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Pallet Pooling, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Insight • min reading time 3

A 2020 headache? Need some help? You wouldn’t be the only one

Diane Carroll published on 24 November 2020

2020 has seen the arrival of three new problem children to the logistics sector, namely Brexit, ISPM15 and Covid-19.

Let’s start with child one – Brexit

It may have been 4 years in the planning, but the full effect of Brexit won’t really be felt until 1 January 2021, when the UK will become a ‘third’ country. This also marks the end of the transition period – which means that all wooden pallets leaving and entering the UK must meet the requirements of ISPM15.

Which leads us to ISPM15 - Problem child two

ISPM15 stands for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. ISPM15 is a standard phytosanitary measure developed by the International Plant Protection Convention. The process required for pallets and other wooden packaging to meet this standard ensures that diseases and/or pests are not transported across European borders.

As wooden pallets are largely responsible for the transportation of most grocery and household items, the need to comply with ISPM15 will have a huge impact on the FMCG supply chain. It means essentially that all wooden pallets moving between the UK and Europe must be heat treated and stamped to prove compliance. Pallets that do not comply will receive additional delays due to checking time at borders, risk of returned goods on pallets (and additional transportation/storage costs), potential costs for destruction or repalletisation and loss of perishable items.

The pending deadline and lack of a ‘deal’ – or indeed any real clarity, especially regarding the Irish border - means that ISPM15 is seeing a renewed focus in the sector. As you can imagine, this has led to many big questions being asked of the UK government – one of which has been in the press a number of times - ‘will there be sufficient ISPM15 pallets available to export UK produced products to Europe on 1 January?’

Let’s not forget problem child 3 - Covid-19

Covid-19 has had a not insignificant impact on the FMCG industry and the supply chain as a whole. We only have to consider the shortages, seen back in March, of everything from toilet paper to dried pasta! Time spent here by UK businesses means many lost months in preparation for Brexit.

LPR’s is fortunate enough to count household names amongst its customer base. As you can imagine, they, and as a result we, saw demand increase – in a way that could never have been forecasted. How did we cope? You can read how we helped Sofidel meet Covid-19 demand.

So, in conclusion:

Brexit will come into play on 1 January 2021 – you need to understand what it means to your business.

Check that your pallet provider has sufficient ISPM15 compliant pallets so that you can continue to move your imports and exports to and from Europe.

Whilst there is news of a vaccine, it looks like Covid-19 is here for to stay (for now) and will continue to impact the supply chain - having a partner that understands and can support your business peaks and troughs will help reduce the headache!

It would be remiss of me not to point out here that LPR is ready for Brexit, we can provide ISPM15 compliant pallets, and we helped a world leader in toilet roll and kitchen paper meet demand during panic buying – you could say, we’re good with problem children!

Contact us to have further information or call 01527 523311

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Diane Carroll

Commercial Director UK & Ireland

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