Express Freight Solutions

Pallet networks achieved record volume last year , with almost 16 million pallets processed though the UK's collection of central hubs.

This was a 4.1% increase in total volume on 2011, according to new data from the Association of Pallet Networks (APN).

The growth rate was slightly down on the previous period (2010 to 2011), which saw total volume growth of 7.3%.

Since APN begun benchmarking its members in 2007 total pallet volume has grown 30%.

"The annual pallet volumes delivered are increasing year-on-year, and our members' hubs have never bee busier," said chairman Paul Sanders.

Next day services accounted for more than 64% of the total pallets volume, and APN said members achieved an average fill rate of 70% for trunk trailers running to their respective central hubs.

The APN, which counts seven of the UK's nine pallet networks as members, recently signed up as a FairFuelUK sponsor  and they joined campaigners at Westminster  for a cut in fuel duty ahead of this week's Budget (20 March).

Pallet networks and their members were recently commended for their pro-active approach to load restraint.