Pacific Asia Region

The pallet concept was exported from the USA in a big way to Australia during WW2 in 1942 with the military 42 inch square, 2-way bearer pallet. Australia was only the second country in the world to use pallets. The Australian Wartime pallet was 42” square (1065 x 1065 mm) and by the 1950s that was developed to meet the needs of industry and became the general purpose Australian square pallet of 46” x 46” (1165 x 1165 mm). As a major trading nation Australia then had to change again and produce a smaller square pallet to both fit into the ISO freight container and also meet the nearest ISO 6780 permitted pallet size which is 1100 x 1100 mm. Thus the 1100 x 1100 became the second Australian size. Both sizes are now in the Australian National Standard AS 4068. The 46” x 46” still remains but only in agricultural pallet boxes.

1.5_400
Korean Pallet Pool plastic
1100x1100 pallets

The 1100 x 1100 square pallet is the most popular size in the far East though there is now competition with the 1200 x 1000 size pallet since so much exporting is done by the Far East into Europe and the USA. The China National Logistics Standardisation Committee carried out a survey in 2005 and this showed that in China 1200 x 1000 accounted for 27.8% and 1100 x 1100 for 26.4%. Europe and the USA cannot easily integrate the 1100 x 1100 into their pallet systems in that they will not fit safely into beam racks which are largely designed for 1200 x 1000 pallets.

The volume of plastic pallets in use is higher in this part of the world than Europe or the USA and is in part because there is less indigenous timber. For the substantial timber pallet volumes used large imports have to be made, typically of radiata pine from New Zealand.

For goods shipped to Europe the Europallet is often now required by customers and the European Pallet Association (EPAL) which controls the quality of Euros in Europe is now represented in Australia. During 2007 the first pallet company in Australia was granted a licence for the production and repair of Europallets in Oceania. The inspection company SGS is in charge of performing quality control.

Japanese pallet and packing standards are widely used in Asia Pacific, no doubt helped by being published in English which is a common language of contracts and trade in the Asia-Pacific region. This has obviously been stimulated by Australia and New Zealand which do considerable business with the area. Exporters/importers have found that if they require shippers in the region to work to Japanese or say Singapore Standards, then these standards on pallets, cases, crates, and dockside handling equipment need to be available in English.

Such standards can be of great value to Europeans whether or not shipping to that region, for example the Japanese timber packing case standards are one of the most comprehensive design aids available to any country. Singapore for example has an informative domestic pallet standard covering local and international pallet sizes and is published in English.

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