A key part of the UK pallet networks’ continuing success is their close cooperation with their members over improving their service and addressing operational challenges, including tracking stock, pallets and inventory.

Given this flair for problem solving and technical innovation, the run up to Brexit presents a major opportunity for the pallet networks and their members to strengthen their relationships with their exporter customers. The key lies in providing advice and assistance on how to use technology to track consignments and speed the flow of goods through the ports, in the face of increased bureaucracy over the movement of goods, including palletised consignments.

As an example of this technical expertise is UPN’s “Unique IQ” Initiative, which homes in on the company’s point of difference in terms of its unique IT support systems and infrastructure, and its focus on service quality excellence.

The UPN network is underpinned by an advanced web based performance monitoring system, providing customers with clear visibility of freight movements. Clients also have access to online customer booking, track and trace and real time live signature capture.

UPN is further establishing its position in the sector this summer with three new members, LHT Logistics in Chingford, Swanseabased A.T. Morgan and Son and West London-based Spartan Distribution.

In other network news Fortec has completed a £3m project to expand its hub at Watford Gap, adding 70,000 sq ft of warehousing space, equivalent to 50% percent more operational capacity. On the people front The Pallet Network has been offering apprenticeships to retrain as LGV drivers. Among the recruits are Emma Wilson, a female 32 year old pharmacy assistant, who has been taken on by TPN member Jays Logistics in Highbridge, Somerset.

Motivating the networks’ members is key to building their businesses. Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest-growing express palletised freight network with over 115 independent UK transport providers, recently presented 30 UK members with a Platinum Club Award in its annual Awards, recognising operational excellence and consistently high standards. New Palletways members include Foulger Transport, based in Norfolk, and Coventry-based Transol Logistics.

Network members tend to be loyal. Palletways member Cooper Carriers is celebrating its 20th year at its Kinmel Bay, Wales depot. Part of the Countrywide Freight Group, Cooper has now handled over 210,000 pallets for Palletways.

And finally, having originated in the British Isles, the pallet networks’ formula has been exported around the world as far afield as China, where UK-based Palletforce has launched its new Chinese pallet service. Palletforce Asia Services will provide the network’s 100 UK members with access to the growing Far East market. Aimed at SME customers Palletforce Asia Services will enable movement of consignments of all sizes, from single pallets to full container loads. Palletforce has installed a bespoke IT platform in both the UK and China, linked to the company’s Alliance tracking system.

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