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Episode 545: The Blue Pallet

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Episode 545: The Blue Pallet

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Episode 545: The Blue Pallet

Episode 545: The Blue Pallet

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/320642426/321151015" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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"Nobody in the U.S. can say that they don't know who owns that pallet." Elvert Barnes/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption Elvert Barnes/Flickr

"Nobody in the U.S. can say that they don't know who owns that pallet."

Elvert Barnes/Flickr

Certain things are just hard to improve on. The classic example: the mousetrap. Also: the paperclip. And, the super-size version: the pallet.

In its way, the pallet is perfect. A few pieces of cheap lumber nailed together, without an extra nail or board. It keeps things a few inches off the floor and works with a forklift. Amazing.

This perfect system of moving stuff around on pallets has been around for a long time. And for basically 50 years, no one really improved on it in this country. Until they did.

Today on the show: Yes, you can build a better pallet.

For more, see the article Whitewood under Siege in Cabinet Magazine. Music: Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" and Queen & David Bowie's "Under Pressure." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

Update: This post originally included a photo that, confusingly, showed CHEP pallets in Australia. Thanks to the commenter who pointed out that something was amiss.

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