European Pallet Association e.V. (EPAL)
Press release, 19.06.2013
Extraordinary meeting of the UIC working group "Questions of palletisation"
on the 17.06.2013
The UIC working group "Questions of palletisation" met on the 17.06.2013 within the framework of an
extraordinary meeting in Vienna to discuss resuming cooperation with EPAL.
EPAL has repeatedly offered to participate in discussions with the UIC working group since December 2012, without any reaction being forthcoming from the UIC working group. DB Intermodal Services GmbH (DB Intermodal), German member of the UIC working group, together with the Italian railway company (FS) and Swiss railway company (SBB Cargo), requested the extraordinary meeting.
Directly prior to the extraordinary meeting, ten German associations of companies from trade, industry and logistics issued a mutual declaration to the UIC working group. In this declaration, the associations asked that the UIC working group revoke its termination of cooperation with EPAL and that work take place together with EPAL in order to retain the common exchange pool for EPAL/EUR pallets. In their declaration, the associations emphasised the major significance of a uniform pallet system for the logistics processes of their member companies.
However, the UIC working group refused to reverse their decisions from 2012.
Against the votes of DB Intermodal, FS and SBB Cargo, the UIC working group upheld the resolution to change the pallet labelling (the so-called "OneBrand strategy") and rejected an adjournment. The request made by DB Intermodal and the ten German associations to retain the familiar structures of the Euro pallet exchange pool was therefore rejected by the UIC working group.
It is therefore the case that future exchange pallets will bear the labelling EPAL/EPAL and UIC/EUR in place of the previously familiar pallets with the labelling EPAL/EUR.
DB Intermodal, FS and SBB-Cargo have however succeeded with their further request for the UIC working group to enter into negotiations with EPAL in the near future, in order to guarantee the uniform exchange of pallets in the future.
EPAL decided back in April 2013 that EPAL pallets with the labelling EPAL/EPAL would also be fully
exchangeable with pallets bearing the UIC/EUR mark in the future. EPAL is therefore fulfilling the wish of the users from industry, trade and logistics, which has once again been firmly expressed in the declaration of the associations.
In contrast, the UIC working group has thus far rejected the continuation of a uniform exchange pool
encompassing the familiar EPAL pallets and the future UIC pallets. Whether the UIC working group will change its position within the framework of further negotiations and revert to a uniform exchange pool remains to be seen. Doubts have been expressed by the groups of participants in the extraordinary meeting of the UIC working group.
EPAL remains available for negotiations with the UIC working group at any time - as it has done over the past six months. With respect to the decisions of the UIC working group, the aim of these negotiations is that EPAL and the UIC working group mutually recognise pallets licensed by both parties as being exchange pallets and issue a common declaration accordingly.
EPAL established the foundations for this in April 2013 with its public resolution in favour of uniform pallet exchange. It now remains to be seen whether the UIC working group changes its previous position and also decides to continue with uniform pallet exchange in the interests of industry, trade and logistics.
European Pallet Association e.V.
Ungelsheimer Weg 14