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Could wooden pallets be posing a new risk to your cargo?

There are increasing reports that wooden pallets with higher moisture levels than usual are contributing to container rain. This happens when high moisture levels in a sealed container or trailer cause condensation on the roof which then falls like rain on the cargo below.

The reasons are simple. The current lumber shortage has seen prices skyrocket by 60% this year and is driving pallet manufacturers to use newer wood to meet rising demand. In the past the average time taken to turn a tree into a pallet was 30 days. Now the process is taking as little as 7 days.

While kiln drying can remove some of the moisture from wood, the moisture content of freshly cut green wood is around 100%. And kiln drying does little to reduce the moisture content of hardwood pallets. A typical 48x40-inch newly manufactured hardwood pallet can contain as much as three to four gallons of water.

The U.S. hardwood pallet industry produces around 400 million new wood pallets every year. And estimates suggest that 90% of these are delivered in ‘green’ condition.

The solution is simple, but it takes an expert to apply it.

The strategic use of desiccants can completely control the moisture levels in sealed containers and trailers. However, it needs an expert to assess the moisture and temperature levels on a given route to remedy the problem effectively.

We recently worked with a chemical company in North America, who had started running into problems with container rain with their cargo. They were shipping 40 containers a week and keen to resolve the problem without major disruption to their supply chain.

As a supplier of some of the most efficient and absorbent moisture control products, Cordstrap Moisture Control,  we were able to help our customer address the issue by assessing the specific risks of the load & transportation route and configuring a solution that meant that they could resume normal operations with total peace of mind. 

If you are using new wooden pallets in your supply chain and want to avoid the risk of moisture damage, get in touch. Our cargo protection experts will be more than happy to put your mind at rest.

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