ALC unveils industry-wide approach to pallets

New strategy includes a best practice outline and dispute resolution advice and procedures

ALC unveils industry-wide approach to pallets
The ALC pallet-handling document is the result of extensive consultations


The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has released a pallet guideline that is set to underpin  greater efficiencies in the supply chain.

The Pooled Equipment Management guideline delivers an industry-wide approach to the use of pallets and is based on six pallet management fundamentals which aims to achieve greater standardisation, ALC managing director Michael Kilgariff says.

"The Australian logistics industry is heavily reliant on pooling equipment and the new ALC guideline is an important step for the industry," Kilgariff says.

"Pallets are a critical link in the supply chain because they enable goods to be moved efficiently and effectively from producer to wholesaler and retailer, removing the need to unpack and repack goods.

"The pooling equipment system has to work on the transferring of responsibility for pooling equipment as the goods that sit on them move from producer to consumer," he adds.

"It is everyone’s interests that the system works efficiently and effectively because the cost of damaged and unaccounted for pooling equipment is inevitably borne within the supply chain."

He says operators need to be aware, understand and build an accurate process that follows the goods as they move through the supply chain.

"This gives rise to a set of responsibilities and expectations on the part of all parties handling pooling equipment which are set in the ALC guideline.

"With the logistics industry accounting for more than 8 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product), any practice which undermines industry efficiency is not only bad for the sector, it undermines the efficiency of the Australian economy.

"With literally millions of pallets in circulation, there simply must be a nationally consistent and industry wide approach to their use."

In addition to identifying roles and responsibilities of all parties, the guideline also includes a best practice outline and dispute resolution advice and procedures.

The document is the result of extensive consultations between a wide range of supply chain participants under the auspices of the ALC Pallet Working Group, which includes pallet pooling companies, suppliers, transporters, retailers and other industry bodies led by the ALC.

The ALC will now work with the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) to develop an appropriate training package to support widespread industry knowledge and application of the guideline’s best practice principles.

It plans to convene another working group in the next year to review the guideline’s process.

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