Pallet rock: a humble wooden tool that keeps world trade moving Hungary-led growth with a Scandinavian background

Without pallets, world trade would simply grind to a halt. Hungary is well on the way to becoming a regional pallet ‘superpower’. A pallet roundtable was held by PalletBiz a group of companies with Scandinavian roots, headquartered in Budapest. PalletBiz also provides business consultancy services to help its customers optimize their pallet-related costs and maximize the life cycle of pallets, as well as their reuse. 


Budapest, 14 December 2022PalletBiz provides ’end-to-end’ pallet solutions, a new approach tailored to customers’ needs. We also ensure pallet production, availability, and recycling on an international scale in their network-based system. The concept is a transnational chain of production units, packaging distribution warehouses, and material handling systems operated, and in some cases owned by local partners.

Thomas Gents, COO, and MD at PalletBiz, said that our aim is to further expand and consolidate their presence in the EMEA region and beyond. PalletBiz was launched in Europe in 1998 and since then has been on a strong growth trajectory. Currently, with revenues of €24 million, the group is growing at an annual rate of 27% (the industry average is around 5%), serving over 500 customers in seven regions and rapidly expanding its franchise network.

PalletBiz’s latest investments out of Hungary are in Romania and South Africa. Andre Kruger, Head of the South Africa region, has underlined that the company’s sawmill plant opened in the Ehlanzeni district of South Africa is also very important socially, as it creates job opportunities for local communities.

Sebestyén Wood is PalletBiz’s partner in Hungary. The family business was launched 30 years ago with a manual production of 40,000 standards and 40,000 one-way pallets per year. The site and production technology have been continuously improved, and in 2017 the nailing process was automated with a special machine, the very first in the country. Gábor Sebestyén, the company’s managing director, said that he took over the company from his father in 2018, and the generational change was accompanied by the introduction of new systems and further mechanization while maintaining core values.

Lilla Zombori, Head of Sustainability and Franchising at PalletBiz, stressed the importance of sustainability in their industry. They aim to design processes and pallets which are efficient, can be used as long as possible then suitably recycled at the end of their life cycle, and also contribute to sustainable forest management. Besides sustainability, the company culture also places a strong emphasis on employing colleagues from marginalized groups.

The initial designs of pallets that were used in ancient Egypt are not very different from those of today, said Miklós Nagy, secretary general of the Packaging and Material Handling Association. The use of pallets in the industry dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when the first material-handling machines were introduced. Until World War II, the military sector did not pay much attention to the advantages of palletizers and material handling machines, but the war situation and the need for rapid delivery of military equipment and other supplies to the battlefield forced military leaders to make use of this efficient technology. The rapid expansion of the use of pallet trucks can to reckoned from then, which has led to a whole range of packaging technology developments, including innovations in unit load handling, securing materials, machine-machine systems, robots, and computer optimization programs.

Pallets can also be found in use in interior design, architecture, furniture design, garden design, urban planning, community spaces, and artwork, explains Péter Rosta, professor of art at the University of Sopron. He added that at their university, the pallet is also used as a subject for diploma thesis, wood science, academic courses, research, and publications.

In response to questions, our representatives said that we see great potential in the Central and Eastern European region, which we consider the “new Europe” for business, with great opportunities for development. Hungary is particularly attractive to us as a regional center for this growth. We also pointed to the importance of skilled labor, particularly in engineering and business planning. We stressed that, in addition to pallet production, logistics, and reuse, business consultancy in pallet management is of huge importance. By means of consultation, we help our customers to optimize their pallet-related costs, to ensure effective pallet availability and pallet cycle continuity with no interruptions.

Please watch the press conference from here:



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