No joke: April 1 delivers company’s ‘busiest night ever’

It may have fallen on April Fools’ Day, but yesterday was no joke for leading logistics company Pallet-Track which celebrated a serious number of pallets flowing through its Wolverhampton hub.

Rather like the famous Severn Bore sweeping into the Midlands, the Wednesday prior to Easter is a commercial phenomenon representing the busiest trading day of the year for the logistics industry, and Pallet-Track once again found business to be at its highest ever, with an excess of 12,000 pallets making their way in and out of its massive 267,000 sq ft hub in Millfields Road.

The distribution centre consistently beats 9000 pallets in a single evening, but April 1 saw all predictions surpassed as the volume of pallets transported through the hub overnight reached 12,000.

The cause of this spring spike is likely to be linked to seasonal retail patterns across a range of products. Pallet-Track works with a broad range of manufacturers, retailers, supplier and stockists as well as household and industrial brands – moving anything and everything, from barbeques and building and construction materials through to sporting goods, clothing and accessories.

Nigel Parkes, founder and managing director at Pallet-Track, said: “April is going to be an extremely busy month for us but last night proved that we are ready to deal with larger numbers of consignments than ever before. We will also be commencing outbound consignments into Europe as part of our agreement with Hellmann Logistics Worldwide and planning has therefore been critical in terms of optimising the space at our main hub.”

To help manage demand and general increased business, Pallet-Track has recently invested £1.5 million in an innovative new canopy-style extension to its Wolverhampton distribution centre in order to improve capacity and drive more business through the hub.

The company has created three giant canopies to accommodate the loading of an additional 60 vehicles during the unloading process  each night The canopies – two for loading and one for scanning – has increased the speed and efficiency of movement for up to 250 trailers.

The new structures also remove the volume of pallets from the operating floor of the DC and further enhance the blemish-free health and safety environment by increasing the safe work areas within the facility, a nightly scene which resembles a highly-choreographed dance routine involving fork-lift trucks.

Nigel continued: “We have created a system within a system so that we can get more vehicles through the hub while at the same time increasing our overall capacity.”

In its first night of trading in January 2004, just 852 pallets left the original depot in Wednesbury and since that time volumes have increased by more than 1000 per cent. In 2014, its 10th anniversary year, Pallet-Track had moved more than 10 million pallets in a decade without losing a single consignment, a record unparalleled in the fright and logistics industry.

The award-winning organisation, which has recently moved into Europe and opened hubs in both London and Scotland to accommodate increased volumes.

In November 2014, Pallet-Track scooped The Best Use of Technology to Improve Business Performance at the British Chamber of Commerce national awards and the Best Practice Freight Transport prize at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport CILTUK Awards for Excellence as a result of its sustainable growth plan, increasing financial performance and strong customer care measures.