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How Is "Tray" Defined?

By admin / Date Dec 09,2022

For many people who have never been in contact with the logistics industry, when they hear "tray", they will think more of the "tray" used in restaurants.

In a sense, it is true that the two are highly similar in nature, otherwise, it would be impossible to use the same word to represent two different things in both Chinese and English.

In the logistics and transportation industry, which comes first, the pallet or the forklift? This question was first asked by pallet industry research pioneer Bill Sardo, who was the first president of the National Wood Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA). This question is still debated to this day, and the answer depends on how we define "pallet".

If pallets are defined as the basic carrier of cargo handling, used to store goods or ensure the safety of stacking and handling of goods, and improve the efficiency of logistics handling, it has existed for at least hundreds of thousands of years. For example, dustpans, baskets, and the restaurant "trays" mentioned above, they appeared far earlier than forklifts.

However, these vehicles are obviously designed to match human physical fitness.

After entering the industrial age, the widespread use of machines has allowed productivity to break through the limits of manpower or power storage. A modern logistics vehicle that matches internal combustion engines and is suitable for large-scale industrial production has been invented and put into use. This is the logistics pallet in the modern sense.

This structure is designed to adapt to professional equipment operations and improve storage, handling or transportation efficiency. It consists of fixed upper and lower decks, beams or foot block connections. The upper deck is used to accommodate the load, the beams and foot pads are conducive to improving the supporting load capacity of the pallet, and the bottom deck is not only beneficial to increase the average load of the pallet, but also better distribute the weight so as not to exceed the overall load range, and can improve the stability of the structure , to reduce the risk of pallet breakage.

The value of pallets runs through the entire process of logistics operations. Regardless of loading, unloading, storage, sorting, and transportation, its most significant value lies in the fact that through consistent intermodal transport, it can greatly improve the efficiency of logistics operations in a systematic manner.

During World War II, the use of pallets and forklifts became a key component of the military logistics strategies of European and American countries. After the war, the pallet did not end its mission, but continued to be further promoted in the whole industry, especially in the industry, and gradually became one of the most important basic logistics elements in logistics and transportation.

Due to the increasing use of pallets, the production types and sales volume of pallets have also increased sharply. Pallet production materials are also gradually diversified based on usage scenarios. In addition to wooden pallets, metal profiles, plastics, paper and other materials are also widely used in pallet production; according to different application scenarios, pallets are also divided into flat pallets, box pallets and Column pallets, and flat pallets are subdivided into nine-foot pallets, Chuan-shaped pallets, Tian-shaped/Japanese-shaped pallets and double-sided pallets.

The pallet pool first appeared in the United States. In 1940, the United States began to experiment with pallet joint operations in refractory bricks, canned meat and other industries, and established a pallet circulation and sharing mechanism among some enterprises and regions. In 1960, the United States launched the "Pallet Sales" activity, and pallets entered supermarkets and were directly used to sell goods.

Following the post-war Japan’s economic recovery, based on the reflection and research on the capabilities of the US military’s logistics and military support system, in order to improve logistics efficiency and enhance the international competitiveness of Japanese products, the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) for flat pallets was formulated in 1963, and it was formulated in 1970. Direct transport flat pallet test method and JIS packaging specification series.

In 1946, the Australian government used the pallets and related equipment left by the United States during World War II to establish a federal handling equipment sharing system, and began to implement a national pallet joint operation based on pallet leasing. After privatization, there were CHEP and Loscam.

In 1947 Sweden and 1951 Switzerland also had pallet joint ventures. In July 1961, the European International Pallet Consortium was established, with Switzerland and Germany as the initiators. Its main purpose is to increase the railway transportation capacity, expand the supply of railway transportation, and better play the role of pallets. In 1962, some railway stations in the Soviet Union, East Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Mongolia and other countries concluded a pallet exchange agreement with each other. Pallet Associates. Since then, the pallet joint venture has spread throughout Europe, the Soviet Union, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

In 1971, Japan successively established the Japan Pallet Leasing Company and the Japan Pallet Associated Company. And most of them are developed with railway transportation as the core.

In 1991, EPAL (European Pallet Association), the European Pallet Association, was established by railway associations such as the German Railway Association and the French Railway Association to formulate and monitor European pallet standards. The European Pallet Association is the only organization that issues EPAL pallet production licenses, with members all over Europe and association members in the United States and Australia.

In 2001, in order to cooperate with JPR to recycle pallets in Shenzhen Yantian Port, Shenzhen Shunhangtong International Freight Forwarding Co., Ltd., the first professional pallet operator in China, was registered in Shenzhen. Pallets and pallet operations can ultimately only be registered in the name of the freight forwarding company. In the following years, foreign brands such as JPR, Korea Zhongli, CHEP, Loscam, and Lucky Box successively rushed to the Chinese market, thus bringing the concept of pallet intermodal transport to the Chinese logistics field and opening up the concept of pallet recycling in China. new chapter.

Due to the differences and complexity of the historical national day, development level and pallet joint operation practice of each economy, the pallet operation organization mode is also diversified, and various modes such as leasing company system, manufacturer or user membership system, mixed system and information intermediary system have been innovated There are endless. As of 2019, the global pallet stock is estimated to reach 6 billion pieces, 2 billion pieces in the United States, 1.45 billion pieces in China, and 790 million pieces in Japan, roughly in proportion to GDP.

Pallets and containers are two of the most important inventions in the history of logistics in the 20th century. The pursuit of low cost and high efficiency is the driving force behind technological innovation and application.

Before disruptive technological innovations appear in the logistics field, it is foreseeable that pallets and containers will continue to play the role of the underlying infrastructure of the supply chain.

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