Perfect delivery: Palletline to invest in success after best-ever year


Leading UK palletised freight network operator Palletline has enjoyed its best-ever financial performance – an achievement made all the more impressive in the face of the business challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the year to the end of June 2021 turnover increased by 19.4% to £179.4m, placing Palletline in a strong position to continue to invest in property, its network, technological initiatives and service.

With volume levels rising from 17,000 to more than 20,000 pallets per day, this exponential growth has largely been fuelled by the recovery of manufacturing and the growth in B2C, as well as the network’s relationship with Amazon – Palletline is the only UK pallet network in the online retailers Inbound Preferred Carrier Programme.

Over the next two years, Palletline is investing more than £4.5m in property development, expanding its sites at Coventry and Birmingham as the business continues to handle the increased volume levels which have now become the new normal.

Palletline operates a multi-hub model, through which members collect pallets from local customers and exchanges them at one of its six strategically located hubs in Glasgow, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham, Coventry and North London.

The flexible nature of the model came into its own during the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling the network to contract or expand operations into either its central hubs only or out to its regional hubs. It also allowed the catchment area for each hub to be expanded so more of its members’ freight was handled regionally during the height of the peak, rather than at the Central Hub.

Graham Leitch, Group Managing Director of Palletline, said: “The multi-hub model has kept the business strong, enabling us to further enhance our IT and infrastructure instead of treading water to ride the pandemic out.

“Our logistics businesses have also continued to perform well and are making a strong contribution. Revenues generated by our owned operations increased by 18% to over £30m and this includes a 3-month contribution from Palletline Whitehead Limited, which we acquired in March 2021.”

In the last two years Palletline has taken on eight new members and is proud to offer the most cost-effective hub fees in the industry, supporting members with exceptional value for money while maintaining high service levels.

Graham added: “Palletline is now the only network that is owned and controlled by its members. This means that Palletline is the network of choice for regional logistics companies who want to enjoy this and other benefits.”

Going forward, the group will maintain its focus on its core business and appropriately evaluate investment in fresh initiatives when opportunities arise.

Graham concluded: “Continued strong financial controls will ensure that investment in new initiatives and growth feeds through an appropriate level of profit for the benefit of our members and investment for the future.

“Finally, I’d like to thank all employees across the Palletline Group for their hard work, passion, and flexibility. They delivered extraordinary results in an extraordinary year.”