Pallet exchange is the process whereby the sender of goods, and the receiver of goods, exchange pallets. The receiver of the goods returns (exchanges) empty pallets to the sender. In this manner, the pallets can be reused in the cycle.
EURO-pallet exchange is a standardized process in the following countries: · Germany · Austria · Switzerland · Belgium · the Netherlands · Luxemburg.
On different roundtrips with pallet exchange it might happen, that time-to-time some pallets are missing and carrier has to pay for them. In Central-Europe clients usually charge 15€/per missing pallet + handling fees. Cost of losing the pallet note or not exchanging pallets as requested, can mean up to 500€ losses for carrier per order.
How to avoid having troubles with missing pallets?
– Important is to keep every movement of pallets documented. Driver should have enough empty pallet-notes in his cabin. Everytime he is loading or unloading some cargo on pallets, he should receive the signed pallet-note from that place. If not, he can write pallet-note himself and take the signature + stamp on it.
– It is useful to make a note on the CMR or to issue a “0” pallet-note even in case there was no pallet-exchange, no cargo on the pallets. This way You can avoid misunderstanding with Your clients later on.
– Another problematic matter might be regarding broken pallets. Driver should always control, that received pallets are in good shape. In case its not possible to control pallets under the cargo, than note it on the pallet-note… not always a useful solution, but might be helpful. Additionally, You should always inform the client about damaged pallets or in case it was not possible to control the condition of received pallets.
If Euro pallets display one or more of the following faults, the pallets are not exchangeable and should be repaired in accordance with EPAL’s Technical Regulations.
Non-exchangeable EPAL Euro pallets:
• A board is missing.
• A block is missing or split in such a way that more than one nail shank is visible.
• Twisted blocks must not protrude more than 10 mm.A bottom or deck board is splintered in such a way that more than one nail shank is visible.
• Twisted blocks must not protrude more than 10 mm.A board is broken transversally or diagonally.
A board is missing.
A block is missing or split in such a way that more than one nail shank is visible. Twisted blocks must not protrude more than 10 mm.
A bottom or deck board is splintered in such a way that more than one nail shank is visible.
A board is broken transversally or diagonally.
As mentioned, communication between driver/dispo and the client is the most important. Driver/dispo should always inform their customer in written before leaving unloading or loading place if any of above mentioned problems have happened to avoid future misunderstandings. Also, it´s good to have additional proof if pallet note should go missing.
Please share Your ideas how to avoid extra costs for pallet exchange.