Wood pallets make the world go around. Every year, over 500 million pallets are manufactured in the USA. 90% of these pallets are constructed out of solid pieces of wood. Building shipping pallets is the largest use of hardwood lumber in the country. Day in and day out, 1.8 – 1.9 billion pallets are working hard, shipping and storing our goods around the country. Combine wood pallets with wood boxes, and the fiber in corrugated boxes, we have the largest single use of wood fibers in any industry within the USA.
As we speak, there are over 1 billion wood pallets in use around the country. These wood pallets carry a mass of our nation’s goods from manufactures to our stores. Every item you can think of, has probably been on, or had a few parts on a wood pallet. Our food, auto parts, toys, electronics, chemicals, metals, paper and more. Throughout the year, there will be close to 1.9 billion wood pallets used in our shipping industry. No matter what type of transportation, trains, cargo planes, semi-trucks, container ships, wood pallets are a major part.
Not all of these wood pallets get away unscathed. Each year, 225 million pallets end up in our nations landfills. Out of this 225 million only 35 million are recovered. On top of this, there are roughly 100 million wood pallets that get recycled, reclaimed, lost, incinerated or leave the country.
Little do people know that there is another niche market around wood pallets. There are several firms all over the country that repair wood pallets and turn quite a profit doing so. These firms collect broken wood pallets and repair them from other broken wood pallets. Within this year, 175 million broken pallets will move into these repair firms. Out of the 175 million broken pallets, 150 million pallets will be repaired and released back into service.
No matter what happens in our national shipping industry, it’s safe to say wood pallets are not going away any time soon. From the 1.9 billion pallets in circulation, there are many places that a wood pallet could end up. This is a booming industry and literarily make our world go around.