Logistics group pledges to double in size with hundreds of new jobs

A BLACK COUNTRY logistics firm is planning to double in size during the next five years to capitalise on new growth opportunities.

Pallet-Track, based in Wolverhampton, plans to take on hundreds of new staff, many of whom are likely to be at its Titan Business Park headquarters, which also houses the firm’s 267,000 sq ft distribution centre.

The distribution centre forms the central hub for a national network of regional hauliers. Last year the firm invested £1.1m in the depot by buying a fleet of 40 custom-made forklift trucks.

The business was started by managing director Nigel Parkes in January 2004. It moved to its current site in 2008, since which it has trebled in size.

Pallet-Track works with a broad range of manufacturers, producers, retailers, suppliers and stockists supplying many household name consumer, business and industrial brands and transporting anything from building and construction materials, through to sporting goods, clothing and accessories.

Its national network stretches to 75 depots, which collectively employ 1,800 staff and have a combined turnover in excess of £50m.

The company is now planning to expand into Europe in the next two years.

Mr Parkes said: “Other pallet networks do operate in Europe but with limitations as I believe generally across the continent the palletised freight industry is not as sophisticated in terms of the technology and control that we offer here in the UK.

“I would say they are several years behind us, which is why I am keeping a watching brief and only launching there when I know there is a sustainable model Pallet-Track can work with.

“We bucked the trend in the UK during the recession and from 2008 to 2009 we grew by 14%. I know we could do the same in Europe once the conditions are right for entry into that market. The numbers employed at our headquarters will double over the next five years – and that is at a conservative estimate.”

The Wolverhampton hub, which was found after a two-year search, is now at 80% 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.