SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- Concern about the quality of standard wooden pallets has led Price Chopper Supermarkets here to expand its third-party pallet-leasing program.
The retailer has signed a contract with National Pallet Leasing Systems, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Price Chopper already has approximately 10,000 pallets from Chep, Orlando, Fla., in its distribution center, and expects to continue using Chep to fulfill some of its pallet needs.
Price Chopper will begin adding NPLS pallets to its mix by the first quarter of 1999, according to a source familiar with the situation. Under the NPLS pallet-leasing program, the retailer does not have to ship pallets to a collection depot.
The apparent degradation of standard white wooden pallets in recent years was a catalyst for the retailer to use third-party pallet suppliers, said Thomas Bird, director of warehousing for Price Chopper.
Price Chopper also expects some savings in pallet-handling costs under the new agreement with NPLS.
Currently, the retailer has to ship about two trailers of pallets per day to a nearby Chep depot, Bird told SN. NPLS, on the other hand, has arranged to have a carrier pick up the pallets from Price Chopper's warehouse, saving "a small transportation cost," according to Bird.
Since the early 1990s, pallet pooling has increasingly been used by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to cut supply-chain costs by eliminating the need to return empty pallets to distribution centers.