A record-breaking amount of pallets were shifted by Association of Pallet Networks (APN) members during the first quarter of this year.

APN members moved 3.5 million pallets through their hubs during the first few months of the year, representing the highest amount since benchmarking began in 2007, and a 4% increase on the same period a year ago.

Next day pallets were 6% up compared with the first quarter of 2012 (and 53% up on 2007), which APN said highlighted that more consignments than ever were now being moved on a just-in-time basis.

The overall service split for the first quarter was 64% next day and 36% economy.

Paul Sanders, chairman of the APN, said: "APN networks are reporting current trends to  be good, which is encouraging and hopefully will continue with [sustained] economic confidence."

APN members achieved a new record for overall pallet volumes during 2012.