The lease has been signed, the contractors have moved in, and final development work is being undertaken to turn the UPN’s 2020 SmartHUB vision into reality.
It’s a vision centred on an efficient, modern, purpose developed, hub facility with significant capacity for growth. It’s a vision that will be managed by a unique, bespoke, integrated Central sortation and cross network IT infrastructure platform.
“These are exciting times for UPN”, said David Brown UPN MD, “we are now the only privately owned Pallet Network in the UK, and we are proud to be taking these big steps forward, big steps that will undoubtedly help all our members to grow their business through our unique network.”
Over £2 Million is being invested in both infrastructure and IT development ready for this evolution of our Central Hub Operation in Spring 2020 confirming UPNs commitment to growth over the next decade and beyond.
UPN had three key objectives when identifying its new location, to remain in the heart of the UK, to stay close to its current facility at Fradley, to keep staff continuity, and somewhere with the longevity to see through its growth plans for the next decade.
The new UPN “SmartHUB” facility will benefit from the introduction of new “SmartHUB” Technology. “SmartHUB” Technology is a bespoke platform created internally by UPN to manage smooth operations across its UK pallet network.
“UPN IT have developed “SmartHUB” in response to requests from our membership for greater support and control across key elements of our nationwide operation,” said David Brown – UPN MD, A “SmartHUB” App monitors and manages all trunks with GPS Tracking of inbound and outbound journeys, In-App Digital manifests, and In-App “On site Guidelines”. The app also receives “call in” notification to indicate when on site trunks are ready to be loaded.
“Now all inbound and outbound UPN trunks will be monitored minute by minute, mile by mile, and scheduled in a timely way to ensure synergistic and speedy central sortation and pallet transshipment.” Said David Brown, “In the same way that an airport handles flights UPN will be actively giving member trunks “slots” to smooth flow our central sortation operation for the benefit of all of us.”
Integrated with the new App are a range of “SmartHUB” Central Sortation “Tools”. An “Arrivals Board” will display real time expected arrivals with indications of late / early arrivals. The board will also have the facility to view vehicle positions on a map. ETAs are calculated based on real time GPS locations and will account for traffic conditions. A “Resource Planning” feature will manage central staffing levels in line with real time ETAs. Member depots will have tools to book extra inbound vehicles online and to view map positions of outbound trunks in real time.
Further operational management features are planned for integration into “SmartHUB” to help members continually improve local palletised freight distribution services. The already excellent nationwide UPN service will be further improved towards the magical 100% on time delivery performance that is the holy grail for everyone.
With the addition over the recent months of seven new members the UPN network has never been stronger. D&D Transport, Cross Country Carriers, Three-Legged Transport, Stanton Logistics, Pallet Plus, G&B McCready, and Dependable Logistics have all signed membership agreements in recent months.
“In 2019 we’ve now brought in fourteen high calibre new members,” commented UPN Managing Director – David Brown, “Its proving to be a fantastic year for UPN as our business is showing record volume growth in advance of our imminent move to our new hub. These new additions will be significant for us as we take our company to the next level”.
Now the UKs only privately-owned Pallet Network, UPN has ninety-three members the most it’s ever had in nearly twenty years as a business.