The first step in effective pallet control management is to create a culture where pallets are considered to be important. 

Building this culture requires commitment, training, an understanding of the processes to map your pallets through the supply chain and the tools to make this happen.

Create the Culture

  • Change – Invite involvement from all those affected
  • Communication – Before, during and after the change.  Provide opportunity for input into the change.
  • Recognition – For progress and achievement

Supply Chain

  • Map the movement of pallets through your supply chain, both externally and internally
  • Complete SOP’s to reflect these movements

Trading Rules

  • Establish Trading Rules, by building a formal Trading Rule into the Sales module, to minimise hire costs
  • Be aware of the Trading Rules applied by both your Customer and your Customer's Customer
  • Take into account the costs associated with your Customers’ Trading Rules

Control Pyramid

  • The Pallet Control Pyramid consists of 3 steps to control
  • Each step in the control pyramid must be in place before the next one can proceed
  • The procedures at each level must be supported and a “pallet control culture” fostered within the company’s environment
  • Specific and direct responsibility must be allocated for each function of the control process

Count and Record

  • Count and record all pallets received
  • Count and record all pallets despatched
  • Perform regular stocktakes.  All pallets on site and intransit to your site at COB on stocktake date must be included in the final stocktake figure to achieve an accurate reconciliation
  • Provide a Standard Operating Procedure to reinforce these activities


  • Check all internal and external pallet documentation against sales orders, despatches, receipts, consignment notes run sheets and supplier invoices
  • Regularly audit and amend procedures where required


  • Reconcile Supplier invoices within 21 days of receipt
  • Ensure all anomalies, unidentified transfers, rejections and corrections, are actioned
  • Accurately maintain, by updating and auditing, all records in pallet control  software (HMS, CHEPmate or 2ic)
  • Complete a full reconciliation of “physical” stock against “supplier” stock


If all of the above is adhered to, control of your pallets will be the outcome.