Anyone buying new hardwood pallets has certainly noticed the change in that market. From rising prices to availability problems, hardwood pallet manufacturers face some new challenges. The especially wet winter caused many loggers to have to idle their equipment rather than put it to use in the forests. Also, the boom in oil exploration in the western U.S. has created great demand for crane matting, which in some cases is being shipped from as far away as Georgia and the Carolinas. Finally, rail tie market demand has been robust. Both crane matting and rail ties come from hardwoods and sell for more dollars per board foot than pallets, in some instances two to three times as much. Premier Pallets has secured stable sources of hardwood and in some cases has been able to re-engineer hardwood pallets to softwood, i.e., southern yellow pine, resulting in cost savings for its customers. While hardwood prices are likely to stay above the market norm for some time, Premier’s customers have and will enjoy stable supplies and cost-effective solutions.