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    Double anniversary: 60 years of Euro pallet and 30 years of PKN EPAL

    EPAL is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the silent hero of logistics – the Euro pallet. Over the three decades of its operation, the organization has grown to become a leader in the Polish market. It is now betting on digitizing the world’s largest open pallet pool.

    The euro pallet has been conquering the logistics market since 1961. The versatile and at the same time environmentally friendly load carrier with characteristic dimensions of 800 mm x 1200 mm x 144 mm is one of the quiet heroes of the industry. Today, 600 million EPAL Euro pallets are in use worldwide and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, their production continues to grow.


    “As you can see, as an industry you have grown more than twice as fast as the Polish economy after 1989,” emphasized Professor Leszek Balcerowicz, during his lecture during the anniversary evening.


    Euro pallets are manufactured according to set standards to meet the increasing quality requirements of the supply chain. The EPAL organisation set up 30 years ago is responsible for ensuring that they comply with each standard. Independent quality assurance, international trademark protection, acceptance by all market participants, ecological responsibility and sustainability are the foundations of its operation. Currently, EPAL owns 69 per cent of the Polish pallet market, and in 2020 alone a total of 123.5 million load carriers bearing their logo were manufactured and repaired around the world.


    The digitalisation of the pallet pool


    Since 2018, EPAL has been working on the iPAL project to digitise the world’s largest open pallet pool. EPAL is now preparing to start producing iPAL pallets with a unique QR code, which will be applied directly on the production line.


    “We aim to make the Euro pallet an intelligent carrier, so our activities are moving towards digitalisation. It is important for us that soon the pallet, apart from its basic function, will also be an information carrier, thanks to which the level of safety and efficiency of the logistic chain will increase,” emphasises Roman Malicki, President of PKN EPAL.


    By assigning a serial number, the iPAL system will allow data on each pallet to be retrieved by the application. This will make it easier to read the serialized pallets and to monitor their history and lifecycle. What’s more, a QR code pallet will dispense with the need for an additional shipment labelling system by linking the goods shipment number to the pallet ID or pallet ID to the shipment.


    “Since the beginning of our activity, we have focused on guaranteeing the highest quality.  Digitalization is the future of logistics. Thanks to it we can talk about transparency in trading, knowledge about the age and date of production of pallets, location of its producer or history of repairs. Collecting this data in the iPAL application will give users confidence that the pallets they receive for exchange meet the highest quality standards,” adds Roman Malicki, President of PKN EPAL.


    Positive impact on the industry


    With its activities, EPAL also supports the close environment of the logistics industry. In 2021, the organization partnered with Navigor. The solution counteracts the ever-growing gap in truck driver availability due to, among other things: ageing, constant stress, difficult working conditions, poor scheduling, language barriers, costly learning process, or lack of knowledge about the location a driver is headed to.


    Navigor not only makes drivers’ work easier by providing them with detailed information about the logistics location, but it also saves many working hours, eliminates frustration and stress, and contributes to road safety.


    “By establishing cooperation with the Navigor system we want to help and influence the improvement of drivers’ comfort. All parties will benefit from this, shippers will save time, locations will be better organised and more efficient, while drivers will face fewer barriers in their work, which will allow them to perform at a better level,” says EPAL’s CEO.

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