In the first part of this article we looked at threats facing wood pallet recyclers. In this section we turn to some of the leading opportunities that successful pallet recyclers are seeing in today’s marketplace.
The dock sweep involves the removal of regularly occurring residuals from the customer’s loading dock. Such residuals vary from business to business. For a big box retailer, for example, such unwanted items may include empty pallets, baled or loose cardboard, shrink wrap, strapping, wood dunnage or other items. A key characteristic of such material is that it accumulates predictably and therefore is amenable to regular pickup. Typically these are accumulated by the customer and loaded onto the service provider’s truck.
Increasingly, companies want to recycle, but for many it presents new problems in terms of management, staffing and space utilization. With this in mind, the market for dock sweeps offers benefits to address these problems.
For companies that already grind wood pallet waste, a logical extension may be to utilize that grinding capacity to offer recycling services for wood waste, providing a more convenient, more cost effective and more environmentally sustainable solution than taking scrap wood to the landfill. As more landfills ban wood, the importance of wood recycling will continue to grow.
Expanding to Include Recycling of Different Materials
Another tact used by some pallet recyclers to grow their business is to branch into the recycling of other materials such as plastic shrink wrap, old corrugated cardboard as well as others, through dock sweeps as well as other means. First Alliance Logistics Management has branched out from its core pallet business to now offer recycling services for mainstream recyclables such as paper and plastic, as well as more challenging to recycle materials, which First Alliance refers to as “exotics.” As a result, it has launched a new entity – One Man’s Waste…Recycling.
Depot Operations for Pallet Rental Companies
Major pallet rental companies such as CHEP utilize third party operators for some of their depot locations. Pallet recyclers can fill this void, providing pallet sorting and repair services.
Pallet ManagementPallet recyclers can broaden their menu of services to customers through offering such services as retrieving pallets from customers’ customers, and refurbishing them for return to the original customer. and returning to the customer. Other services offered by pallet recyclers include customer onsite pallet sorting and repair.
The bottom line is that there are opportunities for the pallet industry to expand its footprint in the economy through the passion and creativity of its sales professionals.