It might sound like déjà vu, but the price of new wooden pallets is expected to soar a further 18% this month, on top of the 18% rise we saw in January.
Continued pressure on the availability of timber and issues with log felling licenses in Ireland have been cited as the main reasons for the nearly 40% price increase according to a letter from a major supplier of wood packaging material.
Whilst the UK housebuilding sector remains buoyant, the UK wood packaging industry has been forced to compete with other markets for timber stock, namely fencing and DIY products. This competition is expected to increase further with the better weather as consumers continue to invest in home improvements and gardening retail products – a sector that saw a huge 50% increase in online sales following the first UK lockdown.
It seems there is little relief in sight for the wood packaging industry, but for the plastic pallet market it is quite a different story.
Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of Goplasticpallets.com, said: “As the price of wooden pallets continues to rise, we’re seeing the price gap with our recycled plastic pallets rapidly narrowing. This could be a game changer for the UK pallet industry.
Whilst the price of new wooden pallets soars a further 18%, plastic pallet prices remain stable.
“We’re already seeing more widespread use of plastic pallets in the food and pharmaceutical industries – which has increased further since the Covid-19 pandemic, but the export market too is recognising the benefits of switching to plastic.
“In January new post-Brexit trade rules made it compulsory for all wooden pallets carrying goods between the UK and EU to be heat treated and certified to meet ISPM15 regulations. Failure to do so could see consignments being rejected at the borders – another major setback for wooden pallet users. Heat treatment capacity in the UK is already being stretched to its limits, yet whilst this goes on, plastic pallets remain completely exempt from ISPM15 heat treatment requirements.”
Could we see the recycled plastic pallet replacing the humble wooden pallet if these pressures outlined here continue? Only time will tell…
Goplasticpallets.com supplies the UK’s widest range of plastic pallets and is able to deliver large volumes direct from stock. For expert pallet advice, call the team on 01323 744057 or email [email protected]
Jim Hardisty – M.D., GoPlasticPallets.com