The new European PPWD promotes re-use, recycle and repair of packaging materials, such as pallets.

Reusable Packaging News: 10 questions for Bart Meijnen

The American platform Reusable Packaging News interviewed Bart Meijnen, CEO Pallet Control Tower, about PCT Online. In 10 questions, an insight into the system and the benefits to the supply chain when it comes to stress-free pallet management for businesses.

1. What are some of the frustrations in the supply chain related to pallets or other RTIs that Pallet Control Tower companies can help solve?

Based on more than 20 years of experience, we know that not being "in control" of pallet flows is becoming an increasingly important problem for larger pallet users. We call that pallet stress. Not knowing which pallets you own, not knowing which pallets are where, mutual calculations in Excel that don't add up, not knowing the value of your pallet stock, etc. From both a sustainability and cost (and accounting) perspective, it is important to be "in control. Trucks with empty pallets driving halfway across the continent is no longer acceptable. Or writing off 'lost' pallets for thousands of euros/dollars is also not desirable. And single-use pallets really can't be done anymore.

2. Briefly, what is Pallet Control Tower and how does it address these frustrations?

PCTO is a 24/7 online platform that aligns the Collection and Delivery process of Europallets and other RTIs throughout Europe/United States/Asia. We do this with an underlying e-credit system, VAT free (!), and track the independent EUWID index for the most up-to-date price trends.

With PCTO, any company, or better yet a network of companies (the chain), has the ability to move from single-use pallets to multi-use pallets. We do the same for RTIs. But even if you're already using Europallets, PCTO adds value. With Collection (buy) & Delivery (sell) - matching - and the e-Credit, everyone in the chain benefits. Handling transactions becomes easier and transparency means fewer discussions with all parties involved. Mutual balances can easily be settled with e-Credits. In case of discussion, our regional account and quality managers can provide a solution. Our 24/7 logging ensures accurate data. And PCTO is connectable to most EMS and WMS systems.

We anticipate the new Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) from Brussels, which will also affect US exports to Europe. All this to eliminate frustrations and get a more sustainable society. In short: to make the supply chain smoother.

3. Can you give some examples of fictional or real cases where PCT would help customers?

There are several examples on our LinkedIn page but also on our website, such as: "Efficient pallet management and sustainability thanks to PCTO" and "Optimizing pallet management with PCTO: The story of John, supply chain manager at a retailer."

Just recently, a large non-food retailer, with multiple hubs in Europe, commissioned the collection of 30,000 Europallets. The order was fulfilled by a pallet depot in a neighboring country. The entire transaction was automated by the system. The e-Credits "redeemed" by the non-food retailer were used to purchase Europallets in another country for another hub of this non-food retailer.

4. What is an "e-Credit" and how does it work?

An e-Credit is a virtual unit of account (similar to currency) and represents the value of 1 used Euro pallet in A-quality. The value in euros (or dollars) is linked to the independent index of the German EUWID (

e-Credits are freely transferable between the balances of all PCTO users. They are credited to the balance after Collection, debited at Delivery and used in a carrier's Current Account. In addition, e-Credits can be redeemed from PCT.

The e-Credits are not subject to VAT and also solve the international VAT issue associated with Collection & Delivery.

5. Why did you think it was important to use the EUWID index prices for PCT?

The EUWID is an internationally respected standard for determining the value of used europallets in various categories. The EUWID is set every six weeks by an independent institute based on current price trends in the market. It also still allows for "virtual" exchange. One pallet for one e-Credit.

6. What types of businesses or supply chains benefit from PCT?

Everyone who uses pallets in the supply chain benefits from the platform. Both pallet depots/manufacturers/traders and transporters and distribution centers as well as pallet users, in any industry.

7. If there are issues regarding numbers sent and received, how is this resolved?

Initially, it is up to the parties to resolve disputes among themselves. For example, the system provides the ability to upload photos to present as evidence. Ultimo, one of our account managers will visit the site to take a look and give an opinion/judgment based on facts.

8. What is your current market area and could it work in other parts of the world such as North America?

The system was developed for the European market, but also works for the U.S. market. Where American pallets need to be exchanged for European pallets. But also where in the U.S. market there is a disruption in logistics chains because the value of "lost" pallets becomes a material issue between parties. Or simply because pallet users want to buy or sell pallets quickly, easily or sustainably on the best terms. PCT works locally, in Europe, North America or Asia, but also offers the opportunity to go intercontinental because of the USP of e-Credit.

9. Who are the parties behind PCT and what experience do they bring? 

Behind PCT are three major Dutch/European pallet companies with a wealth of experience in pallet production, repair, trading and pooling. Years ago they noticed the frustrations and stress of poor pallet administration and stagnant pallet flows. Especially during the Corona pandemic when Europallet prices rose to €25 per pallet. But also Europe's commitment to Repair, Re-use and Recycle of packaging materials was one of the reasons to start PCT Online.

10. What is your call-to-action for companies experiencing frustrations around pallet logistics and administration?

Join our system. Signing up is free. By creating an account and filling in your details, you can immediately place a Collection or Delivery order. Even if you're a trader looking for Europallets, for example. And it is especially convenient if you are a company with multiple hubs in multiple countries or states. The e-Credit allows you to exchange balances between them.

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