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Wolverhampton firm Pallet-Track to double workforce

A freight logistics business in Wolverhampton is to double the number of workers it employs over the next five years, bosses announced today.


A freight logistics business in Wolverhampton is to double the number of workers it employs over the next five years, bosses announced today.

Pallet-Track, based in Millfields Road, Ettingshall, plans to take on another 200 staff at its headquarters and 267,000 sq ft distribution centre.

The business, started by managing director Nigel Parkes in Wednesbury in 2004, has been at its current site since 2008.

Since then, the business, which co-ordinates the deliveries of pallets throughout the country, has trebled in size.

Turnover this year will reach £70 million, and Mr Parkes is now planning to expand into Europe.

Pallet-Track, which has 75 depots across the country, employs 3,500 staff in total.

Mr Parkes said that his business had trebled in size since moving to its Titan Distribution Centre in 2008.

"We bucked the trend during the recession as well. From 2008 to 2009 we grew by 14 per cent," he said.

Group turnover has grown from £600,000 in 2004 to £70m this year.

Birmingham-born Mr Parkes, aged 42, said that Pallet-Track also employed more than 3,500 across the country at its depots which have grown from 46 in 2004 to 75.

"The number employed at our headquarters will grow from 200 over the next five years to at least double to 400 - and that is at a conservative estimate," said Mr Parkes.

The Wolverhampton hub, which was found after a two-year search, operates Monday to Friday and comes alive at night with lorries pouring in from all over the country.

"Last year we invested £1.1m in buying a fleet of 40 custom-made forklift trucks for the distribution centre from Linde," added Mr Parkes,

The Wolverhampton hub is at 80 per cent capacity and Pallet-Track is already looking at options for the future.

"Whatever happens we will retain a presence in the Black Country," pledged Mr Parkes.

Pallet-Track originally operated from a 100,000sq ft premises in Woden Road West in Wednesbury.

It was handling 800 pallets a night initially but just this month reached a new record of 9,000 in one night.

The company has tens of thousands of customers across the country.

The rising cost of diesel has also contributed to Pallet-Track's growth with business finding it cheaper to use Pallet-Track's network rather than operate their own transport fleets in isolation.

Mr Parkes said the key to their success lay in "efficiency" and ensuring vehicles did not travel around the country empty.

"We maximise the amount carried to provide the most efficient way for business to move materials across the country," he explained.

Member companies bring their goods into the massive central warehouse and other members then take them to other parts of the UK.

Mr Parkes said the business had the potential to continue to grow with the medium to long term target to expand into Europe.

"I believe the UK has the most efficient transportation system for freight transport in the world and a similar model to what we operate in the Uk can work in Europe.

"We are 10 years in front of our European counterparts," he enthused.

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