Wooden pallets originated a century ago as a way to ship goods and today more than 500 million pallets are made each year. Furniture retailer Ikea uses 10 million wooden pallets a year to ship its products.
Starting in January, Ikea is moving to a lighter, thinner paper-based pallet. Wood pallets are six inches in height, weigh 55 pounds and can support 1,650 pounds. Paper pallets are two inches in height, weigh 5.5 pounds and can also support 1,650 pounds. Moving to paper pallets, which are recyclable is anticipated to save Ikea $68 million a year in transportation costs, as the smaller and lighter paper pallets will allow Ikea to transport more goods per shipment. In addition to saving Ikea money, utilizing the recyclable paper pallets will reduce the number of trees taken down to make wood pallets.
For 100 years pallets were done pretty much the same way, but due to the efforts of Ikea, shipping pallets are being reinvented. What do you think about moving towards paper pallets?