Pressure is mounting to solve the nation’s ‘pallet gate’ shortage as Australia’s largest pallet producer says it’s days away from stopping production, threatening the availability of food and drinks on supermarket shelves in the lead up to Christmas, the Tasmanian Forest Products Association (TFPA) CEO Nick Steel said today.
The Age reports today that the supermarket sector is warning of empty shelves in the lead up to Christmas unless pallet-producing mills can continue production to feed into a national pallet logistics network that is already at breaking point.
Mr Steel warned that “pallet-gate” is about to get a whole lot worse as Australia’s biggest hardwood pallet manufacturer in Dandenong, Pentarch, which makes 70,000 pallets a month and supplies all the major supermarkets, warns it will be forced to stop production within days as a result of environmental lawfare halting the supply of new logs.
“We are staring down the barrel of a food, drinks and other Christmas goods supply crisis because there won’t be enough timber pallets for transport. ”Mr Steel said.
“We know from experience that Tasmania is at the end of the national logistics supply chain line so we can expect the impact to be amplified here. It will affect every Tasmanian business from product producers right through to retailers and consumers”.
Activist groups in Victoria have ramped up their lawfare in recent weeks, which has resulted in Supreme Court injunctions that have halted timber harvesting operations that supply Victoria’s already-stretched timber mills.
“We’ve known for many weeks there is a timber pallet shortage in Australia. But the closure of forestry operations makes the situation much more serious. There will be a Christmas without some products on the shelves because pallet supplies will be so scarce. There will be no way to transport many sorts of goods”.