Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Federal Wood Packaging Regulations

The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is once again restricting the movement of wood pallets and containers. The federal agency has announced new rules in Massachusetts and Tennessee despite the issuance of an APHIS risk assessment that said there is no evidence that wood packaging contributes to the spread of these pests in the United States.
There has been confusion in the industry as a result of inaccurate reporting that said APHIS would no longer be regulating wood packaging. Following is a brief description of the regulatory authority for restricting the movement of wood packaging:
  • APHIS can regulate interstate movement of wood packaging. The agency can (and does) stop pallets and containers from a county (or entire state) from leaving that state.
  • The agriculture departments in each state are responsible for intrastate movement of wood packaging. They can block wood packaging from traveling from one county in the state to another county in the same state.
APHIS continues to regulate wood packaging via quarantine order in a reactive way when pests reach critical mass. This piecemeal approach is creating an artificial competitive disadvantage for wood packaging companies in quarantine areas.

Source: National Wooden Pallet & Container Association

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Manufacturing in USA

Manufacturing has to be done at the lowest possible cost, where ever that happens to be. Why? Because when a good, or service for that matter, is produced at a higher cost, it effectively reduces the buying power of the consumer and drags down the economy.

So does this imply that manufacturing must shift to China / India from developed countries? No. Not necessarily. The fact is that it is not cheaper to produce things in China or India. These are actually high cost economies but the problem is that the governments of these countries, especially China, have distorted reality by building in various subsidies and thus artificially lowering the cost of manufacturing in China. How else can the landed cost of a product from China be less than the cost of raw material in North America? Shipping costs have to be negative for this to happen!! Subsidies can be in the form of devalued currency, lax labour laws, lack of environment compliance, loans that need not be paid back to the banks, and direct subsidies for every dollar of exports. All these things are happening in China and could have 30% to 60% impact on the cost of the product. For example, it is estimated that the Chinese Yuan is undervalued by upto 40%. In other words, China is playing spoil sport and taking deliberate action to undermine the future of manufacturing in the rest of the world.

On a level playing field, there is little doubt that North America can compete with China / India. Labour costs are a very small fraction (3% to 8% of the manufacturing costs, so that is really not an issue. Other costs of manufacturing abroad far outweigh the potential savings in labour costs - shipping, quality, long distance management, infrastructure bottle necks, corruption, etc. Of course there will be somethings that will always be produced outside North America but that is okay.

I was in India a few months ago and I found that products in India were much more expensive than Canada / US - clothes, shoes, house hold goods, electronics, almost everything. Services were cheap but products were very expensive. So how is it that they are able to ship products to North America and sell at a price that is lower than they sell in India. Go figure.

In other words, manufacturing is feasible in North America. It does not have to based on some ideolgoy. Just plain economic sense will suffice to justify manufacturing in North America. We just need a level playing field.

Source: Dinesh Chaudhari

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

U.S. Export Volume Growth to Strongly Outpace Imports

NEWARK, N.J., May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. exports, driven by the weakened value of the U.S. dollar on global markets, will grow at nearly double the pace of imports this year, Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce, said in an updated forecast of ocean shipping volume for 2011.
"Imports are being affected by the economy and the impact of rising prices on consumer demand, but the global rebound in manufacturing and the weak dollar are making this a very strong year for exports," said Moreno, working with ocean container shipping figures from PIERS, a sister company of The Journal of Commerce.
Moreno lowered his growth forecast for imports this year to 4.6 percent from the 6.7 percent he predicted three months ago. He raised his forecast for export growth to 10 percent from 8.3 percent.
The forecast was included in the annual Journal of Commerce Top 100 Importers and Exporters rankings and analysis for 2010 released in the May 30 edition of the publication.
Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, held its No. 1 position on the Top 100 Importers list, shipping nearly 700,000 20-foot-equivalent units of containerized cargo in 2010, outpacing Target — in the No. 2 spot with 455,500 TEUs — by more than 50 percent. Wal-Mart's low 1.8 percent year-over-year growth is partly due to supply chain innovation and packaging efficiency, reports the JOC, along with tighter inventory control.  
Wastepaper was at the forefront of exports as America Chung Nam held at No. 1, with a 16 percent jump to 300,800 TEUs, and International Paper jumped to No. 2. America Chung Nam also acts as an unofficial indicator of import demand due to its supply to sister company Nine Dragons Paper Industries, a high-volume supplier of containerboard for shipping to manufacturers in China.
The magazine's double issue features exclusive rankings of the Top 100 importers and exporters of containerized goods for 2010 along with market segment analysis, valuable economic insight and expert commentary.  
To view daily news visit For all media enquires, including article reprints, please contact Editorial Director Paul Page.
Since 1827, The Journal of Commerce has been the most trusted source of intelligence for international logistics executives to help them plan global supply chains and better manage day-to-day transportation of goods and commodities in the United States and internationally.
To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here. JOC members have access to our weekly print and digital magazine and Web site, as well as a 10% discount on all JOC events and trade shows, UBM Global Trade Directories and select PIERS products. Authoritative editorial content in the form of daily news, weekly analysis and regular features ensure our members have the information and data necessary to understand the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. Members enjoy access to "By the Numbers," an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports -- utilizing PIERS trade data -- include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered.  
About UBM Global Trade - UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company's portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of UBM plc, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore or call 800-952-3839 (+1-973-776-8660 outside the U.S. or Canada).
SOURCE The Journal of Commerce

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Export Packaging Tips from the Pros

Tip #1 - Adding pieces of wood to an ISPM 15 compliant pallet and/or crate:
Some companies purchase ISPM 15 marked wood packaging materials. (pallets, crates, etc.) to be used in the shipping of its product.  In some cases the product is loaded onto the ISPM 15 marked WPM and secured by adding additional pieces of wood to the original ISPM 15 WPM product.  How can this scenario be handled under ISPM 15?
Present Practice:  The added pieces of wood used to secure the product can be labeled using ISPM 15 markings by the companies adding pieces to previous labeled ISPM 15 WPM product. Labeling in this fashion makes these companies responsible for the added pieces of wood and the original WPM manufacturer respon-sible for the original ISPM 15 marked WPM.

Tip #2 - Using ISPM 15 compliant packaging from several sources:
Facility C purchases an ISPM 15 marked box top from facility A and the ISPM 15 marked box bottom is  purchased from facility B.  Facility C then constructs the sides and assembles the box.  How can this scenario be handled under ISPM 15?
Present Practice:  Facility C can construct the sides and label the individual sides ISPM 15 then assemble the sides using facility A and facility B parts into an ISPM 15 compliant box. In this case the ISPM 15 marks of Facilities A and B remain on the finished WPM product.

Tip #3 - Marking ISPM 15 packaging that is covered with materials that are not solid wood materials: 
In some cases the WPM consist of an inner support skeleton of wood that is covered by cardboard,
plywood or some similar material that is not solid wood.  In these scenarios no solid wood can be
seen on the outside of the WPM.  How can the WPM product be marked under ISPM 15?
Present Practice:  In such cases the ISPM 15 mark can be applied to the outside of the WPM product.  In addition the ISPM 15 mark should be applied to the skeleton wood component(s) for evidence of compliance to ISPM 15 should the WPM ever be disassembled and inspected by the import country.

Tip #4 - Using larger timbers or skids:
Some large WPM requires the use of large timbers or skids. These large size pieces are apparently
difficult to obtain with HT markings but may be available with fumigation markings that indicate
ISPM 15 compliance.  Can these fumigated pieces be incorporated into WPM that is to be labeled ISPM
15 HT complaint? 
Present Practice:  Provided each piece that has been fumigated is clearly marked as ISPM 15 compliant by an agency recognized under the APHIS fumigation program the fumigated piece(s) may be incorporated into an ISPM 15 HT labeled WPM product.

Note:  Given a multitude of variations under the above scenarios, the marking of ISPM 15 WPM may require further investigation, both initially and ongoing to assure proper marking of ISPM 15 WPM.

Source content: Timber Products Inspection Company

Monday, April 11, 2011

Triple-wall Boxes for Shipping & Storing Heavy Products

Most companies find that moving very heavy goods can be a problem. It is all too easy to break an expensive appliance if it is not packed properly or handled with care. Triple walled boxes are extra heavy duty boxes that are specially designed for moving and transporting large pieces of equipment and extra heavy goods. If you sell and deliver kitchen appliances or other large goods then you will find triple walled boxes are invaluable.

No matter how often people have to move, pack or deliver kitchen appliances and other heavy goods, they seem to have accidents. Some accidents could be avoided providing goods and appliances are packed in the right kind of large cardboard boxes. Not all packaging suppliers will stock triple walled boxes that are designed for the storing and moving of heavy goods. If however you want to make sure that your products are stored safely and will not come to harm if they are exported or transported to other parts of the country, you need the right kind of heavy duty boxes.

The best kind of heavy duty boxes and triple walled boxes are made from high performance grade, corrugated kraft cardboard, which is designed to hold heavy and bulky items and appliances. In triple walled boxes there are three layers of fluting that is, in turn sandwiched between four liners. This kind of construction provides a rigid and crush proof heavy duty box for your large appliances and heavy items. You can rest assured that your exported goods will arrive safely in another country when they are properly packed inside triple walled boxes.

Large cardboard boxes and small cardboard boxes can be seriously strong when they have a triple wall and can be multi stacked safely on pallets when they are being loaded as into containers as cargo., When goods are packed in this way it is easy to achieve maximum fill so that goods tend to stay where they are put rather than move about during the shipping and delivery process. Triple walled boxes and heavy duty boxes are often used and transported by some of the largest companies around because they provide adequate protection for heavy goods that are being exported abroad.

Many triple walled boxes and heavy duty boxes are made from a simple one piece design that makes them easy to assemble and to seal once they are loaded with goods. Find an online packaging company that can supply you with cardboard boxes, triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes for all your transport and delivery requirements.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Retailers Ban Plastic Pallets for Food Shipments

Wal-Mart Latest to Implement Ban on PBDE Flame Retardant

Question remains: Will more retailers refuse to accept any food shipments on plastic pallets containing large quantities of the controversial flame retardant?

The Washington Post reports that Wal-Mart is joining a growing list of companies, states, and international governments working to ban the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), a chemical fire retardant the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies as a “possible human carcinogen…,” which is used in numerous consumer and commercial products.
Wal-Mart’s PBDE ban applies to consumer goods, and as such is a good first step.   However stores, like Wal-Mart, that sell food should also reconsider policies still allowing delivery of produce and grocery items on plastic pallets containing large levels of that same flame retardant.
 For example, Intelligent Global Pooling System (iGPS) is the largest plastic pallet rental company in the U.S. Most of its customers are food producers and grocery manufacturers.
According to its own Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by Environmental Resources Management, each new iGPS pallet contains 3.4 lbs of decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE).
 Whole Foods in a letter to its vendors in August 2009 said it would “not accept product on plastic pallets,” and that “product shipped on plastic pallets will be rejected.” To our knowledge no other food retailer has followed suit yet.
 The mounting laws and regulations banning decaBDE may cause suppliers and retailers to revisit the use of plastic pallets containing this chemical, particularly those selling vulnerable consumer goods like food and pharmaceuticals.
  • Maine passed a law in 2007 banning decaBDE in household goods.  In 2010 it  broadened this law to cover shipping pallets. The ban on plastic pallets begins January 1, 2012.
  • Maryland passed a law last year banning decaBDE for all products.  The ban on some products begins immediately; the ban on plastic pallets begins after December 31, 2013. 
Unfortunately both Maine and Maryland have “grandfathered” the millions of plastic pallets in existing warehouses and pools.
  • On the other hand, Oregon has banned decaBDE use for all purposes effective January 1, 2011.  The law makes clear that “it is unlawful for any person to: 1) introduce into commerce; or 2) deliver for introduction into commerce in Oregon any product containing more than 0.10% by mass of” decaBDE.
The Life Cycle Analysis on the iGPS pallets indicates a weight of 47.5 lbs of which 3.4 lbs is decaBDE flame retardant.  That means the decaBDE content is 7.2 percent of the overall pallet composition – far exceeding the Oregon law’s allowance.
California Watch reports iGPS is seeking an exemption from the law.  In a statement to the publication iGPS said: “While the attempt to single out plastic shipping pallets now – years after the statute was enacted – is questionable, we are confident that both the underlying statute and any follow-on rule making will not affect iGPS operations....”
  • Vermont has banned decaBDE in mattresses, mattress pads, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers.
  • Washington has also banned decaBDE in mattresses, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers.
 States considering legislation to ban the flame retardant include: Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, and New York.
 The United States is not alone in its concerns about decaBDE. In April 2008, the European Union banned decaBDE from use in electrical and electronic equipment.
 There is growing momentum for “field-to-fork” safety policies in the U.S.  Shortly before he retired, Senator Christopher Dodd, co-author of the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, urged the FDA to work to ensure that decaBDE in plastic shipping pallets did not enter the food supply.
 Dodd’s letter in part stated that “DecaBDE is known to leach out of plastic, and the EPA is concerned about the possible negative health and environmental impact resulting from exposure to the chemical.”  Senator Dodd recommended FDA “issue notification to food manufacturers, transporters and retailers…that plastic pallets containing decaBDE are inappropriate for use in scenarios that may bring decabromine into contact with food.”
 The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) applauds the actions of Wal-Mart to ban decaBDE from its consumer product shelves, but we would encourage all retailers to review and analyze policies relating to the plastic pallets transporting the goods – particularly food products.
 The solid wood packaging industry is working proactively in the field-to-fork safety effort by contributing best handling guidelines for wood pallets and containers used in the food industry.  In August, we provided preliminary suggestions to FDA; because they were well received, NWPCA formed a blue-ribbon task group to refine our safe handling recommendations. NWPCA will distribute these guidelines to FDA and to our members for use by their food-industry customers.
 Wood is a natural product used not only to transport produce and groceries, but as an actual component of some food products like ice cream bars, popsicles, lollipops, coffee stir sticks, corn dogs and the like. Wood pallets are the benchmark for fire safety and do not require chemical flame retardants.
Click here to read article in The Washington Post  

Source content: National Wooden Pallet & Container Association

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Export Packaging Regulations Helpful Web Pages

ISPM 15 (packaging heat treatment) Document:
ISPM 15 Country Implementation List:
American Lumber Standard Committee WPM Enforcement Procedures:
USDA Frequently Asked Questions (general info regarding ISPM 15):

Please contact us if we can be of service with your wood or corrugated export packaging needs.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Triple-wall Corrugated Boxes to Protect Fragile Products

If you are packing fragile products for delivery then you should use the right supplies for the packaging.Corrugated cardboard triple walled boxes are usually practically as robust as many of the plywood boxes which are available today. Cardboard is not going to weigh as heavily as timber so small cardboard boxes and triple walled boxes are a less expensive option when you’re shipping products from the country. Make sure that you read all of the terms and conditions on the contract, should you hold back until you obtain the loading bill then find that something just isn’t covered; it may be too far gone to alter things.
Once you purchase triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes for packaging it may be beneficial to get the best quality cardboard that you can, only by doing this are you able to be sure that your products will get to the intended recipient in good order. Make sure that you pack your triple walled boxes and small cardboard boxes tightly and there’s no space that the objects can move when the box is lifted. Corrugated triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes help make superb packaging providing you package the boxes cautiously and also make certain you have selected the proper strength for your personal goods.
You do not want your products being shifting inside the cardboard boxes or they could bump with each other and break up, which is the thing you don’t want. Nobody wants to pay for pricey freight then find that the business you’re exporting to is not going to accept items since they’re damaged. Make sure that you choose a freight company that covers you for loss and damage and that are responsible for ensuring that the packages attain their final desired destination without trouble. If you fail to package your products appropriately you may find that invalidates your insurance claim.
You shouldn’t utilize small cardboard boxes over and over again since they lose potency and efficacy and won’t provide the type of safe packaging that you are searching for. You should always wrap fragile products for example china in bubble wrap or a similar type of cushioned wrapping. If you can find gaps inside the box then you certainly should fill them up with more bubble wrap or loose filler.
Cardboard is employed in the marketplace for freight and inland shipping and it comes in three strengths, single wall, double wall and triple wall boxes. To be certain your products will be safe whilst they are in transit select triple wall boxes and choose a box as near to the item size as possible. If you simply cannot find the appropriate size triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes then it may be worth getting in touch with one of the numerous suppliers who are able to enable you to have bespoke cardboard boxes for your personal products.

Contect Source: This Week In Technology

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heavy Duty Triple-wall Boxes for Shipping and Product Storage

Many businesses lose money because their stock is ineffectively stored. European companies often use heavy duty triple-wall corrugated export boxes to store stock in their warehouses because these shipping boxes are built to last. One of the problems that businesses face is that while some stock is moved quite quickly other items do not, the stock left behind can soon become damaged in the search for goods that need to be shipped. Heavy duty boxes and pallet boxes give added protection to items that are stored in your warehouse and prevent the stock from getting damaged.

Jumbo export boxes with their robust construction are designed to withstand virtually anything that loading and shipping can do to them. If you want to keep your merchandise safe while it is in transit then seriously strong pallet boxes are what you need. These heavy duty boxes are ideal in situations where cargo needs to be multi-stacked when they are loaded into containers. Export boxes are primarily designed for business purposes but they are also unbeatable for safe storage when you are moving home or offices. The boxes can be sold individually and are delivered as flat packs.

If your company regularly ships merchandise abroad then you know how hard it can be to ensure that your load arrives at its destination in one piece. When you choose heavy duty boxes that are built to take significant wear and tear, you can rest assured that you won't be bothered with insurance claims because your merchandise will arrive safe and sound. Pallet boxes are ideal for shipping goods abroad because these boxes are crush proof, which means that the things inside them are safe.

Export boxes and other heavy duty boxes are a lot cheaper than you might think yet they could potentially save you thousands of pounds in damaged merchandise. The rigidly constructed shipping boxes are ideal for storing heavy goods and for use in the international shipping and export of merchandise to foreign markets. Why waste money on boxes that will not provide adequate protection to goods that are being exported to other lands when you can give them all the protection they need with heavy duty boxes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Export Packaging Update: US Canada Exemption May End Soon

The bilateral agreement between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) exempting wood packaging materials (WPM) moving between the countries from ISPM 15 enforcement may be coming to an end.  The ruling is currently under comment.  The US is recommending full phase in by the middle of 2012.

Reasoning for ISPM 15 enforcement is to mitigate the introduction or reintroduction of indigenous and non-indigenous forest pests associated with the movement of wood packaging material from Canada into the United States. 

Please feel free to contact us at for more details.

Content sources:
Edgar Deomano of National Wooden Pallet and Container Association
Bryan Smalley of Timber Products Inspection.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Corrugated Packaging Price Watch

Based on discussions with very reliable trade sources, DB expects privatelyheld
Longview Fibre to announce a $50/ton containerboard price hike to
customers this week. We believe the effective date to be March 1. As
Longview's owner, Brookfield Asset Management, is reportedly (Reuters)
pursuing a sale of the the company, they have a keen interest in maximizing
Although we believe other containerboard producers are likely to announce
similar initiatives, we think some of them could delay the implementation
until mid‐March. We also suspect that Longview and other
producers will attempt parallel price hikes on various grades of unbleached
kraft paper. Longview is the leading kraft paper producer in North America.

Mark Wilde
Research Analyst
(+1) 212 250‐5570
Debbie Jones
Research Associate
(+1) 212 250‐2956
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
HTTP://MICA(P) 007/05/2010

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Retail Giant Costco Raises the Bar for Pallet Standards

In an addendum to its announced Structural Packaging Specifications scheduled to begin in January 2011, Costco detailed its requirement that all “General Delivery Pallets, Non-Rental” be designed using the NWPCA Pallet Design System© calling PDS “industry-standard software that engineers pallets to conform to specific criteria.”

“PDS has been carefully developed and tested under field conditions for 25 years,” said NWPCA President Bruce Scholnick. “Costco’s public recognition of PDS as the industry standard substantiates what we have long affirmed – that PDS is not only a remarkable and reliable pallet design and engineering tool, but also a marketing advantage.”

The new Costco specifications allow end users a purpose-built wood pallet option. These pallets must be pre-approved by Costco.  To secure approval, the pallets must be designed using PDS; the only alternative is to provide independent laboratory testing for each pallet design.

Ox Box utilizes the PDS system to design pallets to meet the specific needs of our customers.  See a design analysis example at Pallet Performance Analysis.

Visit us at to learn more about our capabilities.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Australia Drops Bark Free Wood Packaging Requirement

Australia adopts bark tolerance for imports defined in the wood packaging standard ISPM 15.

In 2010 the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service changed their strict bark free wood packaging requirement to be in line with the standard adopted by the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.  This requires that solid wood packaging material be debarked, but allows a tolerance for small pieces of bark that have not been completely removed during milling.

For details regarding this regulatory change, please  visit