UPN trucks

UPN is opening up Europe for its members

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.

Member merry-go-round

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.

C Butt

There were naturally new faces at the various networks, with Miniclipper saying farewell to Pall-Ex, andPall-Ex welcoming C Butt.

Palletways added Pollock (Scotrans) to its roster and Marshalls joined Pallet-Track. Meanwhile, UK Pallets owner UK Mail conceded it needed to fill gaps in its pallet network.

Not just pallets

Pall-Ex launched its first new livery since it was established in 1996 this year, while Fortec broke new ground with a corporate division.

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.