Truck and Track Autumn 2021

Truck and Track Autumn 2021 38 UPN – (UNITED PALLET NETWORK) – FINALIST – MULTIMODAL – PALLET NETWORK OF THE YEAR 2021 In this issue of Truck and Track we catch up with UPN Managing Director – David Brown – to get his perspective on the challenges that both UPN and the Pallet Network Sector are facing and his thoughts on the future. David Brown has been with UPN for over fifteen years now and has been Managing Director since 2015. Since joining UPN from the International De’Longhi Group in 2006, David has gained vast experience in the sector. In a year like no other with Brexit, Covid-19, an unprecedented driver shortage, and a huge spike in the demand for logistics support services across the UK and Ireland, UPN has continued to grow strongly both financially and in terms of reputation. In a market sector which itself has grown in reliability and reputation, UPN has established a clear niche as a network driven for, and by its membership. UPN is also renowned in the sector for its bespoke high quality IT support systems that have enabled the company to build, retain, and develop a strong and stable member network across the UK and Northern Ireland. “Team UPN” as it promotes itself, is now a cohesive and united nationwide network of ninety five high quality regional hauliers operating synergistically to provide an extremely reliable range of nationwide services. Established in 2001 and now in its 20th year as the UK’s only privately owned Pallet Network, UPN has grown over two decades through a commitment to provision of “First Class Travel for Palletised Freight”. The company’s signature line has become its mantra and benchmark for its daily performance on behalf of palletised freight shippers across the UK. So David, it’s been quite a year hasn’t it with the challenges of Covid, of Brexit, AND of course most recently the Driver Shortage which is currently very high profile across all media everywhere. Let’s start with that - How is the Driver Shortage being handled by UPN members and indeed the sector in general, how is it impacting on your business and your members? Yes, a perfect storm of issues has gathered to energise what is now a real problem for the logistics sector. What was a driver shortage of around 50,000 just two years ago has this year grown to probably around 100,000. The average age of drivers is increasing annually and most recently is thought to be around 52. In a year like no other UPN has continued to grow strongly UPN Managing Director - David Brown Team UPN has established a strong nationwide team ethos for UPN UPN are 20 in 2021