Even with e-commerce growing every day, retail giant Costco continues to thrive and expand, both in the U.S. and around the world. As the leading subscription-based warehouse store, Costco boasts hundreds of stores and millions of subscribing shoppers, which has led to them developing robust supply chain management strategies.
A large part of Costco’s success is due to the company’s understanding of what its customers want — low prices on quality products — and its dedication to ensuring that’s what they get. The company keeps costs low by means including energy efficiency measures like skylights, carefully curated product offerings and a plain store appearance. The resulting savings are passed to the consumer, earning enviable satisfaction ratings.
As a company, Costco is also highly innovative in terms of implementing eco-friendly measures into its store plans. Since the company model focuses on maintaining low costs, this positions Costco as a role model for other enterprises hoping to launch sustainability solutions in the near future.
Costco’s Supply Chain Is Making Changes With Plastic Pallets
Costco currently uses three types of pallets, only one of which is made of plastic. However, the company recently told suppliers it intends to begin exclusively utilizing reusable plastic pallets throughout its supply chain within the next two years. This change from wood to plastic will allow Costco and its suppliers to function more sustainably.
Today, wood pallets often need to be pooled, sorted, scrapped and repaired based on use. These extra steps involve additional labor and freight, and they require facilities to invest in equipment and materials to ensure damaged or old wood pallets work correctly. In comparison, plastic pallets are more durable, have longer life cycles, weigh less and reduce the overall cost of business by removing the need for secondary freight and services. Plastic pallets can also be recycled. All these factors combine to make plastic the more sustainable option.
Once Costco switches to plastic, pallets will go directly from the supplier to store locations and back again. Any supplier doing business with Costco will need to have an internal action plan to adapt to this change and continue operations and fulfillment.
Polymer Solutions International Inc. Offers Reusable Plastic Pallets
The pallets that support retail operations are subject to rough handling and difficult conditions. Plastic is stronger than wood while also being lighter, making material handling easier and more forgiving. A plastic pallet will also remain clean, generating no dust or splinters.
On a more significant level, plastic pallets can be used longer and are easily recycled into new pallets when they begin to show signs of wear. This makes them an eco-friendly, socially responsible choice for supply chain management in high-volume operations.
Polymer Solutions International Inc. is committed to sustainability in everything we do. We make our rugged, commercial-grade plastic pallets with a proprietary process that allows their materials to be reused multiple times without sacrificing durability. Better yet, this process requires no thermal treatment and keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum.
Costco’s supply chain managers are aiming to keep packaging materials out of landfills, and Polymer Solutions International Inc. shares that mission. If you’re ready to enhance the sustainability of your enterprise with standard or custom plastic pallets, contact us online today or call 610-325-7500.