Palletways has said a departure from the EU will inevitably create “new challenges” for the industry and the network, in the wake of the UK’s decision to end their membership.

UK MD Luis Zubialde (pictured) told “I think there will be challenges that lie ahead now, especially with the weaker pound that we’ve seen today. But Palletways is a well-established business and we’re well-equipped to deal with those new challenges.”

He added that the industry could see the effects of the vote sooner than the two year period quoted as the time it will take the UK to officially leave the EU.

“We can’t tell how long it will take at this stage. But it was in the German press this morning that it might take much less than the two years people think,” he said.

Zubialde added: “As a company we thought it would be better to remain, that’s where we positioned ourselves. Myself, I am astonished and sad. But I respect every opinion, and this is what the people have decided. We remain very optimistic for the future.”

The network’s chief executive James Wilson also commented on the referendum’s results.

He said: “We don’t expect the EU Referendum vote to substantially affect how our business operates. As the UK negotiates its withdrawal from the EU, challenges for the transportation and logistics industry do lie ahead.

"But we’re well placed to respond to these challenges given our well-established presence throughout Europe, together with the commitment of our members to put us at the leading edge of logistics companies across the continent.”

Palletways was acquired by South African group Imperial Holdings earlier this month.