Inbound Logistics | May 2023


“They don’t have to operate a pallet supply chain within their supply chain,” Pepperworth says. “Our customers and their partners can leave the pallet issues to iGPS so they can focus on what they’re good at.” PLASTIC PALLET PROS DELIVERS CUSTOMER SERVICE ALONG WITH PALLETS Plastic Pallet Pros began eight years ago as a division of Robbins Resource Management, a wood pallet supplier for more than 25 years. Over the past several years, the company has ramped up the plastic offerings for pallets, crates, totes, collapsible bins, and other materials handling products. The company is also a stocking distributor for many other manufacturers. The company prides itself on customer service, which was the impetus for its formation in the rst place. “When we began looking for plastic pallets, it was a struggle to receive the level of service that we’re used to providing our customers,” says Sam Dunham, director of operations. “We saw an opportunity to service accounts and companies the way that we would expect to be serviced.” Part of that focus on service is being exible and creative for customers. As a distributor, Plastic Pallet Pros offers value-added services, such as stocking pallets for customers and providing warehouse space and services as needed. “We have the ability to providing services

product that we might manufacture,” Dunham says. “It may take leveraging two or three different relationships to provide the right solution for that customer.” OFFERING A BUYBACK PROGRAM AND OTHER SERVICES Plastic Pallet Pros offers a buyback program for damaged pallets to support recycling, so customers get credit toward replacements. Other services include sorting and repair and may expand to repairing and washing pallets. “In a multi-trip environment, the plastic pallet can last up to 200 trips compared to six or eight for a wood pallet, so the cost per trip is much less for the plastic option,” Dunham says. Also, wood pallets require more management and handling, ordering new ones to replace damaged units, cleaning up wood chips in the warehouse, and potentially dealing with damaged products. As pallets move from the warehouse to the retail oor, the customer experience is another factor in favor of plastic pallets. “There’s an advantage to sending your product to your customers on a pallet that will keep it from being damaged and provide the right impression on the retail oor,” Dunham says.

Consistent pallet dimension is another factor that supports warehouse automation. Plastic pallets are typically dimensionally consistent with close tolerances in terms of external dimensions and weight. Wooden pallets may be out of dimension by a fraction of an inch, which could foul automated equipment, leading to shutdowns and product damage. “With the asset able to maintain a certain size and weight, it can ow more easily through these automated systems,” Pepperworth says. SPURRING PRODUCT INNOVATION iGPS has followed its own advice, building a highly automated, vertically integrated environment to manufacture pallets. In-house manufacturing helps spur product innovation, such as a new generation of pallets that are stronger and easier to pick up with forklifts. “We will continue to push innovation to nd ways to reduce waste, reduce movement, and ultimately have an asset that can outperform in the supply chain,” Pepperworth says. Shippers of all sizes can take advantage of plastic pallets for their own reasons, such as automation, sustainability, safety, or ergonomics. The exibility of pool programs, both public and private, allows users to outsource that aspect of their operations. “We work with the biggest retailers and some of the smallest retailers and CPG companies, so with iGPS, it’s not just a single solution our customers are looking for,” Pepperworth says. “Our customers are discovering new solutions using our pallets that we haven’t thought about.” For example, consumer packaged goods manufacturers that ship products to retailers rely on iGPS to manage that pallet supply chain and the relationship between the trading partners. Pooling helps shippers simplify and take costs out of the supply chain.

source solutions from multiple companies, so we’re not tied to one so we’re not tied to one

Plastic Pallet Pros ensures its plastic pallet meets the demands of each customer’s specific application, budget, and timeline.

78 Inbound Logistics • May 2023

Powered by