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Coming into Focus: CHEP Launches Innovative Half Pallet Design
Retail Trends: CHEP USA is betting big that its new half pallet will help drive a new standard in the U.S. retail supply chain as retailers look to use these pallets to facilitate easier stock replenishment.
Date Posted: 12/1/2013
Beyond your typical half-size pallet design, CHEP USA has pioneered the development of a new half pallet it is launching in the Midwest in November 2014 with plans to roll out this 40x24 inch pallet in a big way across the United States to meet the needs of the retail supply chain.
CHEP re-engineered every part of the design based on feedback from leading retailers and product manufacturers, and CHEP is betting big that this move will help drive standardization and new practices in the retail supply chain in the United States over the coming years.
David Deal, senior director of marketing for CHEP USA, said, “As a top priority, our customers wanted us to help them reduce costs in getting products to the point of sale…Half pallets have proven to reduce labor and cross-docking costs, and out-of-stocks, while increasing sales and productivity.”
Deal stated, “Our industry partners are seeking ways to optimize getting their products to point of sale and are looking at the European model of using half pallets for the replenishment of high volume items. We believe that the new CHEP half pallet will set a new industry standard and enable this significant shift in the US supply chain. It is the next step in CHEP’s continued efforts to reduce overall supply chain costs, including labor savings in stores, cross docking, production, and displays.”
If CHEP is right, then a move toward more half-size pallets could create opportunities for both rental companies as well as white-wood suppliers. This is a trend that companies need to watch and prepare for.
CHEP feels it has designed a perfect solution for the top needs identified by major customers. The top concerns mentioned by customers to CHEP were the need for four-way access similar to the full size block pallet currently offered by CHEP, openings on each side to accommodate pallet jacks, significant top deck coverage to allow for support of product and eliminate the need for corrugate sheets underneath loads, and the ability to carry heavy loads of bulk products, such as bottled water or detergent. This new CHEP half pallet meets all of those requirements and has passed strength tests.
Given the limited space on two sides of the pallet, four-way entry was a tricky problem for CHEP engineers. They developed a steel block design that maintains structural integrity and strength while giving the access needed for pallet jacks. Wood composite blocks are used on the interior blocks. No nails are used along the leading edge of the pallet. Instead, the metal connector blocks are attached using bolts. These bolts are designed to never back off and are counter sunk into the wood.
The top deck has about 90% coverage, and the design uses runners instead of the typical block pallet format because this feature aids in pallet jack handling.
Made from primarily kiln-dried Southern Yellow Pine, the half pallet has been rated for single unit loads of up to 1,200 lbs., which means it can handle even heavy loads. It is not edge rackable, but that is not a concern since it will be stored on the floor.
The half-size pallet is offered using the same basic business model and policies as the larger 48x40 CHEP pallet.