Pallet pooling services could be the way forward in reducing costs for the future of pallet-based distribution, according to the Faber Halbertsma Group (FHG) which, through its Coventry-based subsidiary IPP Logipal UK, is investing millions of pounds in the cost-effective sharing scheme.
Ingrid Faber, vice president of FHG, says the Dutch company is the biggest full-service supplier of wooden pallets in western Europe and is now setting its sights on expanding into the UK market. Its system of renting pallets has been popular in mainland Europe and the company hopes to extend the same success across the Channel.
FHG produces 18 million pallets annually from its nine production companies in the Benelux, France and Germany. With 700 employees, the group achieved a turnover of £130M with an operating result of £8.3M in 2004.
Faber says that FHG feel that there is space in the UK as existing pallet companies are not expanding as fast as they could. In regard to standardized dimensions of pallets Faber comments that: “If you don’t have any standardized dimensions, it is not possible to pool the pallets.” Faber goes on to comment that there is no problem with the differences in EU and UK sized pallets. “In the UK you have the sizes 120-100 and we use that in the Netherlands as well.”