New markets opening up to the pallet concept

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Pallet operators are increasingly looking at the continent to expand. While transport networks are common in the rest of Europe, the specialist pallet network is still in its infancy.

Palletways has taken a lead in developing services and last year completed the integration of its pan European network, which now has some 270 depots and nine hubs covering the Benelux countries, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

Craig Hibbert says: “We are already experiencing significant interest from companies looking for supply chain cost efficiencies on a European scale to increase their overall competitiveness.”

Pall-Ex is set to launch its first continental service. Chief executive Hilary Devey says: “Pall-Ex Italia replicates the tried and tested Pall-Ex UK commercial and operational model and launches in January 2009. It is our first network within mainland Europe, operating under a master license agreement with a leading Italian logistics company. Plans are already in place to replicate the success in other European countries.”

UPN has launched a range of European services through a partnership with Signet International, covering 12 European countries.

Michael Conroy of PalletForce says: “Opportunities have always existed on the continent and it is an area that PalletForce is targeting. The globalisation of supply chains means that transport companies need to provide solutions either through acquisition or strategic alliances.

UK Pallets, Business Post’s pallet operation, has launched a European service following a deal with logistics services provider Dachser which gives network members access to Dachser’s pan European network.

Terry Richards, UK Pallets’ managing director says: “We recognised the potential of developing a European solution that provided a simplified product offering, with competitive prices and a high-quality distribution service that could be effectively sold to an existing client-base through our nationwide membership.”

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