Truck and Track Spring 2024

www.truckandtrack.com Spring 2024 Truck and Track 35 PALLET NETWORKS Key points include: ■ Generation Logistics partnership addresses the need for current and future logistics workers ■ It extends the work APN has been doing emphasising the breadth of skills and roles required ■ APN member networks employ 35,000 people APN has partnered with government-funded recruitment campaign Generation Logistics to further publicise the wide range of careers available and required within the pallet network sector. It will participate by submitting job profiles and vacancies as well as helping to create and sharing content. “APN has previously published series of case studies and created much social media content around pallet network careers,” says APN Chair Paul Sanders. “The difficulty is in getting young people to engage with it, so having a central logistics platform for educators and ambassadors to refer to is essential.” Sanders says that while the public is very aware of HGV driving roles following the recent acute shortages, they forget that logistics companies also need HR personnel, accountants, planners, marketing experts, facilities managers, health and safety professionals and countless other roles. “We are competing with the rest of UK industry for hard-working, talented people in a plethora of different jobs,” he says. “And with the continuing digitisation of products and services, we will need a new generation of people with digital literacy, and skills in engineering, software and advanced mathematics. “These skills will be necessary to deliver the sustainability goals, the cost control and the higher levels of customer service which will be demanded over the next five to ten years,” says Sanders. Generation Logistics is in its second year, with ambitious targets for youth and educational engagement, events, and a significant move in positive sentiment towards the industry. “The benchmarking research shows that, while only one in ten young people currently even considers a career in logistics, only 12% would never consider one*,” says Sanders. “It’s up to us therefore to sell our industry as a place of essential services, innovation, and extensive opportunity, at the forefront of some of the most important shifts for our society, such as decarbonisation and automation.” He concludes, “APN and all its member networks are very pleased to be involved with this campaign and we will be participating wherever possible.” * Source: RDSI benchmarking research, July 2022 www.theapn.co.uk APN partners with Generation Logistics to highlight network careers Association of Pallet Networks (APN) partners with Generation Logistics recruitment campaign to raise awareness of network careers Key points include: ■ Hub safety improves for the sixth year running ■ Total volumes 5.1% up on 2019 ■ Average pallet weight continues to decrease ■ Trailer and HGV efficiency both reach new heights ■ On time delivery levels at 96.7% APN members delivered 28.4 million pallets in 2023, a 2.8% reduction against 2022, but 5.1% higher than 2019 pre-pandemic levels. Q4 2023 volumes rallied slightly with final figures almost 10,000 pallets higher than Q4 2022. In 2023, all pallet sizes have declined from 2022 volumes, although still show strong growth against 2019. Full pallets achieved growth of +4.7% and half-pallets +2.6% against 2019. Quarter pallets saw a 9.7% increase in volume. Full pallets account for 49.0% of the volume, half-pallets 29.1%, and quarter-pallets make up the remaining 21.9%. APN chairman Paul Sanders, says, “The sector managed to achieve some significant wins in 2023, with hubs becoming safer for the sixth year running, and trailer utilisation and service levels both at a five-year high. The sector managed to deliver 96.7% of all pallets on time, which is a remarkable track record. “Even accounting for slightly lower volumes than in 2022, the industry has made some excellent efficiency gains. Sustainability is one of the APN’s pillars and every gain in efficiency means less energy, less cost and a better use of resource,” says Sanders. Hub injuries have dropped 23.9% to 0.36 per 100,000 pallets. Trailer utilisation is 76.6%, eight percentage points above the published national average for articulated vehicles, (DfT RFS0125) and the sector reduced trunking journeys by 7.6%. The proportion of residential deliveries decreased slightly in 2023. However, despite inflationary pressure, next-day and premium deliveries still dominate over the economy services, for both freight owners and commercial and residential customers. Over 60% of network freight is on a next-day service, and 16% of that freight is booked as a premium timed delivery. “It’s clear that suppliers and customers alike value next-day and premium services and are prepared to pay for that level of service despite other cost pressures,” says Sanders. “Networks are continually investing in IT evolution to give ever more precise delivery times and better customer communication.” The full report is available from www.theapn.co.uk Stability and safety key wins for pallet network sector in 2023 The Association of Pallet Networks (APN) has published its sector statistics for 2023, showing slightly reduced but stable volumes compared to 2022, and yet more significant safety and sustainability progress by the sector TRUCK & TRAILER SOLUTIONS WELCOME TOALLPORTS GROUP allportsgroup.co.uk

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