Lichfield-based Palletways, Europe’s largest provider of express palletised freight services, has set its sights on dominating the pallet network sector in Europe after announcing a 35% growth in pan-European volumes handled.

Palletways’ journey into Europe started in 2002 with its first venture in Italy and the Group has continued to expand ever since. The network now boasts 12 hubs across 14 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Says James Wilson, Group Chief Executive: “Our strategy has been to establish our domestic markets in Europe and then offer services between those countries. This is where we see significant new business opportunities as borne out by our cross border growth over the last year, which we predict will rise by another 50% in the 12 months ahead.”

“Unlike most of our competitors who have gone down the route of sub-contracting pan-European services, we have focused on developing our own infrastructure over the last decade. We were confident that we could mirror our success across Europe, particularly as express palletised freight networks were a niche opportunity, and that’s what we’ve done. We now offer an extremely efficient logistics solution, providing both cost and service benefits.”

Key to the expansion and success of the Group’s operations across Europe has been its investment in IT to provide a value-rich service for customers. This started with the development of a bespoke pan-European IT platform that enabled deliveries between its different networks in Europe and has continued with the recent introduction of our digital information hub, a tool designed to greatly enhance operational efficiencies and the customer experience by optimising the use of live data.

Other recent key developments driving growth include: offering services to Austria; the creation of a centralised customer service in Madrid; increasing the frequency of line hauls through the introduction of daily services between several hubs including London and Nijmegen, London and Paris, Paris and Madrid; and investment in domestic networks such as a new hub in Milan.

Rachael Alpha, Managing Director at Palletways Europe GmBH, added: “These are very exciting times for the Group. Our European expansion continues to present significant competitive advantage as we can collect all of our customer’s freight on one vehicle and deliver to 14 countries across Europe. Last year we invested some €1.4m which helped achieve a record year for cross border volumes and we look forward to building on this growth significantly during 2015.”

The Group is now looking to extend its services into Switzerland and six Eastern European countries, as well as completing a new increased capacity hub in Germany.