | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5729154_wood-pallet-safety.html#ixzz1FNP207MJ

Plastic vs Wood Pallets, what to consider when calculating ROI

How to calculate ROI when considering a transition from wood to plastic pallets…

  • How much is your monthly purchase of non plastic pallets?
  • Do you use refurbished pallets? What are your monthly repair costs of non plastic pallets?
  • What is your monthly cost of damaged product due to broken non plastic pallets?
  • Determine your monthly cost for lost hours due to work injuries from non plastic pallets, this includes anything from splinters to back issues from employees lifting and moving wood or metal pallets by hand.
  • Determine monthly cost of hours associated with purchasing/warehousing, receiving/freight transportation for expendable non plastic pallets.

When you add these numbers up you will get a total monthly cost of expendable non plastic pallets.

Next determine the proper pallet for your application. You need to come up with the one time cost of your warehouse-use plastic pallet.

Payback calculation is done by dividing the acquisition cost of plastic pallets by monthly cost of non plastic.  The resulting number is the number of months it will take for you to get your return on your investment.

Product Information

Specifications

Dimensions: 48″ long; 40″ wide 5.5″ tall
Weight: 27 pounds
Capacity: Dynamic load 2,400 pounds

Static load 7,500 pounds: Not edge rack-able

Features

  • Full window frame runner
  • 4 way entry
  • 42 pallets nest in a column 97″ tall
  • 1,260 units fill a 53ft truck

Notes

  • FOB Dayton Ohio.
  • Two samples are available on request.

Patent Pending