Sonoco's Compressed Wood DURA-Block(TM) Pallet Blocks Help Domtar Reduce Product Nail Damage and Increase Recycled Materials Content in Packaging

Pallet manufacturers report scrap rates as low as one block per 1,000 pallets constructed

Hartsville, S.C. - Commercial paper maker Domtar is preventing product damage by specifying Sonoco's compressed wood DURA-Block(TM) pallet blocks.

As customer needs have driven the development of a new pallet platform for the paper market, DURA-Block pallet blocks have emerged as a leading pallet component. DURA-Block pallet blocks allow paper makers to maintain reduced costs while providing a durable, consistent product that adds strength and integrity to the pallet.

Rob Bailey, director of converting operations for Domtar, said the consistent quality and shape of DURA-Block pallet blocks adds value to the final product his customers receive.

Throughout the logistics cycle, as the paper is packaged, shipped, stored and taken to its final point of use, the engineered consistency of design, along with the overall strength of DURA-Block(TM) pallet blocks, results in significantly reduced opportunities for product damage.

"Wooden blocks might be adequate if I had one location or one pallet manufacturer," Bailey said. "But the quality of natural wood varies so much that it's impossible to monitor." Like the quality of the wood itself, blocks made of natural wood vary greatly in availability and shape.

Pallet end users are not the only ones who benefit from using Sonoco DURA-Block pallet blocks. Pallet makers have noted benefits during the pallet manufacturing process, including higher manufacturing efficiencies due to the consistency of the block, fewer product returns, much improved durability, and a reduction in safety hazards due to improved nail retention.

By converting to DURA-Block pallet blocks, one pallet manufacturer cites an estimated 30 percent improvement in pallet manufacturing efficiencies. The manufacturer reports a 25 percent reduction in production scrap, having thrown away fewer than 100 DURA-Block pallets blocks over the course of making 100,000 pallets.

DURA-Block pallet blocks are made from recycled wood chips, and Sonoco is the leading compressed wood pallet block producer in North America.
DURA-Block pallet blocks can be engineered to meet any customer's desired size, shape and strength characteristics as related to water resistance, nail retention and superior fork tine compression. DURA-Block pallet blocks also meet all ISPM #15 regulations for serving export markets.

Sonoco will showcase DURA-Block pallet blocks and other pallet products at the National Wood Pallet & Container Association's 2009 Annual Leadership Conference and Exposition, Feb. 21 - 24, in Marco Island, Fla.

About Sonoco

Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a $4.0 billion global manufacturer of industrial and consumer products and provider of packaging services, with more than 300 operations in 35 countries, serving customers in some 85 nations. For more information on the Company, visit our Web site at

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