What does pooling mean for e-commerce?

What does pooling mean for e-commerce?

August 26, 2020

Last update: 13 January 2022

Flexibility in e-commerce is necessary

2020 and the global pandemic has shown that a flexible supply chain is essential for e-commerce to respond to unexpected circumstances and a higher demand. In addition, shoppers are increasingly guided by the environmental impact of their online purchase. But how do you start a flexible, efficient and preferably as sustainable supply chain as possible?

 

 

A first step in the right direction is to eliminate waste.
After an online order, the physical product is packed a first time, then a second time in a cardboard box, then a carrier, such as a pallet, is required. This is invisible to the consumer but forms the protective backbone during storage and transport.

Although the product packaging and outer box are often intended for single use, you can opt for circular pool pallets.


But why would you do that?
 

A circular system where products are being shared and reused instead of bought can mean a stop for waste flows. By sharing pallets for example, you save waste, CO2 emissions and natural resources.

I noticed pallet pooling is a fixture in the FMCG market but in non-food companies in toys, textiles, DIY and consumer electronics a lot of work is still done with disposable and exchange pallets.

In the first half of 2020 we saw an enormous growth of 33 % of online product purchases in Belgium and in the Netherlands pure players and stores with an online shop saw a growth between 35 and 55 %. That same year almost 8 out of 10 Belgians have purchased online and 9 out of 10 Dutch shoppers.

Furthermore, the pressure rises to transform their businesses models into sustainable, future-proof systems.

The fact that the biggest e-tailers in Europe already accept our blue pooling pallets, is the proof that the e-commerce sector is keen on making a shift to greener supply chains and choose more often for reusable solutions.

So for suppliers this is also good news, because you can supply both 'brick & mortar' and 'click & mortar' on the same kind of pool pallet.


And not only that.
 

The share and reuse system is also a lot easier and safer. Good quality pallets are exchanged for low quality pallets or not exchanged at all, which means that as a supplier you have to invest again in quality or in a new stock. With pooling pallets, this complex and administratively burdensome pallet exchange is no longer necessary for producers, transporters and e-tailers.

And since each pallet in the pool is checked for size and quality after use, the quality is consistent, which decreases risk of damages and thus package returns because of damaged packaging. 

But even if a product is not available, the consumer can turn its back on you. This has become more relevant nowadays. A dense network is crucial. The more companies become a part of the sharing network, the more efficient and flexible it becomes.

This enables you to respond quickly to increased demand for platforms during peak periods, such as at the end of the year or in unexpected circumstances.

So pallet pooling can mean a first step for non-food sectors towards leaner and greener supply chains.

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What does pooling mean for e-commerce? | CHEP