“When I joined PECO two years ago, it was clear the Canadian market had a preference for stringer pallets, at least historically,” said Lisa Vegso, PECO Pallet’s Canadian general manager.
“And we were challenged with coming into the Canadian market, working on bringing our service here. Do we introduce a stringer pallet?”
But what became apparent after talking with retailers and manufacturers, is that the market is really undergoing a transition to the block-style pallet.
Vegso says the trend is being driven mainly by the retailers, but with gradual, growing acceptance by the manufacturers, who are coming to recognize its benefits.
According to Vegso, these include its four-way entry that gives it efficiency gains from a handling perspective. It also weighs 20 to 30 pounds less than a traditional stringer pallet, which provides opportunity for cost savings from a transportation standpoint.
But what’s happening now, Vegso adds, is some retailers are mandating a particular type of pallet. “So it’s now become a mixture of stringer and block pallets and that creates a level of complexity,” she said. “So when we talk about trying to drive efficiencies, the retailers are now receiving a mixture of block and stringer pallets.”
She cited Costco, as an example that a couple of years ago moved to mandating block pallet-only acceptance, for in order to drive complexity out of their business. “I anticipate in the next couple of years, we’re going to see other retailers move and take a similar stance in the marketplace,” she concluded.