The Pallet Network (TPN) has launched a second pop-up hub at Coventry, transforming an unoccupied industrial unit into a fully operational site in just one week.
It replaces TPN’s first pop-up hub which it created in the unoccupied NEC during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020.
TPN said the pop-up hub model, which it claims to have created, ensures the network can meet sudden or seasonal surges in volume and keep vehicle turnaround times low for its haulier partners.
Mark Kendall, TPN chief executive said: “We have a long-term strategy for hub development which includes new central hub facilities. However, large fixed assets will only ever be one part of a successful strategy. To have resilient service levels you need to plan well and react fast.
“The seasonal lulls in the market are gone, and volumes surges can be unpredictable, both in quantity and region. The pop-up hubs are our fast-reaction mechanism and we’ve deployed it twice now with great success.”
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Recalling the creation of the first pop-up hub at the NEC, Kendall said: “I saw a news item one evening about the NEC’s lockdown losses and realised immediately that we could use the space while they couldn’t.
“We contacted them, sent a team in, and had a fully functional hub in former exhibition space within days. The NEC got a tenant and we got valuable extra space while we developed plans for our next hub.”
Turning to its latest pop-up hub, Kendall added: “TPN has done the same with the Coventry Hub, choosing a space which has been empty for some time. We always look for the simplest and most beneficial solutions for all parties.
“We make things work. We consult our partners, and keep them informed, and all those who use the NEC hub were fully in agreement and aware of the switch to Coventry before it happened. We genuinely support and value our partners and their response is to support us in return. We are very grateful that the whole network is responsive and adaptable.”
The NEC and Coventry hubs have both been fully fitted and made operational within one week of taking possession. Group transport manager Lee Noble said: “Our teams are very practised and know their jobs. Whatever the network requires, we find an efficient, rapid solution. We can literally take sites from zero to hero in less than two weeks.”