Murphy's Law: Pallet Wars in Iraq


December 10, 2005: The U.S. Department of Defense uses a $1700 pallet and net system to ship cargo that won't fit into a cargo container. A problem arose when troops in Iraq discovered that these pallets made excellent floors for their tents. Getting the pallets back from the troops proved to be a lot of trouble, especially when it involved dealing with those heavily armed lads in the middle of bandit country. So the military came up with a cheaper ($400) pallet that sits under the cargo, and on top of the $1700 pallet "system". When the cargo arrives in Kuwait, the cheaper pallet is sufficient to ship the stuff the rest of the way (via truck). The cheaper pallet also makes good flooring for tents, but doesn't cost as much to replace. Problem solved, or at least made less expensive. The Department of Defense expects to save over a million dollars a year with the cheaper pallet, and much aggravation.


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