McNeilly Pallet Blog

Shipping Pallet Trends: Challenges and Future Insights 2023


Pallets, the workhorses of logistics, continue to play a pivotal role in the supply chain. In 2023, the pallet industry has faced both challenges and promising trends, as highlighted in the “Pallet Industry Size & Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts (2023 – 2028).” This comprehensive report offers a fresh perspective on the state of the industry, incorporating the latest insights and data. Today, we will walk you through the report and help you decipher the current and upcoming shipping pallet trends.

Challenges in the Shipping Pallet Industry

Lumber Price Volatility: The perennial challenge of lumber price volatility persists. In 2023, the report shows that the pallet industry grapples with the ongoing rollercoaster ride of lumber prices. This volatility directly affects production costs, limiting the availability of wood pallets and contributing to higher expenses across the industry.

Supply and Demand Dynamics: Supply and demand imbalances, which have plagued the industry for the past few years, continue to pose challenges. Despite a surge in demand, supply struggles to meet it adequately. This trend remains a concern for industries heavily reliant on pallets.

Shipping Pallet Usage Trends

Pallet Material Preferences: The report reaffirms wooden pallets as the dominant choice, with plastic pallets steadily gaining ground. In 2023, 94% of respondents still favor wood, while 37% opt for plastic.

Pallet Sizes and Types: Standard pallet sizes, like the 48 x 40-inch dimensions, maintain their popularity. Variations, such as 48 x 48-inch and 42 x 42-inch pallets, also continue to find favor among users.

New vs. Used Pallets: 2023 sees a notable shift in the pallet industry’s attitude toward new and used pallets. While 60% of respondents still buy new wooden pallets, the report underscores a rising interest in used pallets. This rise in interest comes from the affordability of recycled pallets and the sustainable role they play in the shipping industry.

Emerging Trends in Pallet Industry

Plastic Shipping Pallets on the Rise:Plastic pallets are experiencing increased demand across various industry verticals. The 2023 report highlights their ascent, driven by factors like sturdiness and lightweight design.

Pallet Rental Model:The concept of pallet rental and pooling services continues to gain traction, with 12% of respondents using or planning to use such services, up from 9% in 2020. This model offers a compelling solution in times of pallet scarcity and rising costs.

International Pallet Shipments:International pallet shipments are becoming more prominent. While domestic shipments remain dominant, an uptick in global trade is evident as economies recover from the pandemic’s impact.

The Main Take-aways

The 2023 Pallet Industry Report provides a current snapshot of an industry navigating challenges and embracing evolving trends. However, the industry’s resilience shines through, emphasizing its enduring importance in the world of logistics. As we look ahead, these trends will undoubtedly influence the future of pallets in supply chains, reaffirming their status as indispensable assets.

Ready to enhance your supply chain with top-quality recycled wooden pallets? Contact McNeilly Wood Products today and discover how our industry-leading solutions can optimize your logistics. Let’s build a stronger, more efficient supply chain together.

Get in touch now!

Annual Pallet Report 2021: Short Supply Meets High Demand – Logistics Management (

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