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New Voice For Pallet Networks As Industry Body Is Announced PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 May 2007

Paul Sanders
Association of Pallet Networks to represent eight leading pallet networks with over 600 hauliers operating over 24,000 vehicles

The UK pallet network sector announces its own dedicated industry body. Formed at the end of last year the Association of Pallet Networks (APN) has attracted membership from the eight leading pallet networks in the UK. Together the members represent over 600 hauliers, 24,000 vehicles and over 11 million sq ft of warehouse space.

The APN aims are to raise awareness of the pallet network sector and to represent the interests of its members in the transport sector, with media and Government. It provides a platform for discussion, analysis and the promotion of the pallet network sector to customers, prospective customers, network members, the Health and Safety Executive and the public sector.

One of the first steps for the Association of Pallet Networks was the appointment of logistics consultants Key3 Partners to set up a detailed study of the sector, using online benchmarking to collect and collate information across the sector. The APN has also established a Health & Safety Forum Group made up of the H&S representatives of each member network. The group meets regularly to analyse H&S issues and trends and to discuss working practices. It also participates in the national Road Distribution Action Group chaired by the Government’s Health and Safety Executive, where it works alongside other freight, transport and logistics organisations such as the RHA, RTA and VOSA to discuss and deliver a number of initiatives, including best practice for hub operations.

One of the first commercial tasks of the new body was to represent its members on the Countdown Forum for the 2012 Olympic Games where it presented a detailed analysis of the advantages of using the pallet network approach to support the logistics of the Olympic Games.

Chairman Paul Sanders, managing director of Deker Trailers and an experienced pallet network operator, said: “This is an exciting step forward for the pallet networks. Up until now our collective interests have been very under-represented. I am delighted that the eight foremost pallet networks have all joined. The APN will be the voice of the industry and we have an excellent story to tell.”

Pallet networks are essentially co-operative organisations made up of groups of professional hauliers who work together as members to provide cost-effective, nationwide, next day delivery services. Because of the way they operate, pallet networks are the most cost-effective and environmentally efficient forms of road freight transportation. Individual hauliers collect and deliver palletised freight in their own geographical area, consolidating loads destined for other parts of the country and Europe and trunking to a central hub for onward distribution. This significantly increases average vehicle fill and reduces the number of vehicles needed. The average vehicle fill for pallet networks is around 73% compared with a national average of 51%. This equates to an estimated reduction of 800 vehicles per day on our roads.

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