China: Huge wood demand for pallet manufacture

Licensed to Scott Group until Nov 2021. Byline: Kieran Dodds/Scott Group

Pallets are the essential in logistic operations and it has been estimated that at the end of 2017 the stock of pallets in China exceeded 1.263 billion pieces of which wooden pallet accounted for 73% with plastic pallets taking up most of the balance.

Wooden pallets are said to have a cost advantage. In China the price for a wooden pallet is around RMB150 but for plastic pallet the price is over RMB250. The demand for wood for pallet manufacture is huge and manufacturers warn that pallet prices will rise as the landed cost of timber imports rise.

Logistics enterprises plan to address this by switching to pallets from alternative materials.

Analysis shows that the annual cost of plastics pallets is lower than wooden pallets because of improved service life. Moreover, plastic pallets can be cleaned and used for transport of fresh food, medicines and other perishable goods.

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