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Pallet pooling is especially useful for companies that need to turn around products quickly, such as food suppliers, while a wooden structure is preferable for industries dealing in heavier goods, MacQuarie Group Ltd. analyst Russell Shaw said.

Paper pallets designed to last for a single journey also represent a challenge to pooling systems used by many of the container industry’s biggest customers, including Cincinnati- based Procter & Gamble Co. and Rotterdam-based Unilever, the world’s two largest consumer-goods companies.

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) — Wooden pallets churned out in their billions over the five decades during which they’ve dominated world trade face a challenge from a cardboard rival that’s the brainchild of furniture retailer Ikea Group.

For the past few years, the list of the annual CWB Design Portfolio award winners has been published in the November issue of Custom Woodworking Business magazine. This year, we are expanding the Design Portfolio program to allow the entire industry to participate, first by entering. And then, by voting in an informal “People’s Choice” poll. In addition to the traditional panel judging of entrants — now managed online — we are inviting the wood industry to vote on entrants at WoodworkingNetwork.com/designportfolio. A December 2011 special publication will be issued, heralding the winners in a freshly designed digital edition, delivered electronically. Included will be details of production techniques, veneers, solid woods and materials and processes used by the winners. This Best of the Best CWB Design Portfolio Digital Edition will also recap other juried woodworking awards from around the industry. The contest deadline was extended to Nov. 7. Following is preview of a few of the entries submitted by our publishing date.

“Paper pallets and other cardboard packaging products are not suitable for pooling,” Hall said. “They’re not durable enough, not capable of withstanding heavy loads or extremes of weather and temperature, and they can’t be repaired. It’s not what our customers are looking for.”

Pooled pallets like those provided by industry leader CHEP, a unit of Sydney-based Brambles Ltd. deriving its name from Australia’s Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool, which oversaw defense supplies in WWII, have gained in popularity as companies find it easier and more cost-effective to outsource flows.

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