The traditional wooden pallet is a world standard in transportation and logistics. In all corners of the planet, you will find wooden pallets, and products that would not be where they are without them. Every year, over two billion pallets are manufactured in the United States alone, with many billion more produced across the world. Very little has changed in their design in over 70 years, their standard shape and dimensions have helped define world trade, shaping shipping containers and their ships, and determining the size of warehouses all across the globe. In some ways, our modern world has been built by, and around, the standard wooden pallet.
Millions of trees are harvested every year to keep up with the demand from fresh pallets for the world’s trillions of trades. Products crossing the globe are packed on wooden pallets and sent on their way to hungry consumers, yet many of the pallets that get these products from a factory to a family end up in landfill or are incinerated.
The Pallet Journey
Many wooden pallets often only make a single journey, carrying one load before being thrown away or repurposed, and the demand for a pallet that is easier to recycle and more sustainable to manufacture has been building for many years. The manufacturing costs of wooden pallets are rising year on year, as the wood and its environmental costs increase, leading many pallet manufacturers to look for alternatives.
Manufacturers not only want to reduce costs, but they also want to reduce the impact on the environment of their product. The demand for more environmentally sustainable products can also be felt from their customer base as more and more businesses begin looking at ways that they can reduce their carbon footprint, particularly in transportation and distribution.
Twenty-first-century problems require twenty-first-century solutions, and GreenBlock is a product that meets all these demands and more using modern technology and the latest in polymer materials. GreenBlock is an eco-friendly revolution in materials handling, made from a high impact copolymer that itself is made from recycled material. GreenBlock is fully recyclable and stronger than wood. It has an octagonal structure that distributes stress evenly across its shape, maximizing its strength. It is also lighter than wood but can still handle the same or increased loads as wood.
A standard GMA pallet made using GreenBlock has a more than 50% reduction in wood content, and is lighter and stronger than a traditional, all wood GMA pallet. This not only reduces the environmental impact of the pallets by using less wood but also means that wooden pallet manufacturers can ship significantly more pallets per truckload, reducing carbon emissions from trucking and costs from making deliveries of the products to customers.
A pallet made using nine GreenBlock pieces weighs less than two pounds but can support the weight of 13,500 pounds. GreenBlock is incredibly durable as well as strong, so the pallets can easily withstand the demands of transportation and are fully compliant with forklifts and pallet jacks from a number of angles. By incorporating GreenBlock’s plastic legs to a pallet you can protect from pest infestations by keeping products raised above floor level. The plastic legs are also mold and mildew proof, and bacteria will not grow on GreenBlock plastic legs. The legs also add compliance to ISPM-15 standards, and United States Export standards.
The advantages of constructing pallets using GreenBlock do not end there. Using GreenBlock to construct your pallets reduces construction time by, on average, more than 30%. This can greatly reduce labor costs for pallet manufacturers and reduce costs for their customers.
A Pallet Revolution
A true revolution in pallet construction requires more than just a change in materials. The problems stemming from using too much wood in pallet manufacturing became an opportunity to revolutionize the traditional pallet using the latest technology and design. The concept of GreenBlock came from analyzing the life cycle of the pallet and seeing where efficiencies could be found and waste could be reduced.
The primary aim of the GreenBlock technology was to reduce the environmental stress that pallet manufacturing can put on the environment and reduce the amount of wood reaching landfill across the United States of America. The end product has managed to go so much further than reducing waste and protecting the environment just by reducing wood content. GreenBlock’s light weight can significantly reduce carbon emissions whenever it is being transported, reduce labor costs from its speedy construction, and is stronger and more durable than wood.
There are significant savings available for businesses that decide to use GreenBlock in their pallets. It often becomes the preferred material with workers in warehouses as it is light, durable and easy to handle. Using GreenBlock saves the earth, saves money, and makes pallet workers happy workers. Talk to us if you want to learn more.