A shortage of pallets across New Zealand is being caused by businesses moving from a just-in-time to a just-in-case approach to managing stock in the face of Omicron.
FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich said this pressure on the supply chain was caused by businesses and supermarkets increasing stock levels to ensure there is sufficient to meet demand as Omicron takes hold.
“This has been an issue for the past six months and there’s been a doubling in demand for pallets and crates recently.”
There were concerns in some quarters that a strike at Chep’s Auckland base was putting pressure on the supply chain, but she told Stuff it was doubtful that had anything to do with it.
“FGC contacted union leaders to ask them to ask strikers to move cars blocking the entrance to Chep. They were blocking trucks going in and out of the site, which meant it could not function and it was unsafe.
“Strikers are within their rights to express a view, but doing things like blocking entrances and padlocking gates is beyond reasonable.
To deal with extra demand, Chep has been adding hundreds of thousands of new pallets and crates to the pool.