ALC Kicks Off Year; March And May Meetings Upcoming

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Greensboro, NC – The pallet industry moves the world and the demand for wood resources is strong in 2023, according to a report to the Appalachian Lumbermen’s Club (ALC) recently.

The forecast for pallet lumber needs is an estimated 9.16 billion board feet this year, said Mark Barford, senior director for business partnerships with the National Wood Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA). He spoke to a great crowd at the recent meeting in Greensboro, NC.

The demand volume has increased from 2022 and continues the trend of softwood lumber exceeding Hardwoods.

The resource split has maintained these percentages in recent years as pallet users have found softwoods can provide the strength needed at the price required. NWPCA has developed the Pallet Design System (PDS) that enables manufacturers to determine load ratings for pallets and specify the lumber species.

Barford said the PDS shows Hardwood pallets with smaller dimension stringers and deck boards are equal in strength to softwood materials in slightly larger dimension. The availability of the lumber and price are determining factors for pallet manufacturers and end users.

He said more than 540 million new pallets are produced annually and another 310 million are recycled back into service. The pallet industry has a $31 billion impact on the U.S. economy and more than 90 percent of goods are reportedly shipped on pallets.

NWPCA is promoting the use of wood materials through its “Nature’s Packaging” promotion. The group recently completed an Environmental Product Declaration that reaffirms wood pallets have a potential net carbon positive impact.

The next meeting of the ALC is March 14, 2023 at the Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA. The Spring Beach Meeting is set for May 4-7 in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

More information is available at www.lumberclub.org.

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