Paul Davidson, CEO of EPAL within the UK and Ireland provides a review of how EPAL, the world’s largest pallet pool, has improved its service for the export community over the last year, and what it sees as the main challenges for the year ahead.
Davidson advises ‘The measures that we implemented last year really helped exporters ensure that our pallets were fit for purpose.’
• Since January, ALL new EPAL pallets have met our strict quality control criteria, AND been ISPM15 compliant – removing the need to repalletise for export.
• The approved partners database has enabled exporters to link up with suppliers in other parts of Europe to improve interchange ability
• The number of approved repairers has grown – enabling more exporters to find a local source of cost effective pre-used quality pallets
He continues ‘2011 is likely to be more challenging for most warehouses, budget rationalisation increases the need to ensure existing pallet stocks are fit for purpose, well maintained and kept in good condition’
• EPAL pallets already help cost management as they are built to be ‘fit for purpose’ to tight quality controls, which means that they need fewer repairs throughout their longer lifespan. Typically, this saves up to 25% against other pallet systems.
• EPAL want to check that ALL pallets bearing their trademarks, new or used, meet their internationally recognised and enforced standards.
Davidson adds ‘Many exporters observe that it is not always possible to track the provenance of pallets that have been received from suppliers, particularly when they have been delivered second hand. To the naked eye, it is difficult to check humidity or load bearing qualities without specialist training & equipment. This is important because pallet breakage is often identified as one of the largest causes of damaged stock by end users, and also affects warehouse health and safety for employees.’
• EPAL are offering the chance to win a FREE independent pallet audit from SGS by completing the questions on page 5 – the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. If any EPAL pallets are found to be sub standard, you have the option of returning them to your supplier and demanding that they are replaced with approved EPAL repaired pallets
• EPAL will also provide more tools for self assessment of pallet stock to users