The European Pallet Association ( EPAL) and the European Federation of Wooden Pallets& Packaging Manufacturers ( FEFPEB) have both warned that wooden pallets – indispensable handling and storage products, may soon become harder to find in Europe.

Normally Europe imports its wooden pallets and the materials to make them from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.  The results for companies further down the line, is a sudden rise in pallet prices, and the risk of running out of products seen as essential to the supply chain.

Last year, according to the FEFPEB, Europe imported more than 2.7 million cubic metres of sawn softwood timber, much of which was used to make wooden pallets and packaging manufactured in European markets. Ukraine also produced and exported an estimated 15 million pallets, most of which were sent to Europe.

As the European economy bounces back from months of pandemic-induced lockdowns, demand for pallets is very strong, but shortages of truck drivers, tight timber supplies and soaring energy costs are making it difficult to meet this demand.