How Pallet Buyers Can Lumber Through the Lumber Crisis

If you’re like many people, you probably started a home improvement project while stuck at home last year. And your project probably used a little lumber. At the time nobody knew how the trend would impact lumber supply and, a few months later, the availability of pallets.

lumber yard

In 2020 lumber was snatched up in record numbers as people in lockdown decided to make the most of their time at home and complete a project or two. That and other factors, which we covered in a previous post, have created a lumber crisis.

For the pallet industry, lack of lumber means two things. First, there is not enough material to manufacture new pallets. Second, because there are fewer new pallets, those already in circulation are staying in circulation. And that means fewer cores on the market for pallet recyclers to repair and resell. But it is possible to overcome the crisis at hand.

Savvy Tips for Smart Pallet Buyers

  1. Invest time in your pallet inventory. Forecasting and planning has never been more important. Be sure to factor in contingencies such as stretching your existing supply a little longer than usual if it becomes necessary.
  2. Communicate. Do it early and frequently with your pallet provider to help us better plan for your needs.
  3. Consider alternative sizes or lumber species. Less-common sizes may be easier to procure than the standard 48×40 pallet. If you can also switch to a different lumber species, it may help shorten lead times.
  4. Be prompt to pay. If you pay on time, your account will be given priority over other accounts with longer payment terms.
  5. Value the relationship. While you may experience sticker shock with recent quotes, a better deal is unlikely around the corner. It’s best to stick with a supplier you know and trust to get you through these challenging times.

Rose Pallet is doing our best to stay abreast of the rapidly changing market conditions affecting pallet supply and pricing. Please know that we are here for you and are always available to discuss your needs and help you find solutions. In the meantime, you can also monitor the situation with weekly market reports, available at

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