Investigation of new and recovered wood shipping platforms in the United States
This study was performed to acquire key market and raw material usage information for the wood pallet and container industry in 2016. Historical trends in the wood pallet market were also analyzed between 1991 and 2016 using the results of previous Virginia Tech pallet surveys sponsored by NWPCA and U.S. Forest Service. The wooden pallet and container industry produced an estimated 513 million new wood pallets in 2016, which is a 23% increase since 2011. Approximately 35% of this was 48" x 40" pallets, which continues to be the dominant standardized pallet size. Approximately 39% of new wood pallets were custom sizes, which is a significant decrease from the 60% share found in 2011. Stringer class pallets remained the dominant pallet class with 76% share, while block pallets and skids only accounted for 21% and 3% of the market, respectively. Softwoods accounted for 55% of the pallet market, while hardwood accounted for 45%. An estimated 326 million pallets were recovered and sold as recycled/repaired or remanufactured pallets in 2016. The most common size of the recycled or remanufactured pallets was 48" x 40", accounting for 69% of the recycled market.