Environmental and economic impacts of preemptive remanufacturing policies for block and stringer pallets

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The use of pallets is crucial in supply chain and transportation processes, with wood pallets representing the most common packaging type in the US and in Europe. This work focuses on the environmental and economic impact of wood pallet reverse logistics, quantifying the context in which preemptive remanufacturing schedules are useful. Preemptive schedules allow the service provider to reduce transportation emissions and costs by combining multiple pallet components remanufacturing activities. However, this advantage has to be weighed against the losses associated with repairing or replacing a still functional component earlier than required. An integer linear optimization model analyzes this trade-off, first from an environmental then from an economic perspective. This model is applied using the two most common pallet types as case studies: 48- by 40-inch stringer and block pallets. Different handling and loading scenarios are considered. The impact of transportation distance on the efficiency of preemptive policies is explored through a sensitivity analysis. Results show the positive impact of preemptive remanufacturing on costs and CO2-equivalent emissions in all scenarios, with larger benefits in good handling or light loading scenarios.


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Publication Title

Journal of Cleaner Production

Published Citation

Tornese, Fabiana, Jennifer A. Pazour, Brian K. Thorn, Andres L. Carrano. 2019. "Environmental and Economic Impacts of Preemptive Remanufacturing Policies for Block and Stringer Pallets." Journal of Cleaner Production, 235: 1327-1337. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.07.060



Peer Reviewed