Pellet heat transfer coefficients in a packed bed have been obtained, both for specific individual pellets and for the entire bed. They are referred to as local and global values, respectively. It appears that the local values are scattered around the global value. This is due to the heat transfer coefficient of individual pellets being statistically distributed, as a result of the randomnes of the packing. At low Reynolds numbers, both global and local values fall well below Nu = 2, which is the lower limit for a single sphere in absence of convection. In the literature, this behaviour has been attributed i.a. to axial dispersion and fluid maldistribution. However, these phenomena cannot explain why the same behaviour is observed in slurries. The fact that the local values fall below Nu = 2 would suggest that neither of these explanations is valid for packed beds.