The UK’s eight major pallet networks, comprising over 700 logistics businesses, acted admirably during the Covid-19 outbreak by putting their combined fleet of 23,500 vehicles at the government’s disposal. Co-ordinated by the Association of Pallet Networks, the networks, which have a combined 30,000 employees and 750 depots, teamed up to distribute emergency and food supplies.

This article was first published in the September 1st 2020 issue of Warehouse & Logistics News, subscribe to the magazine by clicking here.

Pall-Ex Group has acquired the Fortec Distribution Network. Purchased by a new subsidiary company For-Ex Distribution Network Ltd, the network will remain trading as Fortec Distribution and will continue to operate as a separate pallet network within the UK but be part of the overall Pall-Ex Group of companies. The two firms, which were both founded in Leicestershire in 1996, have a combined total of 168 network members, the largest in the UK, and are a welcome addition to Pall-Ex Group’s now 600 European membership. Fortec’s 210,000 sqft warehouse at Watling Park, Northamptonshire, will give the entire Pall-Ex Group more than 600,000 sqft of hub capacity as they continue to grow over 11% above the sector average.

Contactless SmartHUB Technology is the latest introduction from United Pallet Network (UPN). SmartHUB IT is a bespoke technology platform created by UPN to manage smooth operations across its UK pallet network. UPN is now totally contactless, particularly significant in the current Covid-19 pandemic.

EV Cargo’s Palletforce has strengthened its service in Oxfordshire after signing a new member to its growing national network. D&G Global Logistics will replace former member NGC, providing additional capacity for growth and delivering enhanced customer service and stable coverage. Based in Warwick, it will cover postcodes in the north-west of the county including Banbury and Chipping Norton.

Beaches Logistics Carlisle has completed its move to Palletline. Beaches has been reviewing its pallet network operation in order to ensure quality service for its customers and to protect its long-term future. Offering supply chain logistics services including warehousing, distribution and pallet services, Beaches Logistics Carlisle joined Palletline in May.

Pallet-Track has recorded its one millionth pallet through its regional hub in Greater Manchester in less than three years of operation. Despite challenging trading conditions caused by coronavirus, the £10 million, wholly-owned Northern Hub at Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, which created 20 new jobs when it opened in August 2017, achieved the record in March. Appropriately, the millionth pallet carried a consignment of household cleaning products to help in the fight to beat the Covid-19 virus.

TPN – THE Pallet Network, has signed new-to-networks Slough-based KPI Transport. Slough-based Keith Perry International Transport, which trades as KPI Transport, came into new ownership in June 2020. KPI director Ray Burke says he is looking to expand its fleet, its customer base and its range of services – and TPN membership is the key. Traditionally KPI has consolidated loads into Ireland, as well as offering general haulage, ADR and international transport.

It’s great to see the UK’s pallet networks raising their game and investing for the future.

George Simpson

Features Editor

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