National logistics company Pallet-Track has proved the ‘northern power house’ is alive and well as its £10 million investment in a regional hub to strategically serve the north of England has exceeded all expectations in the year since it opened.
Pallet-Track’s wholly-owned Northern Hub at Ashton-in-Makerfield in Wigan, Greater Manchester, which created 20 new jobs, was designed to build greater pallet capacity from Stoke-on-Trent upwards through Scotland and including Ireland - as part of the network’s ‘local to local’ delivery strategy.
The 70,000 sq ft northern hub, which was selected because of its close proximity to the UK’s motorway network, has handled in excess of 377,000 pallets since it opened on August 7 2017. It has also exceeded its financial targets for the first 12 months of its life.
The move, which engaged more than 30 of Pallet-Track’s 89 members, reduces long hauls and empty running, the wasted mileage created when trucks arrive back at their original destination without a return payload.
This reduces fuel costs and the environmental impact of the operation as well as cutting congestion on the UK’s roads caused by longer hauls – all at a time when there is increased pressure to improve air quality around UK cities.
“The northern hub has created a real buzz across the network in the last 12 months and exceeded our expectations in so doing,” said Pallet-track founder and managing director Nigel Parkes.
“This was our first stand-alone hub development in the north of England and it has really helped secure our future development in this important region, by allowing us to manage volumes and flow in a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way.”
The Northern hub is part of a wider regional hub strategy to take pressure away from the central 276,000 sq ft hub in Wolverhampton. There are also successful Pallet-Track hubs operating in the south and Scotland.
The move was welcomed by Councillor David Molyneux, leader of Wigan Council.
“Inward investment is always welcome in Wigan borough and we were delighted that Pallet-Track had selected our region for its new northern hub,” he said.
“The jobs created were 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 was 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.”