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Plastic pallet provider says advantages over wood are many

by John Groh | April 30, 2009
LAS VEGAS -- Intelligent Global Pooling Systems, an Orlando, FL-based provider of recyclable plastic pallets, says that its products offer many advantages over competing wood pallets.

Bob Moore, chief executive officer of iGPS, told The Produce News that studies conducted by Environmental Resources Management, a leading worldwide environmental management consultancy, show that iGPS pallets are superior to wood pallets in a number of ways.

One of the key advantages is the difference in weight between the two types of pallets.

"Our pallets weigh 50 percent less than wood, which is huge," he said April 23, during the United Fresh 2009 trade show, here. Also, he said that iGPS pallets are a true 48x40 size, so there is less damage to product in transit and more can fit on a truck.

"In fact, one of our clients, Borders Melons, was able to get two extra loads of melons on a truck," he said.

The extra cargo translates into savings on diesel fuel and other costs associated with shipping product in trucks, making the pallets a more sustainable option, according to Mr. Moore.

Another advantage over wood is that since plastic is not organic, it does not harbor bacteria and it is much easier to clean, said Mr. Moore. Thus, the possibility of product being tainted while in transit is reduced.

Mr. Moore went on to list other advantages of iGPS pallets: no protruding nails or broken boards; very effective for produce because the pallets perform well in chilled and wet environments; traceback is facilitated due to the fact that each pallet has a unique serial number; and the pallets offer a fire-safety advantage over wood, so shippers get a break on fire insurance.

He added that the iGPS pallets rent for about the same price as wood pallets. So if there are so many advantages, why aren't all shippers using iGPS pallets? "Product is short," Mr. Moore said. "We're sold out for a couple of years."

But he added that the company buys $1 million worth of pallets every day, in part to try to meet the growing demand in the produce industry.