The co-founders of the Principle Pallet Network, the fledging network seeking to become the UK’s ninth, have left the business.

The shock departure comes after former The Pallet Network (TPN) boss Adam Leonard joined the venture in March, supported by ex-Nightfreight boss Robbie Burns .

Former Fortec directors Marcus Fischer (main image, left) and Neil Hodgson (main right) revealed plans to return to the pallet sector in 2016 in the roles of chief operating officer and chief executive respectively.

The directors set an operational start date of 2017 but after the launch window came and went many questioned if the network would see the light of day.

However, earlier this year MT was told that Principle had secured the former Birds Transport & Logistics site at Parsonage Street, West Bromwich, as its operational hub.

Despite this, records filed at Companies House show that Hodgson stepped down as a director of the Principle Pallet Network on 29 March, while Fischer followed suit on 15 May. They also stepped down as directors at the associated Principle Group at this time. Neither could be reached for comment.

On the 1 June Piyush Shah and Burns were named as directors of the Principle Pallet Network, although they have been associated with the related Principle Group since late last year.

Burns is the former boss of Excel Logistics, author of the Burns Report into freight taxation and competition, and was executive chairman at NightFreight from 2007 to 2010. He was a recipient of the Motor Transport Service to Industry Award in 2009.

Shah served as a director at TPN between 2001 and 2002 and is a director at several technology-led businesses that provide services to the road transport industry.


Adam Leonard

Leonard became a director at the Principle Pallet Network and Principle Group at the end of March, records show. He is the architect of modern TPN, having joined in 2000 as general manager of operations before leading a management buy-out as MD in 2007. He ended his role as a director at TPN in January 2016, according to Companies House.

No one at the Principle Pallet Network was available to comment as MT went to press. According to Companies House, Fischer and Hodgson are still listed as shareholders.