Palletways has become the first in the pallet network sector to offer its customers two-hour delivery windows.

The network’s new ETA service is live and is already being used by all member operators.

Customers receive a text or email from Palletways and the member operator with an estimated time slot, and options on how much communication they would like on their consignment’s progress.

They can also choose to be informed what is on a particular pallet.

UK MD Dave Walmsley said this was a logical step given the recent growth in deliveries members are makinng to residential addresses, which now account for one in every five pallets that Palletways moves.

He told “What customers see in the parcel sector, we want to give them in pallets. I want Palletways to be a brand of choice for consumers.”

Walmsley said each of the network’s 113 members are on board with the new technology. “It only works if every member takes part, you can’t offer a service everywhere in the country except, say, Norwich. It’s got to be everyone,” he said.

Palletways chief operating officer Luis Zubialde said the data from the app usage is available to Palletways, so it can see if members are not using the ETA service, or are not meeting their given delivery slots.

Drivers can use the app, built around Google Maps, en-route to factor in unforeseen events such as traffic or accidents, in order to stick to delivery times.

The app also allows them to change the order of deliveries with a drag and drop function, if it makes more sense on a particular drop route.

Walmsley said: "We expect to be able to attract new members and customers because of our ETA system – especially when combined with our renowned digital information hub and archway scanning technology."

Zubialde said this is the first version of many, and that Palletways intends to build on this baseline of its ETA service technology to add features such as communication with a customer after a missed delivery.