The Western Pallet Association (WPA) is recognized as the leading advocate for the pallet industry in the Western region of North America. WPA is the trusted source of up-to-date information on the issues and trends impacting the western region of the pallet industry to all those interested globally. As such, it is only natural that Cresswood Shredding Machinery plays an active part in this association and with its members. Founded in 1974, this year marks the association’s 50th year in existence, another reason to celebrate all the people, milestones, and achievements made over five decades.


WPA members have access to content and people to stay ahead and navigate the challenges and opportunities they face successfully. The community of pallet professionals involved in WPA openly share their insights and understand the value of working together to expand the industry. The Western Pallet Association provides the latest industry news, research, and resources to enable a better understanding of the issues affecting the pallet industry in the western region of the United States. Additionally, the North American pallet industry relies on the WPA for timely information and industry trends that impact their businesses.

unveiling-the-connection-between-the-western-pallet-industry-meeting-and-wpas-commitment-to-sustainability-4What we learned during our time meeting with pallet professionals is the past 12 months have been very difficult for the wood pallet industry as a whole. The main reasons for this are bloated inventories and decreased demand due to a relatively sluggish economy. During the pandemic, the industry saw historic demand and new players popped up all over the country as investors sought to cash in on a red-hot pallet market. For nearly two years, companies couldn’t make enough pallets to meet the demand for them, and customers would pay a premium just to secure the pallets they needed. Fast forward a few years, and the pandemic bubble has burst, leaving many of the small players in the dust, and forcing the larger and more established companies to readjust their business plans into survival mode. In addition, the challenges have sparked increased interest in pallet recycling as a sustainable solution to address the industry’s changing dynamics.

Chaille Brindley, VP of Operations for Industrial Reporting Inc. and Pallet Enterprise Magazine, was one of the keynote speakers. He discussed the economic conditions of the present, as well as what were the likely scenarios for recovery. One of the things that he said in particular, was that companies needed to look hard at their inventories and take a different approach. When before these were coveted assets, today these bloated and unwanted inventories have become expensive liabilities. One suggestion he had was to grind the unwanted and low-quality cores and at the very least get a return on the sale of the wood fiber. This is one area where Cresswood can come in and provide a valuable service to pallet companies right now with our pallet recycling shredders. As pallets are exposed to weather and in particular moisture, they degrade over time and can become susceptible to mold, diminishing their value and demand. Large surpluses of unwanted pallets also present a potential fire hazard, another logical reason to recycle them. Well over 95% of all wood pallets are recycled, representing one of the most sustainable and environmentally responsible choices for packaging and transporting goods in the supply chain.

unveiling-the-connection-between-the-western-pallet-industry-meeting-and-wpas-commitment-to-sustainability-6Thanks to the reliable and data-rich information they receive from each other, members improve operations, customer and supplier relations, and increase profits while saving trees one pallet at a time.

My favorite time at the meeting was when the association gave special recognition to nine people who have all played an instrumental part in making the WPA what it is today. This group included both vendors and pallet company owners, people with a commitment to the industry and association, a real passion for pallets, and a belief they play an essential part in our nation’s infrastructure.

unveiling-the-connection-between-the-western-pallet-industry-meeting-and-wpas-commitment-to-sustainability-5Cresswood was thrilled to maintain its sponsorship for the event, celebrating our 12th consecutive year of participation. Alongside our sponsorship, we presented a gift basket showcasing gourmet Barb City Roasters coffee and sponsored a contest hole at the member golf outing. Noteworthy is the inaugural attendance of our territory sales managers, Max and Aaron, who found the experience particularly enriching. This year, the event also allowed them to delve into insights about pallet recycling shredders, adding an extra layer to their industry education. They highlighted the invaluable opportunity to establish authentic connections in person with numerous influential leaders in the market.