It’s hard to imagine a paper pallet capable of withstanding the rigors placed on a traditional wooden pooled pallet, but furniture retailer IKEA plans to prove its worthiness beginning this January. The retailer will begin shipping paper (compressed cardboard) pallets to suppliers for shipments through their supply chain. What remains to be seen is numerous, some more obvious than others. The durability of the pallet, and its inability to be subsequently repaired, stand out as the biggest question marks.
To IKEA’s credit, they are actively seeking what they consider to be a more environmentally friendly shipping platform, while also seeking a transportation cost savings from a lighter pallet. Bloomberg provided a thorough, although perhaps ambitious in its title, commentary on the subject which you can read by clicking here. Whether this is a long-term solution or not, it’s clear that the pallet industry still has room for innovation to what others may consider a simple product. As the demands of the economy and the environment continue to evolve, we’re sure to see more of these types of ideas come about.