March-April 2018

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Lumber usage between hardwood and softwood are estimated at 4.1 and 5.0 billion board feet of hardwood and softwood lumber used for pallet production in 2016, for a ratio of 45% hardwood and 55% softwood. The hardwood market continues to recover from the 2008 downturn, but softwood appear to remain the more popular material for pallet manufacture at this point. Overall, the production estimates represent approximately 43% and 15% of total hardwood and softwood lumber produced in the U.S., respectively. The popularity of the most typical pallet footprints indicates a similar trend seen in prior studies. The 48x40 pallet (35% of pallets) is the most popular dimensional pallet, and by a wide margin, but the predominant pallet size is the "other" category, indicating that custom pallets (39% of pallets) are the most widely used pallets in the U.S. When compared to prior studies, the difference between these two categories is smaller, which suggests that the industry may be becoming more standardized that it has in the past. PalletCentral • March-April 2018 13

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