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Produce industry sounds alarm over pallet shortage

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The United Fresh Produce Association says pallet shortages are disrupting the produce supply chain. The organization says the lack of pallets is adding stress to a supply chain that is already facing significant challenges. Other supply chain issues include a lack of available trucks and shipping containers, labor challenges and a pending shortage of resin used to make reusable containers and pallets. Expectations are that the pallet shortage will continue for months, perhaps for the balance of 2021.

The shortage of lumber and wood products has increased the cost of raw lumber 200 percent to 350 percent and makes the cost of wood pallets increase incrementally.  Some report over the past few weeks, pallet costs have increased more than 400 percent, if the pallets are even available. The organization warns that without ensuring pallet availability for produce shipments, “there is little doubt that it will be very difficult, if not impossible,” to meet consumer produce demand.