Express palletised distribution expert Palletforce is set to create its first-ever own-brand depot with the strategic acquisition of one of its member companies.
The firm has purchased the UK Freight Masters business, based in Belvedere, south-east London, in a move which will help strengthen Palletforce’s position and service offering in the capital.
The acquisition is the first of its kind for the company and is the first major move since the sale of Palletforce to Emergvest.
Founded 25 years ago by David Bland, UK Freight Masters has been a family-run business. The company joined the award-winning Palletforce network 11 years ago and was crowned Members Depot of the Year at the annual Palletforce Gala Awards ceremony.
“I’ve seen many changes in the logistics industry after running a successful business for 25 years, but now it’s time for me to stand down,” explained David.
“In doing so, I'm leaving the business in safe hands with a secure future for my dedicated employees and ensuring my customers will continue to benefit from outstanding service and the long-term investment Palletforce has made in the business.”
David will remain in UK Freight Masters for six months to ensure an orderly and seamless transition.
The tactical move will see Palletforce own and operate its own transport and distribution centre for the first time, with a fleet of 30 multi-use vehicles on the road.
Importantly it provides Palletforce with the opportunity to reinforce its position around the capital and the platform to secure the provision of its high-quality, express service within a quickly growing and increasingly complex region.
Palletforce chief executive officer Michael Conroy said: “UK Freight Masters has been an important Palletforce member for 11 years, focused on quality and consistently delivering the high levels of service demanded from our members. We are committed to the company’s employees and customers and will ensure the continued success of the business long term.
“This was an important strategic decision for Palletforce as we look to bolster our position as the leading pallet network and focus on service provision around London as part of our expansion targets.
“Palletforce is, and will remain, a member driven network. However, in certain key strategic areas we need to invest long term for the benefit of the entire network. Quality, consistency and longevity are paramount to our ongoing success.”
Volumes within Palletforce continue to grow at over 10% while service levels remain above 98%, even whilst handling record volumes over the Christmas period. It recently appointed David Breeze to the newly-created position of member relations director and expects 10-12 new members added to the network in 2016 to support quality controlled growth.
UK Freight Masters staff will transfer to Palletforce under TUPE conditions as part of the deal.