“Pallets move the world.”

This quote from Mark White, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, sums up the importance of pallets in the world’s economy. Wooden pallets play a critical role in the movement and storage of goods worldwide. Proper design and quality standards ensure that products are protected during transport. Wooden pallets provide both a safe and efficient way to transport products to their destination and to store them once they get there. Pallets move the world’s economy.

What’s interesting about pallets is that they’re everywhere and most often unseen.

By 2019 industry experts expect there will be more than two-and-a-half billion pallets in circulation in the United States, carrying 80% of all U.S. commerce. The trend is also leaning toward repaired, refurbished and recycled pallets. One of the advantages of using recycled pallets is helping companies meet their sustainability goals.

The first pallets were invented in the late 1800s. Before pallets, products were moved on sleds or simple slabs. Next came the skid, essentially a pallet without the bottom boards. Originally, longshoremen moved the loaded skids from the shore to the ship. From there the skids were lifted into the ship’s cargo hold using a winch.

The introduction of pallets into commerce brought greatly increased efficiency. An article from a 1931 railway trade magazine reported that “it took three days to unload a boxcar holding 13.000 cases of unpalletized canned goods. But when the same amount of goods was loaded into the boxcar on pallets or skids the same task only took four hours.”

The pallet became more of a part of commerce in 1937 with the invention of gas-powered forklift trucks, allowing goods to be moved very quickly. And World War II helped ensure pallets would be a permanent part of U.S. commerce. Rick Le Blanc, writing for Pallet Magazine, quoted an historian who said, “the use of forklift trucks and pallets was the most significant and revolutionary storage development of the war.” Tens of millions of pallets were used, especially in the Pacific campaigns due to their very long supply lines.

If you look, you’ll see pallets everywhere. Just think about your trip to your local warehouse store or even your grocery store. Pallets are being recycled into all kinds of useful objects including furniture, mulch and even artwork. They are so integral to the world economy that some manufacturers adjust the dimensions of their products so they can more easily fit onto their shipping pallets. And that results in a reduction of shipping costs, which ultimately translates into customer savings at the retail end.

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor of Modern Materials Handling, will sometimes tell people at parties that “without a pallet, most of what you and I eat or wear or sit on or what not would not have gotten to us as easily or inexpensively.”

Pallets have been compared to a wooden Incredible Hulk. They help make the immovable movable, ensuring the product you want to buy is where you’re shopping at the exact time you need it.

Our goal at Greenway is to keep our customers’ business moving. Greenway Products & Services will help you start out with high quality, sturdy pallets for your shipping needs. Greenway is a leading pallet recycler and re-manufacturer in the New York metropolitan area. We are a full-service pallet management company “We have been able to achieve the industry’s highest on time delivery rate of 98.9% with the improvements we have made to our manufacturing facilities,” says Dominick Davi, Greenway’s President.

Contact us for a quote today. Visit our website, greenwaypsllc.com or call us at 732-442-0200. We can deliver trailers to you on a moment’s notice throughout New Jersey, Nassau County, Suffolk County Long Island, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware area.