Supply Chain vs Supply Circles

At Timber Industries LLC, we are always seeking the latest trends that will allow us to stay current in the industry. That’s why our P.U.M.P. (Pick Up My Pallets) program is a perfect example of how we can reverse a logistics process to achieve both environmental and economic benefits. With this service that we provide to all our customers, we carefully count, record, and track returned pallets so we can either recycle them as used pallets or convert them into wood fiber chips.

To put this service into a more modern day term, think of it as “Urban Logging”, which would be our version of Urban Mining, a term used to describe a way of collecting, recycling, and selling electric batteries. Companies like Ford and Tesla recently signed an agreement with Redwood Materials to take discarded products like batteries from electric vehicles to then recycle and break them down into elements such as lithium and cobalt to resell them as raw materials.

Having a sustainable program like PUMP in place, recently helped us secure a large-scale logistics company with substantial pallet usage and scrap materials. We picked up their pallets, repaired what could be repaired, and broke down the rest into raw materials.  Now we can supply pallets to Fortune 500 companies who have larger pallet volumes in a market where the lumber costs are mostly high. This process helped us increase our production in supplying both our current and new customers with minimal disruptions.

Another benefit to implementing this concept of service is that it works perfectly within any supply chain process, but also fits well with the concept of supply circles. To elaborate, supply circles are when manufacturers not only create products but utilize reverse logistics to obtain materials from recycled and returned products. With a supply circle process, there is no shipping across seas or even across the country but instead, become more localized which has helped with manufacturing times and materials being in the right place for the customer’s needs.

We are very proud of our PUMP program and we believe that supply circles are the way of the future, creating a way to work through the issues the industry is currently facing due to the labor and lumber shortages.

What do you think? Can recycling and repurposing discarded products be the solution for material shortages? Will supply circles and reverse logistics replace the supply chain’s well established process? Share your thoughts with us!