This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The changing face of pallets
Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
The changing face of pallets
by Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of Goplasticpallets.com, United Kingdom
he milling industry hasn’t had it easy this year. Excessive rainfall in the UK, severe frost in the EU and prolonged periods of drought in the US have had a dramatic effect on crop growth, driving up the cost of grain and flour along with it. According to the Foreign Agricultural Service’s report produced in September by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), wheat production in Europe dropped from 137.4 to 132.4 million metric tonnes/ hectares during this year’s harvest. The National Farmers’ Union has also reported a sorry story for the UK, with wheat yields down 14.1 percent on a five-year average – the lowest seen since the 1980s. With the price of grain at an all-time high, protecting product throughout the logistics supply chain has never been more important. Whether transporting product from food processor to retailer or shipping goods abroad, pallets play an essential role in the milling supply chain. In terms of milling wheat, the industry relies on plastic pallets for transporting its bagged flour from the mill to independent local bakeries and in-store supermarket bakeries. Each pallet will typically carry a fraction over a tonne of product – either 65 x 16 kg flour bags or 40 x 25 kg flour bags, and once palletised, they will be loaded onto a lorry to its 24-26 tonne limit to ensure optimum supply chain efficiency. In Europe alone, there are approximately half a billion pallets in circulation every year, a large percentage of these are wooden pallets, however, the popularity of plastic pallets has soared in recent years due to
18 | november - december 2012
their superior hygienic properties, their long life and their reliability for exports. We’ve noticed more than ever before that greater awareness of the importance for maintaining hygiene and safety practices throughout supply chains is driving pallet purchasing decisions. However, it’s not always been that way.
The humble pallet
The invention of the pallet is a relatively recent innovation made for the shipping industry, the first pallet appearing in the United States in the early 20th century. The earliest referenced patent is Howard T. Hallowell’s 1924 ‘Lift Truck Platform’, a simple skid that consisted only of stringers fastened to a top deck. During World War II, the development of the pallet really took off with the increasing need to ship goods and arms. Palletised loads could handle more goods with fewer people, freeing up men for military service. The introduction of the wooden pallet spelled a new era for the shipping industry and it wasn’t long before a standard pallet size was adopted. Wooden pallets became the main stay for the shipping industry, but in recent years they have fallen on harder times.
Hard times for wooden pallets
Historically wooden pallets have always been cheaper than plastic, but rising timber costs could change that. The government’s introduction of subsidies that reward power firms for burning biomass, including wood, has driven up the price of timber. As a result, the price of British-grown timber has risen in five years from £30 to £50 per tonne and the Department of Energy and Climate
Change has forecast that biomass could push up the price of wood to £114 a tonne in the near to medium term. The rising price of timber has already had a knock-on effect on the cost of wooden pallets with customers refusing to buy new ones and overtime could start to affect availability if biomass escalates at the rate predicted. Biomass is not the only threat to wooden pallets. In recent years, the hidden dangers of using wooden pallets for transporting food have been exposed by The National Consumer League (NCL), following scientific tests in the United States. In May 2010, the NCL examined 140 wooden and plastic pallets stored behind grocery stores. Approximately 33 percent of the wooden pallets showed signs of unsanitary conditions where bacteria could easily grow and 10 percent tested positive for E. coli, which can cause food poisoning. Even more alarming is that 2.9 percent tested positive for the potentially deadly bug Listeria, which causes 2,500 illnesses and 500 deaths annually in the United States. Last year, the safety of wooden pallets came under scrutiny in the pharmaceutical industry where they were found to be the cause of product contamination incidents in the EU and the US, costing one drug manufacturer more than $900 million in one year alone.
Putting hygiene first
Although the milling industry would have once used wooden pallets for transporting bagged product, many have now switched to plastic pallets, primarily because of their superior hygienic properties. Speaking to one of the UK’s largest food
&feed millinG technoloGy
‘One show, once a year…endless opportunities’
January 28 - February 1, 2013, Atlanta, USA here is nothing quite like IPPE. The integration of three internationally recognised trade shows brings suppliers and buyers together for education, technology exchange and networking encompassing the entire spectrum of farm to table.
IPPE continues to expand year after year and in 2013, with the addition of AMI’s International Meat Expo, it is expected to be the largest expo yet. In addition, as attendees provide feedback on various educational programme needs, IPPE has added additional proWhat is your role at IPPE? With so many industry graming to meet those needs. I am one of three points of con- shows, why should The Pet Food Conference was tact for the International Production people attend IPPE? and Processing Expo, who also The show offers a unique added six years ago to address the include Dr. Charlie Olentine, U.S. opportunity for attendees to net- needs of pet food and pet food This year, the combination of Poultry & Egg Association and Anne work with others in the feed and ingredient manufacturers. Today the the International Feed Expo (IFE), Halal, American Meat Institute. grain industry, to see the latest tech- Pet Food Conference is a premier the International Poultry Expo (IPE), Olentine and his team focus on the nological developments first-hand, event addressing the regulatory issues and the American Meat Institute’s International Poultry Expo part of and to meet with the designers and impacting today’s pet food industry. The American Meat Institute International Meat Expo (IME) will IPPE; Halal and her team focus on technical staffs behind these new and USPOULTRY are both focusattract over 25,000 attendees from the International Meat Expo and I, developments. ing on education programmes that over 100 countries and over 1,100 along with the staff at AFIA, focus exhibitors. What are product is enic of meet they are also considered producers, in their opinion woodon the International Feed Expo. pallets are areas and for transporting finishedyou going to type will pallet,the needs of their specific While the IPE focuses on poul- environment. a no brainer. The plastic pallets we recom-at IPPE? industries, bringing us together tono make sure you do by many to be the safest, as there are not food-safe in a preparation tryBringing a wood palletthe IME bakery could the themes manufactured would encourage peoplenails, sharp edges or splintersuncover new of and egg producers and into a What are mend are of I from the highest to visit exchange ideas and and no risk solutions parts breaking free under meat processing, the IFE is designed IPPE? go quality food grade virgin Tech XChangemateri- the Newcomponent for our businesses. This the or recycled as well as loose spell disaster as wood chip could easily forunnoticed in product petthe health, legal and als and A Year… Products area.legislations. XChange lifting conditions and causingaudimanufacturers of feed, – food, ‘One Show, Once comply with EU safety The Tech manual consolidation allows our core injury feed ingredients and equipment. Endless Opportunities’ sums it up will provide 20-minute to operatives. economic consequences could be immense. For flour bags, a plastic pallet with an openeducational ence and the suppliers that partner In same to for transporting well. With three partners this year, presentations from exhibitors Theadditiongoes the mammoth the finished flow-through top deck will offer the best grip on new with them to visit fewer shows, and 400,000 square feet trade show, there are endless opportunities for products where mould,TheANew get more investment product. Metal nails in wood pallets can easily but has no internal cavities and services. worthwhile out of their time away there will also be a loose and burst a attendees in all the feed and protein Product Showcase is an area where fromhygiene and offices. safety are work themselves full education bag of flour dust and other contaminants can collect, so Although their plants or food programme withspoil a whole pallet load. It only it can be easily cleaned by hand have posters highlighting sessions in English, sectors. exhibitors will or with an key priorities for food processors and which could Spanish and Portuguese. for the More inforMation: The IPPE automated system. takes a tiny tear to make a flour bag unsalable. offers one location for new product and technologiesmanufacturers, cost will always remain a GFMT caught up with in food preparation Wbsite: any purchasing decision. Plastic pallets are feed, poultry and meat industries. Using plastic pallets Sarah the feed industry to network, learn not only the most hygi- major factor in www.ippe13.org
Novak, vice president, membership and public relations, American Feed Industry Association, USA to talk about her involvement with the event.
about and see the latest in new technology. The three combined expos offer an unprecedented opportunity to access a dynamic purchasing audience, key decision makers and international customers from all segments of the industry.
How has the IPPE changed and developed?
ATEX LEvEL swiTch
The capacitive proximity switches in the DOL 40R series are now available with ATEX approval for use in areas with constant danger of dust explosion.
• • • • •
Designed for detection on grain, feed and granules Zone 20 approved - for use inside bins and hoppers With integrated amplifier and change-over relay Reliable and resistant Easy to mount
Tel. +45 72 17 55 55
48 | november - december 2012 Grain feed millinG technoloGy
Grain november - december 2012 | 19 feed millinG technoloGy
The initial investment in plastic pallets is always going to be higher than wooden pallets; however, taking into account the extended working life of plastic pallets they are not only future-proof but offer excellent long-term savings. In a normal handling and loading scenario plastic pallets have a life span often exceeding ten years – up to 10 times longer than a wooden pallet, and at the end of their long working life they can be recycled, so it will always pay in the long run to invest in plastic both economically and environmentally. Of course pallets are only reusable if
About the author
Jim Hardisty is the founder and Managing Director of Goplasticpallets. com, the UK’s leading independent supplier of plastic pallets and containers. After 18 years working in the logistics sector and six years in the pallet industry, Jim set up Goplasticpallets.com in 2001 to facilitate the supply of plastic pallets to businesses in the UK. Eleven years on, Jim has signed exclusive partnerships with a number of pallet manufacturers across Europe, allowing the company to establish a comprehensive and competitive product range. More inforMation:
Telephone: +44 1323 744057 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.goplasticpallets.com
20 | november - december 2012
they find their way back to their rightful owner and losing pallets in the supply chain is a problem for the milling industry as it is for industries across the board. The UK logistics sector could learn from Europe’s attitude towards user owned and managed pallet pools. In mainland Northern Europe businesses – either as individuals or groups – are purchasing plastic pallets and setting up their own pallet pools to directly benefit from the strength and long life of the product. I believe that this model of ‘user owned and managed plastic pallet pools' should be deployed by businesses elsewhere to help them maximise their return on investment, including in the milling industry, and we are offering to meet with businesses in the UK to offer our expert advice and explain how this model could work for them. There are other methods that can be used to limit pallet loss. Several food processing companies we are working with in the UK are using plastic pallets printed with their company logo to make them more easily identifiable. Coloured pallets are another option. Many of our plastic pallets come in a variety of colours for orders over 500 units, and those ordering from our Hygienic pallet range can choose from one of 84 two colour options.
Convention which was introduced to address the need to treat wood materials used to ship products between countries to stop the spread of wood pests. Current requirements are limited to movements into the EU or out of Portugal, a known pinewood nematode area. If these changes go ahead, there will be major implications for the European
"Using plastic pallets is the only way to avoid the costly implications of ISPM 15"
pallet and packaging industry, as it will have to extend its heat treatment capacity to include all wooden pallets produced in the EU. Failure to use the correctly treated and certified wooden pallets will cause delays and extra costs at the port of entry. Using plastic pallets is the only way to avoid the costly implications of ISPM 15 as they are completely exempt from heat treatment regulations. And since exporters have similarly been affected by this year’s poor wheat harvests, with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service report documenting wheat supplies in most major exporting countries to be down 15 million tonnes from last year, they will be looking more than ever at reliable methods for export.
For exporters, there are other issues to be aware of when moving goods internationally. Earlier this year it was announced that the European Commission is considering increasing the ISPM 15 to include all movements of wooden packaging material within the EU. The ISPM 15 is an International Phytosanitary Measure developed by the International Plant Protection
&feed millinG technoloGy
This igital e-print s art f he ovember ecember 012 dition f rain eed d R i p o t N |D 2 e o G &F Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on www.docstoc.com.
• See the full issue
In this issue: •
Delivering world class roll chill technology and service Managing mill maintenance 2012/13 company profiles
November - December
The art of a modern miller
working with wheat, cereals, grains and … plastics and metal
Visit the GFMT website Contact the GFMT Team Subscribe to GFMT
The changing face of pallets
an ever growing aspect of the Indian food processing industries
A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891
To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove.
INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE
All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more information on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: email@example.com or visit www.gfmt.co.uk/reprints
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.