Once again the UK’s nine pallet networks bucked the general trend within logistics in 2012, delivering another year of growth.
While Greece teetered on the precipice, dragging the whole eurozone deeper into its protracted economic malaise, Europe remained the focal point for many of the UK’s networks looking for the next big thing.
European market leader Palletways faces competition with Pall-Ex’s ambitious European plans remaining on course despite the economic headwinds from the Continent, and Palletforce finally revealing its hand and announcing a European partnership with One Express.
Back at home there was debate ignited by the Association of Pallet Network’s latest figures and The Pallet Network’s Adam Leonard. There were no easy answers but instead the suggestion that the industry and operators in general need to urgently re-examine their relationships with customers to get things back on a sustainable footing.
Any year in the life of pallet networks always brings member changes and 2012 was no different. Whether it was Pall-Ex buying a member, Intercounty, to ensure continuity, or Potter Group buying into Network of the Year-winner Palletline membership, after its acquisition of House of James. Or even closure in the case of Palletways member Condor Logistics.
Not just pallets
There were also a few wobbles for individual operators, with haulier Palletline Logistics (Midlands) having to rely on a company voluntary arrangement to continue as a going concern.