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12 PalletCentral July-August 2014 f you've ever driven a sassy new ride off an auto dealer's lot, you know the sense of pride and exhilaration that accompanies the experience. There's that new-car smell; the unbelievably immaculate interior, the throaty purr of the engine and the shiny glow of brand, spankin' newness. It will probably not surprise you to learn that behind every new vehicle there is a pallet backstory. Pallets provide an efficient and effective transit and storage solution to the domestic automotive supply chain, and almost all automotive components are shipped on pallets. About 25 years ago, the Big Three American automakers, Chrysler, Ford and GM, established guidelines for their suppliers regarding pallet configuration for shipment of parts and set the standard automotive pallet spec at 48.00 X 45.00, with smaller pallets, often referred to as fastener pallets or bolt pallets, which are used for smaller parts that are packed in smaller boxes, measuring 32.00 X 30.00. "This standard footprint maximizes space utilization during transport because you can fit two 48 X 45s or three 32 X 30s side-by-side in a truck," notes Mitchell Kamps, vice president of sales at Kamps Pallets. "It also makes it easier for manufacturers who supply parts to all three automakers by offering a standard footprint. Between the Big 3 and their suppliers there still is considerable areas of opportunity to standardize their shipping platform which would drive out more cost in the supply chain if they would be open to this type of collaboration." Wooden automotive pallets are both cost-effective and environmentally responsible, according to Kamps. "In a closed-loop scenario, we supply a manufacturer with pallets and then retrieve the pallets after the load is delivered, sort and repair them as necessary, and then re-issue the reusable, refurbished and reconditioned pallets back to the manufacturer so that the loop continues. "This standard footprint (established by the Big Three) maximizes space utilization during transport because you can fit two 48 X 45s or three 32 X 30s side-by-side in a truck." Mitchell Kamps, Kamps Pallets At a Kamps facility, pallets are retrieved from a manufacturer, sorted and repaired. The refurbished, reconditioned pallets then go back to the manufac- turer in a continuous loop. I TRANSIT & STORAGE SOLUTION FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY By Leah Wheeler COVER STORY AUTOMOTIVE PALLETS

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