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Some people say that pallets can be a bit of a problem when it comes to home delivery as customers get left their goods on the pallet when the lorry departs. So why is it such a big issue to take the pallet away?

Lets first look at the journey of the pallet and how the distribution works.

The strongest pallets made are actually rented out to the distribution network, maintained to a high standard and never used for home delivery as they don't come back. However there are a huge range of other pallets of differing shapes, sizes and qualities coming in from around the world. These are often not particularly strong and so just do the one trip to their destination. However, second hand pallets do get traded and re-circulated through the system.

All our pallets are recycled and once filled are sent through the Palletway's distribution system. Up to the distribution hub in Lichfield then out to over 100 regional depots around the country and from here out to their final destination. Now, this is where the problem starts.

With fuel costs so high these hauliers have to be efficient as possible, so they fill the lorry with full pallets, deliver them, then collect another full load of pallets before returning to the yard and despatching in larger vehicles up to Lichfield. Therefore, the last thing they want to bother about is taking empty pallets back to the yard, many of which will be useless and with no value. If they did, they would have to find a home for these otherwise, what do you do with a yard filling up with pallets that cannot be sold? You have to get rid of them and waste management regulations will mean that there is a cost to this. They could be chipped up for woodchip to produce heat, but of course there are all those nails to get rid of and many pallets have been painted or treated so no good for using as firewood due to contamination. So all in all a bit of a national problem!


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