Pall-Ex has reignited its European expansion push and will have almost doubled its existing network on the continent by early next year.

With Italy and Iberia up and running, the pallet network outlined ambitious plans to in summer 2011 to have 15 master franchisee agreements in place across the continent by 2015.

Although its fourth partner, De Rijke in France, was signed up by 2012 and running just a year later, there was a hiatus until Benelux came on stream earlier this year. This was
its fifth European network partner.

However, speaking to, Pall-Ex Group MD Kevin Buchanan revealed its European aspirations were back on track.

“As part of our European development programme we want to build a pan-European network and are about to add four new networks that will give us nine European network partners by early next year,” he said.

In the UK, Buchanan added that Pall-Ex would open a northern hub in Warrington in January 2017.

The pallet network will close a small northern hub in Carlisle and shift its operation to the larger site in Warrington, run by member Currie European.

Buchanan added that a southern hub, which will open in 2018, will be located in either Slough or Reading.

Pall-Ex also plans to slow the pace of its membership growth, which has seen it add 20 firms in the past two years, boosting membership to 92.

“We will look to increase membership to about 100 as we look to make incremental improvements,” he said.

The expansion plans follow a management restructuring that resulted in group operations director Mark Tapper leaving the network by mutual agreement.

Tapper has been replaced by former Fortec general manager operation Adrian Bradley, who took up the post of operations director this month. Bradley’s arrival follows former Premier Logistics sales director Mark Steel, who joined as sales and marketing director in June.

Former XPO Logistics IT business solutions manager Chris Holland has also joined the network as IT director.