ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - Feb 13, 2012) - Leading International Retailer, IKEA, recently announced its plans to phase out the use of wooden pallets across its global operations and to transition instead to lean alternative shipping platforms consisting of loading ledges and paper pallets.
"No other retailer in the world has committed to such a change," said an IKEA representative in a recent article by Packaging Revolution. "IKEA stores are the first global example of how to work with non-wooden pallets in a high-volume retail environment."
IKEA made the decision based on the overwhelming advantages associated with plastic pallets and paper platforms. Though the change required a complete overhaul of supply chain operations and routines, IKEA still found that it was the best business decision for the company.
Loading ledges are not exclusive to IKEA and are commercially available as the OptiLedge. The OptiLedge presents the opportunity for dramatic savings to other supply chains, as well, by decreasing the costs associated with labor, fuel, packaging and product damage. The less than two-pound plastic shipping pallet replacement is also extremely durable, 100 percent recyclable, helps keep the air clean by reducing overall wood consumption and reduces overall fuel emissions.
"IKEA's recent statements regarding the planned elimination of wooden pallets from its supply chain is a huge endorsement for the OptiLedge concept," said Jonathan North, General Manager of the business unit responsible for the OptiLedge at Inter IKEA Systems B.V. "This dramatic move by IKEA sends a strong message to other supply chain stakeholders that there are real cost effective alternatives to traditional wooden pallets. Even asset conservative, but labor intensive floor loading practices can benefit from the OptiLedge. There is nothing very unique about IKEA's supply chain, so the savings opportunities are equally applicable to other users, whether in the retail industry or not."
The OptiLedge, made from strong copolymer polypropylene, has many advantages over paper platforms, as well. For instance, the OptiLedge is less susceptible to moisture, maintains stiffness with flexible loads and is more durable compared to paper pallets. The injection molding process ensures much higher levels of product consistency. The drawbacks of paper pallets reveal why the OptiLedge is the leading alternative to wooden platforms.
To learn more about the OptiLedge shipping platforms, visit www.optiledge.com.
Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA concept and the global IKEA franchisor. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is also the owner of the intellectual property associated with the loading ledge concept which is an integral part of IKEA's move away from wooden pallets. In non-IKEA supply chains, the loading ledge is referred to as the OptiLedge, and is available through a number of licensees located in North America, Asia and Europe.