Jim Hardisty, MD of Goplasticpallets.com has spoken out following the announcement this weekend that the UK is rushing to stockpile enough heat treated wooden pallets for exporters to the EU from January. The question Jim raises, is why stockpile wooden pallets when plastic pallets can bridge the gap?
So, what is the story and where do we stand?
Last year, the UK government realised there was a shortage of ISPM 15 compliant wooden pallets and worked with the timber packaging industry to build up stocks to prepare for Brexit. However, the coronavirus pandemic derailed these plans and now there is a race against time to build sufficient stocks for the end of the transition period.
From 1st January all wood pallets transiting between the UK and the EU must be heat treated in accordance with ISPM 15 regulations if the UK leaves the EU without a reciprocal trade deal. Yet, despite the wood pallet industry’s best effort to ramp up heat treatment output, there is simply not enough kilns, or time, to ensure all the timber pallets in circulation (approximately 250 million) are heat treated in time.
The timber packaging industry is now urging Boris Johnson’s UK government and the European Union to agree on an adjustment period of at least half a year, so it has more time to build up stocks. If this is not agreed, there are fears that a national shortage of correctly treated wooden pallets will lead to goods being blocked from entering the EU and chaos at the borders.
John Dye, president of the Timber Packaging & Pallet Confederation, has been reported to say: “Nobody can say definitely whether we will be 100% compliant by January but if someone were to ask me, we’d be 100% compliant if we were given six to eight months extension, I’d feel a lot more confident saying yes.”
Yet in all this controversy, it appears that the plastic pallet has been completely overlooked; when in fact, it offers the perfect solution to bridge the gap.
At Goplasticpallets.com we have been supporting UK exporters for nearly 20 years. We stock 29 different types of export pallet including lightweight nestables and cost-effective medium duty pallets designed for one-trip export consignments, yet also suitable for multi-use. Plus, every single one has been made entirely from recycled material.
Exporters need not fear of a looming wood pallet shortage, as plastic pallets can help bridge the gap post-Brexit and beyond.