PalletBiz – Helping to Move the World

PalletBiz, a fast-growing franchise network within the industrial wood and metal packaging & handling sector, is continuing its development path, with an increased focus on sustainable solutions.

Established in the late 1990s, PalletBiz has grown into a market leader in the tertiary packaging industry, comprising an increasing number of production units and distribution depots throughout EMEA and beyond. The network aims to deliver premium, sustainable, one-call-for-all, and cross-border solutions to the industry.

The product offering of PalletBiz primarily includes pallets and handling materials of wood and metal and is enhanced by a wide range of services, such as pallet and packaging repair including recycling, buyback, pooling, and consultancy. The broad coverage of its network as well as its central point of purchase differentiate the business from its competitors.

From its initial strong, high-quality production base in Europe the company has expanded to other parts of the world, establishing additional PalletBiz operations first in the Middle East, and Africa afterwards.

In cooperation with local market entrepreneurs and experts the company has achieved economies of scale as well as a unique customer service profile, and together with its partners is now working on growing the network for increased, client-driven coverage.

Recent Developments

We spoke to PalletBiz two years ago as the company was just emerging from the severe stage of the global pandemic, and the company’s Chief Operating Officer Thomas Gents affirms that in 2022 PalletBiz continues to remain in robust shape, ready to capitalise on emerging market opportunities, with an increased focus on the circular economy.

“We are now halfway through our defined strategy for 2020-2024, and while we have been, no doubt, affected by the market disruptions just like everybody else, we have leveraged the advantages of our well-spread network covering many locations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in order to withstand the challenge.”

“We continue to operate as a B2B franchise network within packaging and handling materials and use the power of our core franchise network to continue serving our clients to the best of our capability. The combination of our collective strength and the soon-to-be 25-year track record has enabled us to deliver on our promise of growth, in line with our sustainability principles.”

Mr. Gents points out that despite turbulence in the market, there were several significant highlights in the past two years: the Romanian division experienced record turnover levels, and (inter)regional synergies increased as part of recent network development between operations in the Middle East and Africa.

PalletBiz also welcomed a new franchisee in Hungary and established a presence in Oman as planned, the third franchise entity in the Middle East region, as part of a larger-scale franchise project in the GCC countries. This expansion has been followed – very recently – by the incorporation of a master franchise for Germany, Europe’s largest market.

Sustainable Footprint

“In 2022, the year before our 25th anniversary, we stay committed to driving our franchise concept further, progressing as a strong network. As such we are also in a better position to address the pressing issue of sustainability and environmental protection,” Thomas Gents continues.

“As pallets have such a major impact within the global movement of goods, we will certainly be looking at making this impact more environmentally friendly. For example, one of our latest business cases is a potential new franchise partner in Qatar where a main field of business is turning scrap into pressed material that can be reused in pallet production.”

“This is the circular economy at its best – giving new life to a used, recycled product and compensating more than 30% of our raw material demand. We are also looking at ways to convert waste plastics into a sustainable product, potentially combining both wood and plastic waste using the same methodology.”

It should be noted that sustainability is not new to PalletBiz. Considering that PalletBiz operates in an industry that is heavily dependent on the abundance of quality raw materials (particularly wood), the organisation is dedicated to maintaining forest biodiversity as a key focus area. Such initiatives include sourcing raw materials from responsible and certified suppliers or working towards achieving ISO 14001 and FSC certifications for the production and trade of wooden products.

The environmental ISO 14001 has so far been achieved by the franchisees in Romania and Saudi Arabia, but the number of certified entities is expected to grow. Additionally, the Head Office, headquartered in Hungary, has developed the PalletBiz Corporate Sustainability Strategy, for which the company collected an award in 2021.

There are a number of other sustainability initiatives that the company has been pursuing, not least under the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which supports companies on their path towards more environmentally friendly operations.

“We are dealing with wood, a precious material, and we are aware of our environmental responsibility. We need to drive the sustainability agenda, and we’re happy to be among the first to do that,” says Thomas Gents.

Growing in Challenging Times

He affirms that recent challenges, despite their undisputable negative impact, have not hind-ered the company from continuing to pursue its strategy of investing in capacity & technology, as well as in geographic business expansion, as evidenced by the recent penetration of the German market, soon to be followed in southwest Europe, where a master franchise is planned for establishment either in France or Spain.

“Through the expanded foot-print and using our unique infrastructure, we’ll be better able to offer solutions that reflect the sustainable agenda. This will at the same time enable us to give back to those franchise partners who decided to join us, to really leverage from a network in these turbulent times,” he affirms, adding that the company has a high focus on solutions as part of circular economies in all its current and future business cases.

PalletBiz has recently won EU funding in a value of EUR 3.5 million, which will be funnelled into a brand-new manufacturing facility in Romania. The factory will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and – in line with the social and environmental agenda – is planned to be disabled-friendly & powered by green energy.

In concluding, Mr Gents reminds us that an exciting development is also unfolding on the other side of the globe, in South Africa, where PalletBiz has acquired a 6.8-hectare property as part of vertical integration into sawmilling.

“The project is set to push the transformation in rural areas, through FDI, creating jobs for some of the less-empowered people. An important aspect of doing business in today’s world – ensuring you give back to those people and societies fundamental for success.”

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