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FOSC chat: Shortage of pallets driven by increase in inventory

CHEP’s share-and-reuse model adapting to pallet shortage

This fireside chat recap is from Day 1 of FreightWaves’ The Future of Supply Chain live event in Rogers, Arkansas. For more information and content from the event, click here.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Forecasting demand and moving product during the pandemic.

DETAILS: Rachel Premack, editorial director at FreightWaves, and George Brehovsky chat about the shortage of pallets, how to manage inventory efficiently and how long CHEP’s pallets can be reused.

SPEAKER: Brehovsky is the director of supply chain at CHEP.

BIO: Brehovsky joined Brambles in 2006 and entered his current role in 2020. Brehovsky leads supply chain operations teams in the Southwest region of the U.S. and is responsible for 30 plants processing more than 240,000 customer shipments per year. Brehovsky previously worked at Costco and Walmart in distribution, supply chain management, reverse logistics and operations.


“Nobody wanted to be out of stock on key or staple items. … This is one of the only times in history that we’ve actually seen an increase in inventory at both the manufacturers and the retailers.”

“We have not seen, as an industry, the level of returns as far as pallets are concerned.”

“Whenever a pallet becomes empty, … we immediately go get it.”

“In a share-and-reuse model, what we find is we are able to better maintain those pallets up to a product quality specification and actually use less raw materials to maintain them.”

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.