TPN’s new brand is fresh, modern and restates the network’s core activity and market placement – THE Pallet Network – while emphasising its unique Partnership culture.
“Our network has always had a collaborative ethos and we have strengthened and developed these commercial and operational links, not just between our Partners and the Hub but between the regional depots themselves,” says MD Mark Duggan. “This opens a whole new vista of collaborative logistics in which Partner companies can have a standards-based framework for developing new commercial opportunities.”
2020 has been a challenging year for the whole world, but TPN Partners have all continued to operate at the highest performance levels in the sector. The network is currently processing 103,000 pallets a week and volumes continue to grow.
Duggan says: “Quality of service is always our most important benchmark and while this year’s volumes have been challenging we have maintained a sector-leading performance level.
“This has been helped by the addition of 60,000sq ft of extra space to our Minworth Hub which allows us to raise simultaneous loading from 40 to 57 trailers.
“We have now decided to design and build our own bespoke Mega Hub, in order to future-proof operations,” says Duggan.
The ongoing pandemic, Brexit and the possibility of recession have all been factored into this decision.
TPN has also taken the decision, following its annual rate review, to postpone rate increases.
“This is a delicate decision because costs are rising for our Partners and we need to ensure that their pricing is always sustainable and allows them to invest appropriately,” says Duggan. “However, we do feel that UK plc needs all the help it can get.”
The current growth rate is 18% above 2019 levels. However, there are too many causes for business uncertainty in the next six months to know whether this growth level will be sustained.
TPN has also completed an 18-month project to roll out its Connect software platform across the entire Irish network. Customers sending pallets to or from Ireland will now benefit from complete visibility across both networks, with track and trace, ePOD and notifications available in a single dashboard.
TPN Ireland’s 24 Partner companies also have access to the routing, transport management, real time visibility of bookings and a host of commercial tools which have long been available to TPN’s UK Partners.
“In technology terms the two networks are now totally integrated and aligned. This project went live in late summer and has been very successful,” says Duggan.
“This is win-win for our sister network, TPN and all of our customers. Given the uncertainty of the future protocols for freight passing over the Irish borders, it can only be an advantage for both networks to be operating on one aligned platform to deal with any future customs clearance requirements.”