Latest News reveals the cost benefits of returnable plastic pallets versus wooden pallets

In support of European Supply Chain Day (today 21st April) – which Kevin Richardson, Chief Executive of the CILT expects to be the biggest and best event yet – has created an infographic to educate logistics professionals about the significant cost savings they can achieve by switching from using wooden pallets to returnable plastic pallets.

Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of, said: “We decided to support European Supply Chain Day this year to help raise awareness of the logistics and supply chain profession, which in my opinion deserves a lot more recognition.

“Our infographic highlights how by switching from wooden pallets to returnable plastic ones logistics professionals will not only have a more durable, long-life product they can use over and over again, but achieve a return on their investment within less than 12 months.

“Over a five year period, these cost savings can be as much as £189,000 when using plastic pallets instead of wooden ones. Considering plastic pallets can be used up to 10 times longer and sometimes more, these savings could more than double!”

Pallet Cost Title Fight has already helped a number of businesses improve supply chain efficiencies by switching from wooden pallets to returnable plastic pallets.

Just one example is a leading UK retailer who was using wooden pallets to transport goods from being picked in the warehouse through to delivery. These pallets were used up to five times before being recycled, but required frequent repairs by two personnel to keep them serviceable. During the initial consultation with the client and their transport company, identified that they were using only 45 percent vehicle space and that the wooden pallets were costing them over £1m per year. recommended replacing their wooden pallets with plastic pool pallets to give them the flexibility of packing different sized orders and increase the number of orders per trailer from an average 28 to 52. By implementing this change saved the company £1m annually in pallet costs, significantly reduced labour costs for pallet repairs and improved vehicle fill as well as their order picking process.

Over five years, calculated conservatively that the savings would be in excess of £8m, which included the cost of replacing 10 percent lost pallets and 10 percent damaged pallets per annum.

This example demonstrates just some of the benefits of switching from wooden pallets to returnable plastic pallets. Other advantages include: the use of standardising packaging, less damaged stock, lower waste disposal costs, streamlining of labour and operations, reduced CO2 footprint, and safer handling.

Last year, over 38,500 participants visited more than 450 events in at least 20 different countries on European Supply Chain Day, and the CILT anticipates surpassing these numbers this year.

To arrange a meeting to discuss how we can help you make savings by switching from wooden pallets to returnable plastic pallets, call us on 01323 744057 or email your enquiry to