Having shown the rest of the world the way for several decades the UK pallet networks continue to up their game and invest in their continued success in the years ahead.

United Pallet Network has announced that its Central Hub Operation is moving in spring 2020 to more modern, larger facilities close to its current base in Fradley Park. It means a short move with minimal disruption and confirms UPN’s commitment to growth over the next decade and beyond. Prior to the move UPN are investing over £2 million to expand and develop the new facility, due to be operational from May.

There’s overseas action of the logistics kind for Palletways, which was founded in 1994 in Lichfield, Staffordshire and in 2016 became part of Imperial Logistics, who cover Europe and Africa. The Palletways Group comprises over 450 depots and 20 hub operations, providing collection and distribution services across 20 European countries. Prominent UK members include Arthur Oakley Transport, a Platinum member of the UK Palletways network and part of returnloads.net, the online freight-exchange services and Gwynedd Shipping Limited, a haulage operator with operations in the UK and Ireland, Palletforce’s owner EV Cargo, the UK’s largest privately-owned logistics business, recently completed a £150m finance deal with Investec, leaving EVC and its businesses strongly placed for further acquisitions. Palletforce’s membership of independent hauliers is 100-strong and growing. New members include Millfield Haulage in York, bought by long-standing Palletforce member TEF Transport in 2015 but retaining their own identity within TEF, and Campeys of Selby, which makes its pallet network debut by joining Palletforce and covers selected postcodes around Doncaster.

Following a £3 million investment in its national hub last year the Fortec Distribution Network has introduced a fresh approach to health and safety. The change in safety culture has been brought about with a systematic programme of training, communications and engagement with staff, from directors to warehouse floor, including establishing its own forklift truck driving training.

Pall-Ex is scaling great heights with their customers Tile Mountain by transporting almost 35,000 pallets of tiles annually, the equivalent height of Mounts Everest, Kilimanjaro and McKinley combined. Pall-Ex’s MyNexus software gives pallet distribution the same level of visibility as parcel networks, providing customers with greater clarity and reducing the need for extensive phone calls to find out the whereabouts of pallets and estimated delivery times.

And finally, well done to all the winners in Palletline’s recent annual awards, especially ATL, who won two awards for customer service and business efficiency. ATL’s Midlands Hub in Derby won the Palletline Topliner award for meeting and surpassing targets while Leighton Wood their Head of Distribution took the individual award for outstanding commitment to the network. Congratulations all round.

Charles Smith

Feature Writer