Pall-Ex has said it is set to roll a ‘through the night service’ out across selected urban areas in the UK after its success running the service in London.

The network has told that boosting the service in London alone would be good from an operational point of view, as well as being good for both business customers and consumers at home.

Cris Stephenson, UK MD of Pall-Ex, said: ““As part of our legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games, Pall-Ex already offers a ‘through the night’ retail delivery service within London. We are keen to increase this service, as it keeps commercial vehicles out of the congested areas at peak times. This in turn allows our customers to restock and replenish stores within time for consumers to have access to these goods during the day.

“We are planning to roll out this service to the other major conurbations throughout the UK, as traffic and local restrictions increase within these areas,” he said.

The move has already received the backing of Premier Palletised, the Pall-Ex member based in Wembley, north London, which said it is currently in talks with Pall-Ex to revitalise its night time delivery campaigns.

Adam Hopcroft, MD at Premier Palletised, said: “This will enable us to use the early evening slot (18:00 – 21:00) for deliveries to residential addresses. This will enable people to receive their goods once they get home from work, instead of having to take time off to wait in for their goods.”


Hopcroft also suggested a more radical solution, calling on mayor Boris Johnson, to make it compulsory to deliver into the W1 postcode in central London after 9pm.

“This would be a real move forward for city centre logistics, and is something that Premier Palletised and Pall-Ex have been trying to get off the ground since the London Olympics, when there where temporary delivery bans in place making it compulsory to deliver at night.

“[It] would dilute traffic in London and save on congestion and therefore the emissions caused by it. My feelings are that home deliveries are the next big growth sector for road logistics. The city centre night deliveries will follow suit when evening deliveries become more common and acceptable.”

Transport for London is currently running three new out-of-hours delivery trials across the capital and has said that increasing the take-up of out-of-hours deliveries, and moving them away from the morning peak, is central to its post-Olympic planning.


Cris Stephenson, UK MD, Pall-Ex

Stephenson (pictured) said he would look for UK cities to follow the trend in Europe, where multi-modal consolidation centres are used to reduce congestion: “Based outside the city centre, the centres significantly reduce the volume of trucks within the designated delivery zone. However, the weighty input that would be required from local and central government here in the UK means that this will not happen overnight, and will most likely be a slow burner.”