The year 2020 has been challenging for businesses of all sizes, with “business as usual” disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. In the midst of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for companies to look for new ways to cut down on costs.
In warehouse settings, it can be challenging to find ways to save money, because most products and processes are already fairly streamlined. However, companies that haven’t explored using corrugated pallets should consider how this small change can be an easy way to reduce costs.
Cost Benefits of Corrugated Pallets
IKEA made headlines when it announced it was switching from wood to corrugated paper pallets. The company, which uses about 10 million pallets a year, cited cost reduction as a top priority for the decision.
Of course, not every company is set up like IKEA, so it’s important to consider how the change to corrugated pallets might impact your business’s bottom line.
Here, we explore seven ways corrugated paper pallets reduce costs:
- No heat treatment: Wood pallets have to be heat-treated or fumigated before they’re exported. Corrugated pallets don’t require heat treatment, which reduces their overall price. And you can rest assured that they’re compliant with ISPM-15 and OSHA standards.
- Custom sizes: Wood pallets typically come in a standard 48- by 40-inch size, and they can be pricey to customize. This limits their configurability. Corrugated pallets are customizable to a wide variety of sizes, which ensures a perfect fit in your warehouse without costly upcharges.
- Lighter weight: Wood pallets add 600 pounds to a single container load, which increases your fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Corrugated pallets weigh just 10-14 pounds, which significantly reduces your freight costs.
- A reduction in work-related injuries: Injuries tend to be more common in a warehouse that uses wood versus corrugated paper pallets. That’s because wood pallets increase the risk of injuries due to strain and hearing damage, as well as handling dangers such as splinters and nails. Corrugated pallets are lightweight and free of splinters and nails, which makes them safer to handle.
- Less product damage: With wood pallets, it’s easy for products to be damaged or contaminated by nail pops, splinters, mold, or fungus, which results in lost revenue. Because of these potential threats, it’s common for companies to add protective packaging to their wood pallets to prevent rips and tears, but this costs additional money per pallet. Corrugated paper pallets are metal-free, clean, and hygienic, so they significantly lessen the chance of product damage.
- Reduced disposal fees: Landfills typically don’t accept wood pallets, which means companies have to work with a removal service to clear out used pallets. Corrugated pallets eliminate that expense, because they can be baled with other corrugates.
- Improved sustainability: With wood pallets, your recycler has to separate the nails and staples. With corrugated pallets, you can bale them with the rest of your recyclable materials, significantly lowering your disposal costs and, in some cases, actually generating revenue. You may be eligible to earn sustainability credits by using corrugated pallets to improve your recycling efforts and reduce the amount of carbon emissions your company produces by shipping your goods.
Creatively Reduce Costs
Although it can be challenging to find new ways to reduce costs in a warehouse setting, switching from wood to corrugated paper pallets is one way to quickly and easily improve your bottom line. Standard wood pallets may seem inexpensive at first glance, but you must consider all of their associated costs, including disposal and recycling costs, higher shipping fees, and steep prices for customization.
Incorporating corrugated pallets into your warehouse is an effective way to reduce your overall costs. Thanks to their light weight and customizability, corrugated pallets may even help your warehouse run more efficiently, which is an outcome that stands to benefit everyone in the company. Want to know more? Read our eBook Everything You Need to Know About Paper Pallets for more information.