The growing concern about global warming and the destruction of the planet has made it a necessity for every business to inspect and take actions to reduce their carbon footprint. Sustainability is now a key factor in many of the hiring decisions for vendors. Each industry is taking strides to be ecologically conscious in business decisions. The United States devotes billions of dollars to the transport of goods and products across the country and a majority of these items involve pallets at the docs for loading and unloading. Of the 500 million pallets created each year, 90% are made from wood. Part of the good stewardship focus has been the continual increase of recycled and reissued wood pallets. As a national pallet recycling company, 48forty has stepped up our production, however, we have taken additional actions to help to ensure that wood pallets become part of the ecological contribution to the health of the environment. 48forty began with a focus on wood pallet recycling and our 25 years of experience makes us the most qualified to move the industry forward.
At 48forty, we take recycling seriously and have a complete team devoted to examining ways and methods to expand our green efforts. We must be doing something the right way because we are proud to say that 48forty has been named “Green Supply Chain Partner for 2020” by Inbound Logistics magazine. Our pallet recycling program is one of most in-depth of any national pallet company and we are continuing to add new innovations to expand our vision.
Recycling over 90 million pallets every year has made 48forty the largest pallet recycler in the nation. With 45 company-owned and operated facilities and over 180 affiliates, we bring quality pallets that comply with rigorous quality management system production. We are pleased with our green report card, but always striving to do more.
Most wood pallets that become damaged only have a portion that makes the unit unusable. 48forty carefully disassembles a bad pallet and reconstructs it using new or other recycled materials. Our team builds the new pallet so that it has just as much quality and strength as a brand new pallet, including all nails.
There does come a time when some pallets are no longer viable. When this situation occurs they are disassembled, including the careful removal of any metal and nails. We then convert all wood to:
All metals are taken to metal recyclers so that they can use it to repurpose the nails.
The average wood pallet has a lifetime span of from 7-9 round trips. While the journeys can be completely different based on the destination and products being shipped, our 48forty pallet repair process is on constant duty. Whenever there is a fixable solution whether it’s replacing a broken stringer or deck board, we will do what it takes to expand the life of the pallet so that it brings quality service.
48forty not only creates new pallets with the finest quality wood, but we are the largest buyer of recycled white wood pallets and the largest recycler of pallets in the country! This statement says a lot for our commitment, considering the sheer volume of pallets.
We have added a technology tool called the 48forty calculator that allows anyone to configure the personal environmental impact of recycling their pallets.
Our green report card efforts are equivalent to:
The 48forty pallet recycling program includes purchasing pallets and we have developed a calculator so that anyone that is considering recycling pallets can quantify their impact on the environment.
The amount of trash and waste products that is generated by consumers in the United States in 2017 totaling to 267.8 million tons. This equates to 4.51 lbs per person, per day. Our landfills have been stressed to the maximum so that some areas no longer have any locations for the volume of trash. Thanks to local, state, and federal recycling programs, we are seeing a reduction in waste and the wood pallet recycling process has helped in that reduction. According to research on wood pallet recycling and landfills, 95% of wood pallets are recovered and transitioned into reusable materials. To give an idea of comparison of commitment to sustainable efforts: in 1998, 178.5 million wood pallets were placed in landfills as opposed to 25.39 million wood pallets in 2016.
The 48forty pallet purchase program is taking proactive steps to play a major role in the reduction of wood pallets in landfills so that one day we will be able to say that landfills contain “0” wood pallets. Our sustainability efforts require the participation of all organizations that have pallets that they don’t want or need.
48forty is very proud of our PalTrax™ online technology tool. We have taken the hassles out of the administrative side for our customers so that they can accomplish 24/7:
From the moment of first contact from our customers we are accountable for all aspects of an order. It begins with working with the 48forty representatives to discuss options and choices, is followed by online confirmation according to specs, then enters the delivery stage and if chosen, we will accommodate pallet pickup.
With over 45 company-owned and operated facilities and 180 affiliates, 48forty also offers savings with our private fleet so that our customers avoid the costly third-party transportation fees. Our fleet of 4,500 trailers and nearing 300 power units ensure that our customers are serviced coast-to-coast with end-to-end pallet solutions that cover supply to retrieval, on-site services, reverse logistics, and retail service.
Clients can access the status 24/7 through the use of our PalTrax™ online tool and mobile app.
48forty brings together the efficiency of ordering pallets that can meet the needs of unique requirements while accommodating cost-efficient and ecologically friendly recycled benefits. A member of the 48forty team will discuss the options of any custom order and offer the professional expertise and advice that is needed.
As an FYI – the common recycled pallets are available in high quality construction in the following specs:
Premium A Grade
Dimensions: 48 x 40"
Also called AAA, A+, 1A, Club Grade, or Premium Plus (Canada)
Nominal 6" lead boards on top and bottom decks
Stringers have no block, companion board, or plate repairsGrade 1 GMA – A clean pallet that may have mending plates but no companion stringers
Standard A Grade
Dimensions: 48 x 40"
Also called #1, Grade 1, or Premium (Canada)
Nominal 4" or 6" lead boards on top and bottom decks
Stringers have no block or companion board repairs, may include plate and/or corrugate repairs
Standard B Grade
Dimensions: 48 x 40"
Also called #2, Grade 2, or Regular (Canada)
Nominal 4" or 6" lead boards on top and bottom decks
Stringers may have block or companion board, corrugate, or plate repairs
For the last fifteen years or so there has been an increase in requirements for vendors and businesses to comply with green efforts as part of their business plans. Local, state and federal contracts often require that a bid be submitted only when a contractor can comply with ecology-focused RFPs. This attitude originated during the construction of a variety of new sports stadiums across the country where communities required green efforts for everything from water reclamation and 100% recycling to only hiring food and service vendors that complied with recycling efforts for their products. This attitude has cascaded into a variety of other business models as companies must offer proof that they are committed to earth-friendly practices.
The 48forty team works diligently to pursue additional paths to enhance efforts for more ecologically sound actions. We have devoted 25 years to recycling and reusing wood pallets and are considered to be the top full service pallet company in the industry.
According to the European group, CEI-BOIS, the benefits of using wood over alternative materials:
“Every cubic meter of wood used as a substitute for other building materials reduces CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by an average of 1.1 ton CO2. If this is added to the 0.9 tons of CO2 stored in wood, each cubic meter of wood saves a total of 2 tons CO2. Based on these figures, a 10% increase in the percentage of wooden houses in Europe would produce sufficient CO2 savings to account for about 25% of the reductions prescribed by the Kyoto Protocol5.”
Plastic is a fossil fuel product and as we know, our planet is inundated with so much plastic that it’s floating in garbage patches in the ocean and filling our landfills. Plastic pallets don’t biodegrade at all and are not considered to be of any benefit for green efforts. Plastic of any sort increases the carbon footprint of the company that employs them. Another downside to plastic pallets is that, unlike wood, they aren’t fast and easy to accommodate custom sizes very quickly. As a national pallet recycling company, 48forty makes use of every aspect of recycle and reuse that the natural wood products bring to us. We put our 25 years of experience to work in the art and science of pallet recycling and reuse and take pride in being the best in full service for the pallet industry.
Photosynthesis brings us trees as an abundant natural resource. The process of capturing CO2 and combining it with water and soil creates the amazing material of wood. No other commonly-used material requires so little energy and yet offer so many opportunities for use, reuse, and recycling.