Wooden pallets have numerous disadvantages, but their affordable prices have kept alternatives off the market until recently. Generally, paper pallets can’t compete with wood because of their restricted availability. What’s more, their technical parameters leave only limited scope for replacing wooden pallets.
A feasible alternative to wooden pallets
“Currently, there’s significant demand for cheap paper pallets customisable to the terms of delivery, provided they are easily available and can replace wooden ones,” says Mihály Berkes, general director of GreenGlobePack Ltd, a partner in the EU-funded PPPL project responsible for communication. “Several million companies around the world want to reduce costs incurred by the transportation industry that services them and currently spends billions of euro in unnecessary fuel.” Of the millions of factories currently operating worldwide, the vast majority use pallets to transport manufactured products. These pallets are almost always bought from manufacturers or traders. With this in mind, and with a view to taking advantage of the market potential, project partners developed and patented a cost-efficient and heavy-duty paper pallet. They devised a compact manufacturing process for the individually designed and ISO-certified paper pallet that can be mass produced quickly in the form of a production line. “This is how PPPL – the paper pallet production line – was born,” notes Berkes.
Do-it-yourself paper pallet production line
PPPL is affordable for industrial players who use pallets in their daily business activities. It allows them to manufacture custom-designed pallets in an inexpensive and quickly recoverable way. “Our aim isn’t just to sell paper pallets; we’re also planning to sell the PPPL technology,” Berkes continues. “The main novelty of PPPL isn’t just the fact that it can be used to produce a novel paper pallet that’s better than existing ones, but it can also be purchased by industrial actors who manufacture their own pallets, saving them huge amounts in the long term.” PPPL offers several benefits and competitive advantages. “Unlike pre-manufactured wooden pallets that differ in quality, it’s possible to fabricate individual pallets that are adapted to the products manufactured by the factory,” explains Berkes. The permanent and reliable quality of paper pallets guarantees the transport of products free of any damage. The price difference between self-produced paper pallets and purchased wooden ones can range between 20 % and 50 %, depending on the quality. The operator can choose from a wide selection of cardboards for production. As a result, ideal raw materials for self-produced pallets can be found easily, resulting in significant savings. “In proportion to the quantity produced, in optimum cases, the payout period for the production line can even be 3 or 4 months,” he says. Producing the quantity of pallets needed at a given time is one of the biggest advantages of self-owned production lines. Pallet shipments no longer arrive late, nor do damaged pallets create delays. Users of paper pallets significantly contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution. “The environmentally aware use of materials is good publicity on its own, enabling the manufacturer to benefit from improved perception and acceptance,” concludes Berkes.
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