Embracing The Advantage

Stuart Pritchard August 16, 2017




Looking at the world of logistics, we hear from DAVE WALMSLEY, UK Managing Director of Palletways, who recently brought an industry-first to his customers…

Our customers told us that delivery time certainty for their pallets would support their business growth. As the number one pallet network in Europe, we couldn’t turn down this challenge. Once the preserve of the best parcel operators, accurate delivery times for

The Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) system takes the guesswork out of logistics

palletised freight network customers and consumers were proving elusive for the industry. But that was before Palletways award-winning, experienced IT and Operations Team worked around the clock for 12-months solid to create the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) system; a pallet industry standard for delivery information which includes:

  • An industry-first two-hour time notification delivery window for customers and consumers.
  • SMS and email functions will enable notifications, such as delivery time and consignment content information.
  • A function that enables the sending customer to monitor the progress of the consignment via ‘track and trace’.

Our ETA system is game-changing and provides benefits for everyone at each step of the pallet delivery process. For customers, the capability to track goods and notify their consumers about time slots and consignment contents significantly improves their customer service. For consumers, it brings certainty, helping them to plan their day around the time slots available and enjoy a more flexible service. No other network provides this innovation. This enduring commitment to technology and innovation is part of the Palletways success story.


The company, part of Imperial Logistics International, was founded in 1994 and the network now has over 110 depots throughout the UK

Palletway’s fleet guarantee an on-time arrival

operated by by highly professional independent local transport companies, each of whom are members of Palletways UK network. Each has access to the European network Palletways operates across 20 countries, including Germany, France and, most recently, Poland.

The company is at the forefront of pallet network technology and innovation. It’s Digital Information Hub was a first for the pallet network sector when launched in 2013. The platform provides real time intelligence on things like vehicle use, traffic planning and progress on individual consignments to support delivery across the network.

An industry-leading archway scanning system records and monitors every single pallet moved by the network. Around 112,000 pictures are captured every single day which helps efficient pallet processing and delivery. Enhanced in-cab label printing technology, which enables the ability to avoid depot labelling and speed-up the process of moving pallets.


In the UK Palletways has a national hub in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and regional hubs in London, Leeds, Edinburgh and Bristol. These hubs process around 23,000 pallets on a typical day. Christmas 2016 saw industry pallet numbers smashed. The network’s independent local transport companies pulled out all the stops to exceed expectations. Some £347 million of goods were moved over the festive period on 867,619 pallets. The palletised freight network industry is the unsung hero of British homes at Christmas time and we’re proud to play a part in getting those presents under the tree. Our excellence in technology is one of the key factors is making sure we can process that volume of goods.

Easter was similarly successful. This year saw a 20% increase in DIY and garden improvement products moved around the country through the network with a record 27,000 pallets processed in a single day and night on 11th April.


Palletways customers include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, wholesalers and other distribution companies, ranging from

No need to wait in all day for deliveries with Palletways

thousands of small businesses to household-name blue chips and the large third party logistics providers.

New customers are joining the network to take advantage of Palletways technology. In the past 12-months Hendersons Relish, one of Yorkshire’s most well-known brands, and Lecico Bathrooms, one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of bathroom suites and fittings, came on board.

One of the key reasons for Henderson’s coming on board was the fact that their main logistics provider, Palletways member Hastings Freight, was part of the network which is, “…famed for its industry leading IT developments,” according to Debbie Raynes, business administrator at Hendersons. Equally pleasing are the new local transport companies joining the network all year around. We expect more opportunities to build upon this success. We expect to be able to attract new members and customers to work with us because of our ETA system – especially when combined with our renowned digital information hub and archway scanning technology.