Palletforce and its haulier members moved a network record of 3.4 million pallets last year.

This was an increase of 7% year-on-year with the network seeing an initial contribution from its expanded central hub, which can now handle up to 30,000 pallets daily.

During 2017 it also extended the reach of its European express services to 20 countries, and its investment in technology and services in recent years was credited with aiding members' growth.

The pallet network, headquartered in Burton upon Trent, also achieved a record network revenue of £104.9m in the year to 30 September 2017 (2016: £96.5m).

Michael Conroy, Palletforce CEO, said: “The latest record figures are a result of quality service and above-market growth delivered by our fantastic membership.

Read more

“With significant financial backing from EmergeVest and our strategy to attract and maintain the best member companies, Palletforce is perfectly placed to lead and develop the sector with a commitment to being the network of choice for quality-driven, forward-thinking members.

“We’ve become more innovative over the last 12 months and have the foundations in place to lead sector consolidation with the new super hub,” he said.

Following Eddie Stobart's purchase of The Pallet Network last month, Conroy told MT: "This reaffirms that the sector has matured and we need to work together. I believe in four years' time there will only be four pallet networks.

"We remain acquisitive and we are determined to do it. [Consolidation] will improve the offering and secure the members' long-term future."

Palletforce was named the winner of the Best Use of Technology category at the Motor Transport Awards earlier this month.