Litco News

Making the Case for Small Pallets

The 48” x 40” has long been one of the most popular pallet sizes for a wide range of applications.  Recent MMH Pallet Surveys have suggested that while the 48” x 40” still remains king, times are changing and while there is no clear consensus on a replacement for the 48 x 40, there is growing interest in smaller pallets.  Rick LeBlanc’s recent story in Pallet Enterprise explores the rising popularity of smaller pallets and looks forward to a world where bigger is not always better.Continue Reading…

Pallets, Packaging and the Future of Materials Handling

Regular readers of our news section or subscribers to Modern Materials Handling should be familiar with Bob Trebilcock’s annual pallet use survey.  Each year, we run a summary of Bob’s findings and include a link to the survey results in an effort to keep our readers informed on the latest pallet industry trends.  This month, Pallet Enterprise did a fascinating interview with Bob that covers the MMH survey results and materials handling trends as they relate to the future of the pallet industry.  In case you missed the article, we’ve taken the time to summarize the key takeaways.

2013 Pallet Use Survey Key Findings
According to Trebilcock, one of the key takeaways from the 2013 MMH survey is a greater emphasis on looking at how pallets fit into overall operations in an attempt to achieve greater efficiencies and lower costs.  The data suggests some movement toward alternative pallet materials such as plastic and metal, but this change still represents a small chunk of the market.  Increased demand for plastic pallets has been fueled primarily by the uptick in the automotive sector and the need to replenish pallet pools at Ford, GM, and Japanese manufacturers to keep up with demand.  In the retail world, Trebilcock sees a movement toward smaller plastic pallets too.  Retailers are taking more store deliveries on smaller, half-sized pallets instead of traditional 48 x 40’s to reduce handling costs.Continue Reading…

How to Prevent Excessive Cargo Container Condensation and Product Damage With Desiccants

Companies shipping products via overseas cargo containers, railcars, barges, and truck trailers lose millions of dollars every year to excessive condensation build-up, also known as container rain or container sweat.  Fluctuations in humidity and temperature levels inside a container cause airborne water vapor to return to liquid form, leading to mold, mildew, corrosion, and warping.  This post takes a closer look at the container rain causes as well as strategies to minimize product damage as goods travel through the supply chain.Continue Reading…

2013 Pallet Usage and Trending Survey

Each fall,  Modern Materials Handling conducts and publishes an annual pallet survey that provides valuable insight into current buying trends and usage patterns for our industry.  If you aren’t a subscriber to MMH, or you haven’t had time to read Bob Trebilcock’s Talking Pallets with Modern Readers, we have prepared a summary of key findings for your review.

The study is based on responses from 353 qualified MMH readers employed at locations using pallets.  At the 30,000 foot level, the survey results suggest the pallet market will grow annually by 3.5% through 2017.  Although price remains the most commonly cited factor influencing a purchasing decision (56% of respondents, down from 63% last year), cost-per-use was cited by 43% or participants this year.  This trend suggests that pallet buyers remain concerned with costs but that logistics professionals are taking a more long term view when evaluating suppliers.   Other key considerations cited in this year’s survey include:Continue Reading…

What You Need to Know About the New OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and GHS

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is designed to more closely align reporting practices with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  Developed by the United Nations, GHS is a global approach to classifying chemical hazards and communicating information about these hazards via standardized labels and safety data sheets.

According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, “Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today…..revising OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive.”

Although new and improved reporting requirements for hazardous chemicals may seem a topic that is far removed from the pallet industry, DeAnna Stephens Baker’s recent article in Pallet Enterprise suggests the new OSHA regulations are important for pallet manufacturers, and companies taking this latest wave of new regulation lightly would be well advised to reconsider.  Pallet manufacturing facilities actually contain a wide range of materials, including gases, hydraulic fluids, equipment lubricants, greases, combustible dust, and mold treatments that can be deemed hazardous, and as such, pallet manufacturers will be required to reformat their safety sheets and provide HazCom training for employees.  It is also important to note the new requirements extend beyond the pallet industry:  any business (manufacturers, service oriented businesses, etc.) using potentially hazardous materials is required to comply with the new OSHA standard. Continue Reading…

Are Wooden Pallets Bad for the Environment?

There is a common misconception that wooden pallets are bad for the environment.  Although the harvest of timber is vital to production, the wooden pallet industry does not represent a threat to our nation’s forests.  Our Inca molded presswood pallets are produced from waste and scrap lumber, making them both sustainable and eco-friendly.  And while it is true that the traditional wooden pallet industry accounts for a significant portion of North American hardwood lumber harvested each year, the state of the our nation’s forests is actually much better than the naysayers might suggest.Continue Reading…

PDF Library Section Added to www.litco.com

Our new, e-commerce enabled website has been up and running for almost a month now and we continue to make modifications to improve the visitor experience.  Today, we launched a new PDF Library section on our website.  The goal of this portion of our site is to create a central repository for all of our downloadable PDF documents.  Although we make use of a tab for “Related Documents” where we house PDF’s that are specific to each product, we felt it was important to round up all of our PDF’s on one easy to find page.Continue Reading…

Buy Export Pallets Online: Litco International Announces Launch of New E-Commerce Website

After months of development, Litco has officially launched a new website to facilitate the online purchase of export pallets, core plugs, inflatable dunnage, void fill, anti-friction mats, desiccants, and our innovative LITKIT® Universal Washing Machine Shipping Stabilization Kit online.  Although the new website does cater to the needs of buyers looking to purchase small and LTL quantities online, we also incorporated new response mechanisms that allow buyers to request RFQ’s for bulk and truckload quantities as well.  The new website also demonstrates our commitment to assist purchasing agents and logistics professionals as they research potential solutions to their domestic and international shipping needs.Continue Reading…

How to Guide: Simple Steps to Ensure the Quantity and Quality of Your Next Pallet Delivery

Increased price sensitivity and poor receiving procedures have conspired to create a perfect storm that is bad news for pallet buyers.  To the untrained eye or a rushed forklift operator, one load of 48” x 40” GMA’s may look just like the next.  Although there are many reputable vendors in the pallet business, our industry also has its share of suppliers willing to cut corners in order to undercut the competition and win a customer’s business.  Rick LeBlanc’s recent Pallet Enterprise article offers helpful pointers aimed to ensure the quality and quantity of your next pallet delivery. Continue Reading…

Best Pallet™ and Best Load™ Software Tools Improve Supply Chain Efficiencies

Dr. Mark White

Until now, packaging professionals, pallet users, and pallet suppliers had few tools to rely on to optimize pallets for cost efficiency. But with last year’s release of Best Pallet™, a stringer pallet design and analysis software program, optimizing the supply chain is now within reach. Conceived by Dr. Mark White, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech’s Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design, this new software helps logistics professionals better control costs and efficiencies associated with optimal pallet design. The program is a simplified, streamlined version of the industry standard Pallet Design System (PDS).

According to Dr. White, “Optimizing pallet design requires detailed knowledge of the demands of each unique system from production line through distribution, storage, and retail display. Best Pallet™ gives packaging professionals, buyers, end users and pallet manufacturers the ability to participate in the optimization process.”Continue Reading…