A clean way of reusing pallets.

Success for Cemex pallet retrieval deal

Published:  27 November, 2009

SURREY: Cemex UK is re-using 20% of its cement pallets under a retrieval scheme launched a year ago.

The scheme, the first of its kind in the cement industry, aims to recover and reuse as many as possible of the 250 000 Cemex pallets distributed annually to about 600 builders' merchant outlets. Before the scheme, merchants disposed of the pallets as waste or recycled them by shredding.

Graham Russell, Cemex's vice president commercial, logistics and building products, said: "In the UK, the cost of pallets has escalated with prices rising by 15% in 2007 and 20% in 2008. For economic reasons as well as environmental, it made sense to find a way to prevent all those pallets going to waste."

European Logistics Management collects the 1200mm by 920mm pallets and refurbishes damaged units for reuse by Cemex.

The scheme saves the merchant the cost of used pallet disposal. "We get excellent data about who is and who isn't returning the pallets," Mr Russell said. 

"The first year has been successful in keeping pallets in the system for several repeated shipments, though repairs and quality control become of increasing importance the longer they are in the system," he added.



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