The Hub was lucky enough to visit an actual, working hub - namely Fortec's - earlier this month.

With a remodelled senior team in place, the Watford, Northampton-based pallet network is on the march, although commercial director Marcus Fischer was keen to impress that "the Fortec Way" is increasingly about selling service over volume for volume's sake.

That means that it's currently asking itself whether deliveries to private addresses, typically unconsolidated to locations without additional lifting equipment, is actually where it wants to be.

There's a lot of good quality business-to-business work out there for a network - such as Fortec - that is already on of the lightest and is increasingly carrying higher value, lower weight goods (average pallet weight is stated at 286kg in the network, and the typically higher margin Next Day delivery segment already accounts for some 80% of total deliveries).

That's not to say that Fortec isn't enjoying a boon in volumes - as many of the other networks have also reported in recent months. In fact, Fortec saw some 942,697 pallets moved through its network last year - a record. And 2013 looks like it will delivery a volume total into seven figures!