The changing face of pallets


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The 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.

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The changing face of pallets

  1. 1. Digital Re-print - November | December 2012 The changing face of palletsGrain & 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 ofinformation published.©Copyright 2010 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any formor by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872
  2. 2. FEATUREThechangingface ofpallets by Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of, United KingdomT he milling industry hasn’t had it their superior hygienic properties, their long Change has forecast that biomass could push easy this year. Excessive rainfall in life and their reliability for exports. up the price of wood to £114 a tonne in the the UK, severe frost in the EU We’ve noticed more than ever before near to medium term.and prolonged periods of drought in that greater awareness of the importance The rising price of timber has already hadthe US have had a dramatic effect on for maintaining hygiene and safety practices a knock-on effect on the cost of wooden pal-crop growth, driving up the cost of grain throughout supply chains is driving pallet pur- lets with customers refusing to buy new onesand flour along with it. According to chasing decisions. However, it’s not always and overtime could start to affect availabilitythe Foreign Agricultural Service’s report been that way. if biomass escalates at the rate predicted.produced in September by the United Biomass is not the only threat to woodenStates Department of Agriculture (USDA), The humble pallet pallets. In recent years, the hidden dangerswheat production in Europe dropped from The invention of the pallet is a relatively of using wooden pallets for transporting137.4 to 132.4 million metric tonnes/ recent innovation made for the shipping food have been exposed by The Nationalhectares during this year’s harvest. The industry, the first pallet appearing in the Consumer League (NCL), following sci-National Farmers’ Union has also reported United States in the early 20th century. entific tests in the United States. In Maya sorry story for the UK, with wheat yields The earliest referenced patent is Howard 2010, the NCL examined 140 wooden anddown 14.1 percent on a five-year average T. Hallowell’s 1924 ‘Lift Truck Platform’, a plastic pallets stored behind grocery stores.– the lowest seen since the 1980s. simple skid that consisted only of stringers Approximately 33 percent of the wooden fastened to a top deck. During World War pallets showed signs of unsanitary conditions With the price of grain at an all-time II, the development of the pallet really took where bacteria could easily grow and 10high, protecting product throughout the off with the increasing need to ship goods percent tested positive for E. coli, which canlogistics supply chain has never been more and arms. Palletised loads could handle cause food poisoning. Even more alarmingimportant. Whether transporting product more goods with fewer people, freeing up is that 2.9 percent tested positive for thefrom food processor to retailer or shipping men for military service. The introduction of potentially deadly bug Listeria, which causesgoods abroad, pallets play an essential role in the wooden pallet spelled a new era for the 2,500 illnesses and 500 deaths annually in thethe milling supply chain. shipping industry and it wasn’t long before a United States. In terms of milling wheat, the industry standard pallet size was adopted. Last year, the safety of wooden palletsrelies on plastic pallets for transporting its Wooden pallets became the main stay came under scrutiny in the pharmaceuticalbagged flour from the mill to independent for the shipping industry, but in recent years industry where they were found to be thelocal bakeries and in-store supermarket bak- they have fallen on harder times. cause of product contamination incidentseries. Each pallet will typically carry a fraction in the EU and the US, costing one drugover a tonne of product – either 65 x 16 kg Hard times for wooden pallets manufacturer more than $900 million in oneflour bags or 40 x 25 kg flour bags, and once Historically wooden pallets have always year alone.palletised, they will be loaded onto a lorry been cheaper than plastic, but rising timberto its 24-26 tonne limit to ensure optimum costs could change that. The government’s Putting hygiene firstsupply chain efficiency. introduction of subsidies that reward power Although the milling industry would have In Europe alone, there are approximately firms for burning biomass, including wood, once used wooden pallets for transportinghalf a billion pallets in circulation every year, has driven up the price of timber. As a result, bagged product, many have now switcheda large percentage of these are wooden the price of British-grown timber has risen to plastic pallets, primarily because of theirpallets, however, the popularity of plastic in five years from £30 to £50 per tonne superior hygienic properties.pallets has soared in recent years due to and the Department of Energy and Climate Speaking to one of the UK’s largest food18 | november - december 2012 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy
  3. 3. Events FEATURE‘One show, once a year…endless opportunities’ about and see the latest in new How has the IPPEJanuary 28 - February 1, 2013, Atlanta, USA technology. The three combined changed and developed? expos offer an unprecedented IPPE continues to expand year afterT here is nothing quite Novak, vice president, membership opportunity to access a dynamic year and in 2013, with the addition like IPPE. The integra- and public relations, American Feed purchasing audience, key decision of AMI’s International Meat Expo, it is tion of three interna- Industry Association, USA to talk makers and international customers expected to be the largest expo yet. Intionally recognised trade shows about her involvement with the event. from all segments of the industry. addition, as attendees provide feedbackbrings suppliers and buyers on various educational programmetogether for education, technol- What is your role at IPPE? With so many industry needs, IPPE has added additional pro-ogy exchange and network- I am one of three points of con- shows, why should graming to meet those encompassing the entire tact for the International Production people attend IPPE? The Pet Food Conference wasspectrum of farm to table. 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 thethe International Feed Expo (IFE), Halal, American Meat Institute. grain industry, to see the latest tech- Pet Food Conference is a premierthe International Poultry Expo (IPE), Olentine and his team focus on the nological developments first-hand, event addressing the regulatory issuesand the American Meat Institute’s International Poultry Expo part of and to meet with the designers and impacting today’s pet food industry.International Meat Expo (IME) will IPPE; Halal and her team focus on technical staffs behind these new The American Meat Instituteattract over 25,000 attendees from the International Meat Expo and I, developments. and USPOULTRY are both focus-over 100 countries and over 1,100 along with the staff at AFIA, focus ing on education programmes thatexhibitors. pallets are areas and for transporting finishedyou going to type will pallet,the needs of their specific producers, in their opinion woodon the International Feed Expo. What are product is enic of meet they are also considered While the IPE focuses on poul- environment. a no brainer. The plastic pallets we recom-at IPPE? industries, bringing us together tono not food-safe in a preparation make sure you do by many to be the safest, as there aretryBringing 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 riskmeat processing, the IFE is designed IPPE? go quality food grade virgin Tech XChangemateri- the Newcomponent for our businesses. This spell disaster as wood chip could easily the or recycled as well as loose solutions parts breaking free underforunnoticed in product petthe health, legal and als and A Year… Products area.legislations. XChange lifting conditions and causingaudi- manufacturers of feed, – food, ‘One Show, Once comply with EU safety The Tech manual consolidation allows our core injury economic consequences could be immense. For flour bags, a plastic pallet with an openeducational ence and the suppliers that partnerfeed ingredients and equipment. Endless Opportunities’ sums it up will provide 20-minute to operatives. Theadditiongoes the mammoth the finished flow-through top deck will offer the best grip on new with them to visit fewer shows, and In same to for transporting well. With three partners this year, presentations from exhibitors400,000 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 awaythere 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 foodprogramme withspoil a whole pallet load. It only it can be easily cleaned by hand have posters highlighting which could sessions in English, sectors. exhibitors will or with an key priorities for food processors andSpanish and Portuguese. for the More inforMation: takes a tiny tear to make a flour bag unsalable. offers one location for new product and technologiesmanufacturers, cost will always remain a The IPPE automated system. GFMT caught up with in food preparation Using plastic pallets Sarah the feed industry to network, learn not only the most hygi- major factor in Plastic pallets are feed, poultry and meat industries. Wbsite: any purchasing decision. ATEX LEvEL swiTchThe capacitive proximity switches in the DOL 40R series are nowavailable with ATEX approval for use in areas with constant dangerof 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 dol-sensors Tel. +45 72 17 55 55 www.dol-sensors.com48 | november - december 2012 & Grain feed millinG technoloGy & Grain november - december 2012 | 19 feed millinG technoloGy
  4. 4. FEATUREThe initial investment in plas-tic pallets is always going to behigher than wooden pallets; however,taking into account the extended work-ing life of plastic pallets they are not onlyfuture-proof but offer excellent long-termsavings. In a normal handling and loadingscenario plastic pallets have a life span they find their way back tooften exceeding ten years – up to 10 times their rightful owner and losing pal-longer than a wooden pallet, and at the lets in the supply chain is a problem for the Convention which was introduced toend of their long working life they can be milling industry as it is for industries across address the need to treat wood materialsrecycled, so it will always pay in the long the board. The UK logistics sector could used to ship products between countriesrun to invest in plastic both economically learn from Europe’s attitude towards user to stop the spread of wood pests. Currentand environmentally. owned and managed pallet pools. In main- requirements are limited to movements Of course pallets are only reusable if land Northern Europe businesses – either into the EU or out of Portugal, a known as individuals or groups – are purchasing pinewood nematode area. plastic pallets and setting up their own pallet If these changes go ahead, there will pools to directly benefit from the strength be major implications for the European and long life of the product. I believe that this model of ‘user owned and managed plastic pallet pools should be deployed by businesses else- where to help them maximise "Using plastic their return on investment, including in the milling industry, pallets is the only and we are offering to meet with businesses in the UK to way to avoid the costly implications offer our expert advice and explain how this model could work for them. There are other methods that can be used to limit pallet of ISPM 15" loss. Several food processing companies we are working About the author with in the UK are using Jim Hardisty is the founder and plastic pallets printed with their company pallet and packaging industry, as it will Managing Director of Goplasticpallets. logo to make them more easily identifiable. have to extend its heat treatment capacity com, the UK’s leading independent Coloured pallets are another option. Many to include all wooden pallets produced supplier of plastic pallets and containers. of our plastic pallets come in a variety of in the EU. Failure to use the correctly After 18 years working in the logistics colours for orders over 500 units, and treated and certified wooden pallets will sector and six years in the pallet indus- those ordering from our Hygienic pallet cause delays and extra costs at the port try, Jim set up in range can choose from one of 84 two of entry. 2001 to facilitate the supply of plastic colour options. Using plastic pallets is the only way to pallets to businesses in the UK. Eleven avoid the costly implications of ISPM 15 years on, Jim has signed exclusive part- Considering exports as they are completely exempt from heat nerships with a number of pallet manu- For exporters, there are other issues to treatment regulations. And since exporters facturers across Europe, allowing the be aware of when moving goods interna- have similarly been affected by this year’s company to establish a comprehensive tionally. Earlier this year it was announced poor wheat harvests, with the USDA’s and competitive product range. that the European Commission is consider- Foreign Agricultural Service report docu- ing increasing the ISPM 15 to include all menting wheat supplies in most major More inforMation: movements of wooden packaging mate- exporting countries to be down 15 million Telephone: +44 1323 744057 rial within the EU. The ISPM 15 is an tonnes from last year, they will be looking Email: International Phytosanitary Measure devel- more than ever at reliable methods for Website: oped by the International Plant Protection export.20 | november - december 2012 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy
  5. 5. Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full LINKS This digital Re-print is part of the November | December 2012 edition of Grain & Feed 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 November - December 2012 • See the full issue • The art of a modern miller working with wheat, cereals, grains and … • Visit the GFMT website plastics and metal • • Contact the GFMT Team The changing face of pallets In this issue: • Delivering world class roll chill technology • EXTRUSION: and service • Subscribe to GFMT an ever growing aspect of the Indian food processing • Managing mill industries maintenance • 2012/13 company profiles 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 edi- tion please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints 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 informa- tion on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: or visit