Inbound Logistics | May 2024

Bettaway Pallet Systems offers a traditional wood pallet service as well as a new online marketplace called Pallet Trader.


Market changes highlight the need for a strategic approach to pallet management. With innovative product and service option developments, pallet providers deliver on a wide range of customer demands.

T oday’s pallets have become the centerpiece of a crucial and rapidly expanding global market. Worldwide, pallet market size is expected to reach $110 billion by 2027 and was valued at $78 billion in 2020, according to the most recent report published by Statista, a global data and business intelligence platform. Demand for pallets is growing thanks to the ecommerce explosion of recent years, which has forced retailers and manufacturers to expand their warehouses and increase stocks, driving up the need for pallets in distribution centers across the globe. Wood pallets remain the most common, accounting for about 90% of the market.

Interest in plastic pallets is on the rise, too, because of increasing costs for wood, wire, and nails as well as worker shortages and other factors that offset their higher sticker price. “The volume of plastic pallets in the industry continues to grow as companies and end users look for a safe, sustainable, and consistent solution to move products throughout the supply chain,” says Alison Zitzke, senior product manager, ORBIS Corporation, which offers plastic pallets. Zitzke points to food manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and retail as verticals where plastic pallets have been increasingly adopted. “These industries continue to expand, which makes the

pallet market surrounding them grow as well,” she notes. Another factor impacting pallet use is inflation, which has caused product quantities and pack sizing to change. “Consumers are getting accustomed to, in some cases, spending more to receive less,” explains Jeff Pepperworth, president and CEO of iGPS Logistics, a plastic-based pallet provider. “We also see a stronger focus on efforts to reduce damaged products and reduce waste in the supply chain.” Demand is also on the rise for pallets that are automation-friendly. Pepperworth notes that wood pallets absorb moisture, which causes both their size and weight to change, and can have

60 Inbound Logistics • May 2024

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