Truck and Track Autumn 2021

Truck and Track Autumn 2021 34 PALLET NETWORKS “2021 continues to be challenging in the UK, with the ongoing impact from Covid, HGV driver shortage, and Brexit just to name a few,” observed Sanders. “Our members are undoubtedly feeling pressure from all angles, yet they continue to deliver high levels of service and record volumes.” As data to the end of August is published, it shows the sector is indeed resilient. “Our members have already passed the 20 million pallets milestone this year, continuing the growth trend seen since the APN began in 2007.” As the battle for HGV drivers rages on, and with no sign of a realistic short-term solution, APN networks can help their members operate their own resources more efficiently and effectively. “As we see volumes grow across all services (Next Day volumes have increased by 21%, Economy by more than 18%) and across all pallet sizes, (Full pallets +22%, Half pallets +17% and Quarter pallets +20%),” notes Sanders. “Our members are also making more home deliveries,” noted Sanders, “So far this year 1 in 5 pallets are delivered to residential addresses, enabling members to develop and optimise their service offering into this expanding marketplace.” The route to driver licence acquisition remains a key area of focus for the APN and its members. “We operate to very high levels of safety (networks have just 0.5 accidents per 100,000 pallets delivered) and we wouldn’t want to see anything introduced that could compromise safety across the sector. Instead, we are lobbying for access to Levy funds to train drivers outside the Apprenticeship scheme.” Whether the Government will support this view remains to be seen – if not, the complex challenges facing the logistics sector will only get worse in the coming months. Paul Sanders, Chairman of the Association of Pallet Networks Supply chain challenges boost pallet network volumes As operational pressures ripple throughout the UK economy, and particularly the logistics sector, APN Chairman Paul Sanders comments on how pallet networks continue to grow and support retailers and industry during these difficult times. TRUCK & TRAILER SOLUTIONS WELCOME TO ALLPORTS GROUP The Wolverhampton-based Pallet-Track network has kept things close to home to sign up its latest shareholder member, Walsall-based Trailer Freight International (TFI). TFI is based just six miles from the Pallet-Track central hub and joins the network as part of its plan to accelerate its growth domestically. TFI was established in 1983 operating daily freight services to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with two employees and a 5,000 sq ft warehouse using sub-contracted transport. It now boasts 20,000 sq ft of warehouse space and a thriving international freight forwarding division and was sold to Northern Ireland-based logistics firm Express Distribution Services in 2015. While its growth has been impressive, its roots remain within the Black Country with the re-location in February this year still less than five miles from the company’s original home. Allan Collins, business development manager at TFI, is managing the implementation of the Pallet-Track contract, which went live in September. He said: “We’ve been looking to grow our business in the UK market since TFI was brought by our parent company EDS and that’s exactly what joining Pallet-Track will help us do. “Pallet-Track is a proven entity with excellent credentials. It’s a big, successful company with impressive growth and not every transport company gets the opportunity to join, so we’re really pleased to be a part of it. “We look forward to moving forward positively together. We’re hoping this new partnership will help us set up a mirror image of our operation in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.” TFI will cover part of the WS postcode area for Pallet-Track and becomes its seventh new network member this year. Caroline Green, CEO of Pallet-Track, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our near neighbours Trailer Freight International to the network. It’s a company which comes with an excellent track record and clear vision for growth. “The last 18 months has provided a unique set of challenges for us and the logistics industry as a whole, so recruiting the right members is ever-more vital for the network’s continued success.” For more information about Trailer Freight International, visit For more information about Pallet-Track, call 0870 385 0055 or visit Trailer Freight International joins the Pallet-Track network