While wood pallets are still the most commonly used product type, the study says that metal and plastic pallets are registering "impressive" sales gains. Plastic pallets, in particular, have seen the strongest advances in percentage terms historically, and Freedonia stated they will continue to record above average stock and demand increases.
Plastic pallets are long lasting and fully recyclable, allowing producers to tout both their lower lifecycle costs and environmental friendliness. Over the long term, increased use of metal and plastic pallets will reduce annual product demand requirements relative to stock, because of their much longer lifespan than wood pallets.
Still, the report pointed out that metal and plastic pallets' current market share is so small that the effect on overall pallet sales through 2022 will be minimal.