Green LOOP pallets to be RFID tagged

The Pallet LOOP has announced that each reusable green pallet it produces and puts into the sector will be fitted with a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag – a move that is set to generate huge amounts of data about the movement of pallets and associated building materials nationwide as they pass through the supply chain.

Equipping each of its pallets with an RFID tag containing a small chip will give The Pallet LOOP the ability to scan pallets in and out of its production and collection sites nationwide. This investment will give the business accurate, up-to-date information about the number of pallets issued to customers and, more importantly, collection and recovery rates. 

Crucially for users of The Pallet LOOP, the information will reveal fascinating insights about the financial and carbon savings they are achieving. Long-term, all building products users through the construction supply chain could access information about pallets and associated product dwell times, helping them achieve greater efficiencies.

The Pallet LOOP provides all its customers with access to a special reporting platform, where they can view and download information about the number of pallets returned and the money saved on collections versus disposal via a skip. The system also provides information about the amount of carbon saved and trees repurposed, which can be used in sustainability reporting. This data can be automatically emailed to customers or generated manually depending on requirements.

The Pallet LOOP’s RFID technology is being supplied by MiTEQ – a specialist business providing fully integrated automation and tracking solutions using RFID technology. The Pallet LOOP has ordered more than a million tags for the circular economy pallets it is producing, which will enter the supply chain from May 2024 onwards.

Steve Ottaway, Chief Operating Officer at The Pallet LOOP, said: “When we launched The Pallet LOOP, our main objective was to solve the problem of pallet waste by providing pallets that are stronger, standardised in their design, and suitable for reuse. However, we also knew there was an opportunity to make our pallets smarter. 

“In supply chain management and logistics, data has always been king. That’s now also the case for sustainability – with companies needing facts and figures to incorporate into their ESG work and annual reports.”

Once fitted to the pallets, MiTEQ’s RFID labels – which are robust, waterproof and abrasion resistant – can be read either by a hand-held or static scanner employed at The Pallet LOOP’s manufacturing and repatriation sites. 

Tags use unique ID numbers for the pallet, which allow for the tracking of customer shipments, pallet returns and to identify where the pallet was made and originally delivered. The system can scan and read multiple tags simultaneously, from a distance of at least three metres, enabling The Pallet LOOP to quickly scan pallets in and out, on vehicles, or in stacks on site.