Most of us regard the traditional pallet in a hardware shop or supply storage as such an everyday item that we do not think about its origin. However, an increasing number of pallets used in domestic or international transport have their roots in Finland and at Metsä Fibre sawmills.
In addition to pallets, high-quality, light and tough Nordic wood is also used for many kinds of special packaging in the industrial and commercial sectors. Pallets, boxes and various transport crates are used to transport such goods as special steel, foodstuffs, fruit, printing paper, machines and equipment, and even Dutch tulips.
“One very important end use segment is the petrochemical industry, particularly in the Persian Gulf countries,” says Tommi Saarnisto, Area Sales Director for the Americas, Middle East and Africa.
A trusted supplier for large-scale industry
Most of the Metsä Fibre sawn timber used for packaging ends up in industrial use as pallets manufactured in accordance with EUR and FIN standards. Ideally, the pallet factory is located alongside the client and operations between them are seamless, says Ville Valio, Area Sales Director for Europe.
“The production designer at the factory can inform the pallet manufacturer directly about the roll size being used. When the order is made in the evening, pallets suitable for the products are being manufactured the very next day.”
As an example, Valio mentions Simpele city in Finland, where the packaging and pallet factory is located very close to the Metsä Board paperboard mill. They cooperate on a daily basis.
Cleaner and better packaging
Although the raw material for wood packaging is mainly rough sawn timber, increasing attention is being paid to its workability, durability and quality. Dimensional accuracy is also important, since the tolerances are very small for pallets.
Ville Valio believes that the advantages of Nordic wood, grown in certified forests, are quite unbeatable for the customer, and are much the same as for other kinds of sawn timber.
“The strength and weight ratio of the wood are in a class of their own. The lightness also reduces the total weight of the packaging and thus the carbon footprint of transport. In addition, sawn timber is easy to work with, which is a particular advantage with special packaging,” says Valio.
Another advantage for domestic transport is that pallets and transport boxes are manufactured around Finland, which puts them close to customers. This avoids unnecessary transport, and saves the environment.
“Our trump cards also include delivery reliability, mill locations and large volumes,” Saarnisto and Valio declare.