The Hub had the rare pleasure of speaking with Pall-Ex founder Hilary Devey this week. The subject was her new man: Kevin Buchanan.

Buchanan was a shock departure from Palletline this summer and he’s made an equally big splash by taking on the top job (in terms of the day-to-day running and leadership of the network) at Pall-Ex as group MD.

“I want my network to be the best and that’s something we will achieve,” Hilary told The Hub, her passion for the business she founded in the mid-nineties evident, despite her more recent foray into the world of television (she’ll be on our screens again next year in an as yet undisclosed project for Channel 4).

She clearly believes that in Buchanan she has got her man. A man who will rejuvenate a network that is apparently growing exponentially in Europe but – by her own admission – has come up shorter than it would have liked to in regards the UK operation of late, in what remains a fiercely contested pallet sector.

“Kevin will be focusing on the UK,” she said. “I want our UK members to feel precious and loved in a way that you simply don’t get at other UK networks.”

With the Benelux region expected to be the sixth Pall-Ex network to be signed imminently on the continent, keeping the UK membership happy is a challenge, although on past experience one that Buchanan will relish.

Devey said that she sees her role these days as an ambassador for the industry – acknowledging how hard it has become for the typical UK haulage firm to turn a profit even in the time since she founded her business – and while The Hub doesn’t believe for a moment that she will suddenly retire from the network she built, she said of the appointment that “it’s another chapter for Pall-Ex, and another chapter for me”.