National logistics company Pallet-Track has invested £10m in its own regional hub strategically serving the north of England.
Pallet-Track’s Northern Hub at Ashton-in-Makerfield in Wigan, Greater Manchester, will initially create 20 new jobs when it opens on August 7, but is likely to generate more vacancies as it builds greater pallet capacity.
The initial jobs will be for managers, administrators and forklift truck operatives to help load vehicles for night trunking across the north of the UK – from Stoke-on-Trent upwards through Scotland and including Ireland - as part of Pallet-Track’s ‘local to local’ delivery strategy.
It is also aimed at optimising productivity at its 276,000sq ft central hub in Wolverhampton.
The strategic location for the 70,000sq ft hub was selected because of close proximity to the UK’s motorway network.
The move will engage with 30 of Pallet-Track’s 80+ members and will reduce long hauls and empty running, the wasted mileage created when trucks arrive back at their original destination without a return payload.
This will in turn reduce fuel costs and the environmental impact of the operation as well as cutting congestion on the UK’s roads caused by longer hauls - and all at a time when there is increased pressure to improve air quality around the UK cities.
The move has been welcomed by Councillor David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council.
“Inward investment is always welcome in Wigan Borough and we are delighted that Pallet-Track has selected our region for its new northern hub,” he said.
“The new jobs are a welcome boost to our economy through our Wigan Works programme which is encouraging businesses like Pallet-Track to see the opportunities available for their services here in the borough. It’s also great to see the company is thinking long term; not only for greater employment opportunities, but also in terms of reducing the environmental impact of its operations and the sustainability of the hub and spoke model serving the north of the UK.”
Nigel Parkes, founder and Managing Director of Pallet-Track, said: “This is our first stand-alone hub development in the north of England which is important because it secures our future development in this important region and allows us to manage volumes and flow in a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way.
“The facility is first rate and well-located to serve our needs and those of our members, all of whom will benefit from not having to trunk goods to the Midlands for their onward journeys. In this respect, it is certainly better for UK plc and the all-important customers who require faster and more responsive service in a more connected world.”