The history and evolution of pallet pooling

by Repackify
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The history and evolution of pallet pooling

By the mid-20th century, pallet pooling had become a concept for handling goods in supply chains more efficiently and sustainably. Pallets were traditionally utilized in a one-way, disposable manner before formal pooling systems were established, resulting in a significant amount of pallet waste.

Several milestones have been reached in the history of pallet pooling:

  1. A boom in manufacturing, warehouses, and transportation industries led to the popularity of pallets as a shipping and handling tool during the early 20th century. There had not yet been a formalized pallet pooling concept.
  2. World War II developed pallet pooling. Pallet pooling was first formalized in Australia by the government. In 1946, they founded CHEP (Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool), primarily to serve the dairy industry. A symbol of efficiency and sustainability, CHEP introduced the iconic blue pallet.
  3. Between the 1960s and 1970s, pallet pooling gained significant traction in the United States. Various pallet pooling companies have emerged to provide pallet rental and management services to businesses as a result of the discovery of the cost savings and environmental benefits of reusing pallets. By providing sustainable and cost-effective pallet management services, these companies assisted businesses with their transition from traditional pallet purchasing and disposal methods.
  4. Expansion and Standardization: Pallet pooling services expanded globally during the latter half of the 20th century, with companies such as CHEP operating in multiple countries. To facilitate efficient pooling across borders, standardized pallet sizes and colors became more common, such as the blue CHEP pallet. International businesses operating on pallets would benefit from this standardization since pallets would be interoperable throughout supply chains.
  5. Pallet pooling grew and evolved throughout the late 20th century and into the 21st century. Retail, automotive, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries have all adopted pallet pooling as a cost-effective and sustainable solution for handling goods. Further, it improved supply chain efficiency, enhanced sustainability, and reduced pallet waste.

Pallet pooling remains a prominent practice in supply chain and logistics management today. Many industries are relying on it to reduce waste, improve efficiency, and ensure the sustainable use of pallets. Throughout history, pallet pooling has evolved to meet the demands of a changing world.