CHEP reaches agreement after legal battle with pallet firm

By: Jason Whittaker


CHEP Australia and West Australian company, Jason’s Pallets, have reached an agreement over the use of CHEP’s distinctive blue pallets

CHEP Australia and West Australian company, Jason’s Pallets, have reached an agreement over the use of CHEP’s distinctive blue pallets after a legal battle over ownership.

Following extensive but failed negotiations, CHEP commenced legal action and has now settled the matter out of court. As a result of the settlement Jason’s has acknowledged CHEPs ownership rights, and undertaken to not acquire, sell, dispose of, trade in or otherwise deal with any CHEP pallet.

This is the third pallet dispute that CHEP has resolved in the last 12 months. In March last year, a local court in Sydney ruled that CHEP was entitled to the immediate possession of pallets in their case against a fruit and vegetable retailer, and in May the NSW Supreme Court handed down a similar ruling against two food wholesalers.

CHEP’s Terms of Hire state that CHEP remains the owner of its equipment at all times as part of a managed, reusable, returnable packaging solution. The only people legally entitled to use CHEP equipment are its hiring customers and their respective agents.

CHEP equipment cannot legally be bought, sold, modified, thrown away or exchanged for non CHEP equipment, according to the company.

President of CHEP Asia-Pacific Howard Wigham has welcomed the latest outcome, which he says reinforces the company’s commitment to maintaining equity for all customers.

"Customer feedback has identified the importance of CHEP maintaining a firm and consistent approach to the use of CHEP equipment, particularly pallets," he says.

"We are resolved to pursue organisations which engage in conduct that affects our customers and our supply of equipment."

Wigham says CHEP will continue to pursue businesses and persons who improperly used its pallets and other equipment.

"By outsourcing the management of returnable, reusable packaging solutions, our customers add value to their business. Unauthorised use of these assets erodes the value of that system, and creates unnecessary control burdens and costs on legitimate users," he says.

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