Pallet reuse is a logistics strategy to reduce wood waste and reduce the cost of each pallet trip, in this case the journey the pallet makes from the cement manufacturer to the point where the product is unloaded from the pallet. CEMEX delivers to over 600 builder merchants, or building supply outlets, however. Because empty pallets are so widely distributed, the cost of picking up the empty pallets for a single building products supplier would prove to be uneconomical to pursue.
Economic retrieval of the empty pallets is possible, however, because a 3rd party logistics provider stops at the builder merchant outlets and picks up empty pallets on behalf of other clients in addition to CEMEX. European Logistics Management (ELM) picks up empties on a regular basis, accumulates and refurbishes them as necessary, and then returns them to CEMEX.
With high landfill tippage charges and burning bans, pallet retrieval is a welcome option to the builder merchants in helping curb solid waste, as well as to CEMEX, which lowers its pallet cost-per-trip and annual pallet expenditure.