The Real Cost of Wood Pallets

For Your Business and the Environment

broken wooden pallets stacked sky high
  • Global Keg

Don't Let Wood Pallets Splinter Your Growth

chep pallets broken from automated production equipment

We uncovered a critical pallet problem within the beer industry during a visit to our friends at Lagunitas. They revealed a troubling fact about how much wood pallets cost their brewery in time, resources, and in repairing their warehouse's Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Since ‘93, they worked hard to grow their brewery and maximize their operations in order to meet the increasing demand for their beer. They’d developed a way to automate their process for loading beer onto pallets with state-of-the-art machinery. What they didn’t realize was how much trouble the blue wooden pallets they used would cause for their ASRS. As they led us through the brewery, we witnessed the splintered carnage first-hand. Wood shards were everywhere. The broken lumber from pallets was scattered on the floor. The debris filled garbage cans and chippings repeatedly got lodged in their equipment temporarily shutting down production.

This shutdown wasn’t any one-off production hiccup either. The splinters of pallets wedged inside their machinery brought their production lines to a halt again and again and again. When the pallets stayed intact and worked as they should, the efficiency of their ASRS improved significantly. But thanks to the wood pallets the bad outweighed the good. Sometimes these shutdowns lasted for less than 10 minutes, other times they lasted for 2-3 hours. The frequency in which these SNAFUs occurred was troubling to say the least. There were days when these shutdowns would occur between 12-14 times. Wood pallets quickly had a detrimental ripple effect across their brewery’s operations.

We’d seen enough. This was the tipping point for us to go all-in on solving a pallet problem that extended far beyond the beer industry. Fast forward to today where we’ve introduced the world’s most reliable and sustainable pallet solution for 21st century supply chains. Finally, you can leverage sustainable shard-free plastic pallets to scale your business—not shut down your lines.

Introducing The Smartest Pallets In The World

durable and sustainable smartpallet

SmartPallets™ are the first-ever pallets explicitly designed for the beer industry. The international orange platforms feature high-friction strips that are strategically positioned on the ‘deck board’ to prevent unwanted movement of your product to keep your beer securely in place.

Our founder, Bob Moore, had the rare combination of expert knowledge from experience and the resources in place to create a competitively priced and durable plastic pallet. The SmartPallet™ was invented to serve as the next evolution of Global Keg’s proprietary Smart Technology. Not only did Moore solve the problem that wood pallets caused in warehouses, but he also increased the value plastic pallets deliver to the supply chain. Global Keg applies advanced Smart-tech to Pallets and works with brewers, wholesalers, and distributors to optimize them for beer distribution.

The Contamination of Wood Pallets

Wood pallets increase the risk of microbial contaminants in breweries. The wood from these pallets and their flame-resistant coating are known to contaminate the products they transport. They even negatively affect the health of the people who handle these integral platforms for a living. Since 2009 reports show that the chemical that preserves the wood in pallets was responsible for millions of dollars of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson recalls. Our founder, Bob Moore, has called for the FDA to regulate wood pallets dating back to 2010, stating “wooden pallet shipping platforms are a dangerous threat.”

Some readers may even recall an interview Moore had with ABC News where he shared that "43% of wood pallets tested positive for traces of E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and other harmful contaminants." Wood can absorb, carry, and transfer these bacterias to food, pharmaceutical, and even beverage product loads, potentially creating a serious health risk.

Contamination concerns aren’t a problem when it comes to renting new technologically advanced SmartPallets™. Our contaminant-free plastic pallets are non-absorbent. Plus, our pallets are sanitized and held to a Fit-For-Use standard like our SmartKegs™ to assure that each asset is food safety ready. SmartPallets™ are primed to advance supply chain efficiency and the growth of businesses across beverage and other FMCG industries. Not to mention, they also reduce your company’s carbon footprint.

Environmental Benefits of SmartPallets

plastic pallet success for all manufacturers

The benefits Global Keg delivers for cutting your carbon emissions go beyond renting kegs and keg return logistics. As we’ve learned, SmartPallets™ are far superior to wood pallets for many logistical reasons, including the optimization of your supply chain efficiency, but they’re also significantly better for the environment. Any waste from our assets (including our SmartPallets™ and SmartKegs™)  that run their course are then recycled and repurposed. In fact, our SmartPallets™ will never end up in a landfill. When the time comes, our plastic pallets instead will return to our manufacturer to be melted and re-used to make a brand new pallet. The SmartPallet™ manufacturing process even traps the emissions from the process of melting and molding the plastic.

Wood pallets are responsible for an upwards of $3 billion in supply chain waste annually and are a primary cause for deforestation in the world accounting for 44% of hardwood produced in the US annually contributing to CO2. Plastic pallets on average last 50x longer than wooden pallets. A wood pallet typically only has a lifespan of 5 trips before they’re disposed of and end up in landfills, while most plastic pallets make 250 trips over the course of their lifetime.

Getting more of your beer to more customers means making sure the efficiency of your operation isn’t leaving anything on the table. Your business needs pallets to get your beer to the customer, but you don’t need the potential danger associated with wood pallets. The crude construction of wooden pallets with their rusty nails and splintered shards put your automated machinery, your product, and your bottom line at risk. Don’t let wooden pallets cost your brewery big time by delaying your shipments, jamming your lines, and shutting down your operation. Discover for yourself how making the transition to renting the first pallets designed for the beer industry can boost production and help you perfect draft distribution stress-free.

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