Europe’s largest provider of express palletised freight services has set out its growth plans, including investment in its infrastructure and expansion into new countries.
The Palletways Group’s plans for growth are linked to key developments it has unveiled, which include:
- A new central hub in Lichfield, which will be fully operational with immediate effect after a successful pilot phase. Situated just 500m from its existing central hub facility, the new facility - formerly occupied by UK Pallets - will increase capacity by 8,000 pallets per day and enable faster turnaround of customers’ goods for onward distribution to their delivery destinations. The site comprises 11,500 sq m of warehouse and sortation space, 750 sq m of office space and a trailer park with capacity for 300 trailers;
- The extension of its regional operations in London, Oxford and Scotland increasing their capacity by 40%;
- Within the last 18 months the company has already established a new regional hub in Milan for Northern Italy, a brand new, larger hub in Nijmegen, Holland plus a new Palletways Fulfilment warehouse in the same location to service Benelux and the Ruhr Valley, an extension of their Iberian hub in Alcala de Henares, Madrid plus an extension of its Italian hub in Bologna, Italy;
- New planned hub facilities in central Germany (Homberg), Southern France (Lyon and Montpelier) and Eastern Europe (location tbc) within the next few months
- The extension of the group’s distribution network into the Nordic countries. This will further build on the company’s geographical footprint, following recent expansion into Poland and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in June and Bulgaria and Romania in August
- The continued roll-out of the group’s award-winning Digital Information Hub across its networks in Europe. The web-based platform, which was launched in the UK last year, optimises the use of real-time data to provide greater operational efficiencies by reducing downtime on telephone calls, increasing vehicle utilisation and enhancing traffic management. It also takes customer service to even higher levels by speeding up the resolution of any distribution issues to ensure deliveries on time, providing real time visibility of consignments and presenting new business opportunities for users of the company’s services based on their current distribution profiles;
- The introduction of a new online booking facility for customers.
These developments follow the group’s best year to date for volumes handled across its European network, with a current average of 33,000 pallets being delivered every day. This represents an increase of some 12% compared to the previous 12 months.
This year the Palletway’s group will process more than eight million pallets with daily averages of 36,000 pallets and seasonal peaks exceeding 40,000 pallets. As the largest and most mature business the UK will handle 60% of these volumes.
“This is an exciting time for our network as we continue to expand, reinforcing our market leadership, our reputation for service excellence and our pan-European capabilities in support our customers’ growth ambitions,” said Luis Zubialde, Managing Director at Palletways UK.
“Our growth into new markets has been supported by our significant and continuous investment in new infrastructure in the UK and abroad and the development of improved communications technology to extend the reach of the business and drive efficiency and performance. We will continue to build on these solid foundations over the coming 12 months.”
“We are already the market leader in terms of both service and volume, our European activity now represents 40% of our overall volumes which is more than the total UK and European volume of any other competitor in the UK. This confirms our group strategy “
Palletways’ Operations Director Mike Harrison added: “Our investment in new infrastructure is a core component of our growth plans.
“The introduction of the new Terminal 2 in Lichfield, together with plans for new facilities in Europe, will provide significantly more capacity and business opportunities for our network.
"The seamless introduction of this new facility has increased our members’ efficiency by extending their window of operational opportunity through later collection times and earlier departures.
“As we expand, our investment in these core components will play an essential part in ensuring that we continue to deliver our high standards of service excellence for all our customers.”