Mark Duggan_TPN - 2

Eddie Stobart Logistics’ purchase of The Pallet Network (TPN) represents the evolution of the pallet network model, according to MD Mark Duggan (pictured).

TPN was bought for £52.8m by Eddie Stobart Logistics on 29 June and Duggan told MT that rather than consolidation, the move should be regarded as the evolvement of the pallet sector model.

“TPN and our members drew a line in the sand several years ago, agreed a collective view as to what good looked like and created a strategy to deliver that,” he said.

“As a network we realised that the future couldn’t simply be about doing what we’ve always done, and we needed to evolve and develop both what we do and how we do it, to create a roadmap for the future generations in our members’ businesses.”

TPN had been backed by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group since 2007, and Duggan said the network would benefit from being under the ownership of a long-term, complementary trade investor.

“It’s business as usual within the network, however the synergy between Eddie Stobart and TPN and our members has created so much positive potential operationally. It also presents opportunities to accelerate pre-existing plans where appropriate,” he said.

Duggan added that in joining the Eddie Stobart Logistics family, he believed the pallet network, which has always aimed to “create an environment where our members’ businesses can flourish”, had not only delivered on this mission statement, but taken it to another level.

Speaking about TPN in its interim results, Eddie Stobart Logistics chief executive Alex Laffey said: “The recent acquisition of the business further adds to the range of services we provide to our customers across the supply chain.”

He added that it was a major step in the operator’s stated aim of becoming a full end-to-end logistics service provider.