Compared to 2022, 2023 has witnessed a significant growth in the use of Euro EPAL pallets. The total production in 2023 has exceeded 100 million pallets, marking a significant milestone in the industry. This achievement demonstrates the commitment of the European Pallet Association eV to maintain and improve the quality of their products, reaffirming the crucial role of Euro EPAL pallets in the transportation and storage of goods.
What is EPAL Pallet? Formation History
Initially, Euro pallets had their origins in wooden pallets used in the railway industry. However, since 1961, the European railway industry standardized these pallets under the auspices of the International Union of Railways (UIC). The original innovation came from the Svensson brothers in Gyllsjö, Skåne, Sweden.
The use of Euro pallets significantly streamlines the process of loading goods onto train cars, reducing the time required by about 10% compared to previous methods. In 1968, the Association also established standards for lattice boxes along with lattice box pallets.
Following this standardization, most European industries transitioned to using Euro pallets for their transportation, forklift, and optimized warehouse needs. National associations developed agreements for pallet exchange, where goods are delivered on Euro pallets and then returned in an equal number of Euro pallets (“pallet for pallet”). The maintenance and quality control of Euro pallets are overseen by the association, ensuring the removal or repair of old pallets from the supply chain.
Due to its efficiency, the use of various Euro pallet types has been spreading not only across Europe but also enabling cross-border transactions, from North America to Central Asia.
EPAL Pallet Brand
The remarkable success of Euro pallets has led to the issue of counterfeiting and low-quality copies flooding the market. Many of these pallets are produced using low-quality, easily damaged wood, and are prone to mold.
Confronting this issue, the International Union of Railways (UIC), which owns the EUR/EPAL brand, created a specialized standardization agency called the European Pallet Association eV (EPAL). EPAL, established in 1991, marked an important milestone, as the EUR and EPAL logos can now only be used by those licensed by the organization. They take full responsibility for the safety and quality of all circulating pallets.
In 2022, the European Pallet Association eV recorded an impressive achievement by producing over 109.05 million Euro EPAL pallets meeting quality standards. This represents a significant improvement compared to 2021 when just over 100 million Euro EPAL pallets were produced. This growth equates to a 7.55% increase, resulting in an additional 7.65 million Euro EPAL pallets compared to the previous year. It demonstrates the development and stability of the pallet industry and the commitment of the association to maintaining high standards for their products.