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Avoiding Theft in the Pallet Industry

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

The shortage of lumber has created serious consequences to the pallet industry. Recently, there has been a surge of pallet thefts. The pallet industry has become a victim to these thefts that come in different forms. The culprits have been getting away with these thefts for too long. Today’s blog post will discuss the types of thefts conducted and some of Guero Pallets tips for stopping thefts from occurring.

People often underestimate the importance of pallets. Pallets are a huge part of the industrial world that makes it possible for the everyday consumer to get their products. According to the packaging revolution there’s an estimated 849 million wood pallets that were produced in 2016. This includes both new and recycled pallets. When pallets and trailers are stolen they cost businesses millions of dollars. According to the Food Marketing Institute lost reusable packing assets, which includes pallets among other things, cost American business $750 million to $1 billion each year. There are some states like Arizona who have pushing legislators for harsher pallet theft consequences and stronger regulations among recycling centers when receiving pallets. In an article by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago was referred to as “the nation’s hotbed for this thievery”. Since Guero Pallets is located in Chicago we want to find resolutions to these thefts and help our neighboring companies.

There are many solutions that can be done to decrease the amount of pallet and trailer thefts within companies. Here are the top 5 solutions Guero Pallets recommends.

1. Know where your trailers are at all times and their locations. There are different systems that can be used to track trailers. If you are a small business we would recommend tracking all of the trailers with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Everyday record the trailer swaps and the changes that are made. Even though this system is time consuming and tedious it works. In addition, the titles to every trailer should always be on hold. Don’t let them become an after thought that you remember once it’s too late.

2. Be careful when customers are paying with a credit card. Credit cards are used for so many purchases. At Guero Pallets we set a limit of how much we can charge on a credit card. If a customer wants an order above that set limit the customer will need to pay with a check.

3. Be careful with new customers. It is always great to get new cliental. Sometimes thieves will pretend to be clients when they in fact are not. It is important to meet customers in person, do your research on their company, and have them fill out a credit vendor application that you can keep as reference.

4. Never pay for shipping costs. The only exception is if the customer has already paid for those shipping costs. The customer can pick up the pallets if they need to. Ultimately, in all situations of business legal documentation is necessary and especially in situations of paying for shipping costs.

5. Finally, if you are a victim to a pallet or trailer theft you need to report it. People are getting away with this crime because there aren’t serious consequences. Police reports are not done as often as they should be. If companies don’t start reporting pallet thefts than authorities won’t give the problem any significance.

We hope that this blog post has helped other companies. Stay updated on more pallet news through our blog posts!


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