Episode 545: The Blue Pallet : Planet Money People have moved stuff on pallets for a long time. And for basically 50 years, no one in the U.S. really improved on it. Until they did.

Episode 545: The Blue Pallet

Episode 545: The Blue Pallet

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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

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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.

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.

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.