2020 was a difficult and unpredictable year for many companies and industries, especially for the pallet sector. The pallet sector report from the Association of Pallet Networks (APN) gives us a detailed and unique insight on how the global pandemic impacted the industry which we are going to explore below.

Pallet Sector Report 2020 Statistics

Pallet Delivery

Although it was a slow start to 2020, by the end of the year pallet volumes were strong. With 27.8m pallets delivered, there was unexpected growth with an increase of 3.2% year on year. Focusing on home deliveries, B2C pallet deliveries stood at 17.9% compared to 13.1% the previous year. Although national lockdown saw a spike in online orders, home delivery continued to see a steady growth. Next-day delivery however saw a high demand in 2020 with 63% of pallets delivered on a next-day service.

Pallet Construction

The average pallet sizes for 2020 were virtually unchanged from previous years; 49.4% of pallets were full-sized, with 29.2% half pallets and 21.4% quarter pallets. This variety of pallet sizes has been present within the sector for a while because it is proven to provide flexibility and different opportunities for load fill. Following on from this, the average pallet weight in 2019 was 378kg, whereas in 2020 that rose to 380.5g. Over the entire year, 10.5 million tonnes of freight were delivered.

Trailer Utilisation

A significant increase during the pandemic and the latter part of 2020 was trailer utilisation. With an increase in pallet delivery and a focus on sustainability, trailer utilisation has proven to lower emissions and helps develop a truly environmentally friendly road transport service. In Q2, it reached 76.2% setting the bar high, with an average of 75.1% between April and December 2020.

Service Levels

One of the most significant statistics we are taking away from this report is that the service levels remained at 96% during 2020. Even though the pandemic brought us many lifestyle changes, such as new ways of working, staff shortages, sickness, new social rules, etc., the pallet and logistics sector remained resilient through it all.

These high service levels prove this, showcasing how consistently agile this industry is and the power it has throughout even the most difficult times. Cross Country Carriers are proud to be delivering essential freight nationwide to support the country, especially in times of crisis.

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