Through recent research projects, the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA), Virginia Tech and the USDA Forest Service have collected survey data on the wooden pallet industry, related to the 2016 fiscal year. Below is some of their findings on production, lumber consumption and sizes, as reported in NWPCA’s article and Packaging Revolution’s article.

Production Statistics
– Estimated overall annual industry production in 2016: 849 million pallets
– Of those, 508 million were new and 341 million were recycled
Compared to data collected in 2011, these estimations represent:
– A 14% increase in overall production
– A 22% increase in new pallets and a 5% increase in recycled pallets

Lumber Consumption in Pallet Production
– Estimated lumber consumption in pallet production in 2016: Between 4.1 and 5 billion board feet
– The ratio of hardwood and softwood lumber used in pallet production is 45% hardwood and 55% softwood
– Pallet production uses about 43% of hardwood and 15% of softwood lumber produced in the U.S.

Pallet Sizes
– The most popular dimensional pallet: 48×40 (35% of pallets produced)
– The most widely used pallets in the U.S.: Custom (39% of pallets produced)
Compared to data collected in 2011:
– 48×40 pallets increased from 24% in 2011 to 35% in 2016
– Custom pallets decreased from 60% in 2011 to 39% in 2016

Other Pallet Statistics

In an article on the environmental benefits of wood-use for pallets, the NWPCA gives some other interesting statistics on the wooden pallet industry, including:

– “Wood continues to outpace the demand for other materials in the pallet market. According to the most recent pallet user survey conducted by Modern Materials Handling, wood continues to dominate with 95 percent of respondents reporting that they use wooden pallets at their facility.”
– More than 1.8 billion pallets are in service in the U.S. each day and 93% of them are made from wood.
– “More than $400 billion worth of American trade is exported annually on wood pallets and containers worldwide.”

Statistics change through the years, but wooden pallets continue to be one of the best products available for shipping purposes. General Pallets offers quality pallets and we are equipped to meet all your shipping needs. Contact us today!