The post Brexit challenges of timber pallet supply

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Changes in legislation due to Brexit have left UK exporters having to manage the complexity of sourcing timber packaging to move their shipments into Europe. Timber packaging includes timber pallets.

Timber pallets did not previously require heat treatment to be allowed to move within the EU. However, new legislation, which came into force on January 1st, 2021, requires that all timber packaging now needs to comply with IPSM15 standards. 

Wooden pallets stacked outside in a yard

Timber Pallets and ISPM15 Explained 

ISPM15 is an International Phytosanitary Measure, developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). It  addresses the need to treat timber used to ship products between countries, and requires heat treatment for timber of 6mm thickness or greater to ensure it is free from pests. 

Timber pallets that conform to the ISPM15 standard are referred to as “Heat Treated” and their compliance is indicated by an ISPM15 branded mark on the pallets. 

Freshly cut timber in a pine forrest

Challenges in Timber Pallet Supply

This change in legislation means that more businesses are sourcing ISPM compliant pallets than ever before, driving demand through the roof. Raw material price increases due to low availability of timber are further compounding the problem. 

The timber supply problem has a number of causes. Bad weather, infestation or licencing issues, depending on forest location, are creating serious shortages.  The UK has gone lockdown DIY crazy and the construction industry seems to be booming internationally. As a result, there just isn’t enough capacity in kiln processing to heat treat all the timber required to meet demand. 


Alternatives to Timber Pallets

If you are experiencing supply issues, here are a few alternatives to traditional timber pallets for consideration:  

Inka Presswoos pallet

Presswood Pallets

Presswood pallets combine 85% natural wood fibre with synthetic resin. Moulded at high temperatures to provide a smooth, solid base, they protect loads from moisture or contamination. 

Compliant with ISPM15 regulations, the pallets have a “nesting” feature that saves over 50% of storage space when not in use. They don’t use nails or screws and they have rounded corners, all of which makes handling easier.

Plastic pallet cut out

Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are lightweight, ISPM15 exempt, and reusable – they will last for nearly 250 journeys. 

Because they are non-porous, they can be washed and sterilized, which makes them especially suitable for the food and pharmaceutical industries. And as they require no nails and don’t create splinters, manual handling is easy. 

Corrugate pallet

Corrugate Pallets 

Heavy-duty corrugate pallets are incredibly light, but very strong and durable. 

Each pallet weighs only 4kg but can hold up to 750kg. And because they are exempt from ISPM15 regulations they can be shipped worldwide. 

They are also foldable, space-saving and extremely clean to handle, with no splinters or nails. 

Corrugate Pallet Runners

Corrugate pallet runners can be attached to the base of boxes so no pallet is needed. Used just like a regular pallet, they can hold up to 800kg per pair. 

And there is no need for screws or assembly thanks to the strong adhesive on the rails. 

Macfarlane Packaging can support your business with timber heat treated pallets and any of the above alternatives. Contact us today to find out more. 

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