Ipswich-based Lombard Shipping Plc. has joined over 700 logistics businesses, all members of the UK’s eight major Pallet networks, to put their combined fleet of 23,500 vehicles at the government’s disposal.
In an unprecedented move headed by the Association of Pallet Networks (APN), the networks have joined forces to offer their services for the express distribution of critical emergency and food supplies.
Between them they have 30,000 employees, over 750 depots, and offer 100 per cent national coverage by postcode. As a member of both the Fortec and UPN networks, Lombard Shipping Plc. is a leading distribution specialist within its own region, with knowledge of local distribution centres, essential businesses, hospitals and community hubs.
Peter Fraser, Operations Director at Lombard Shipping Plc. said: “We are proud to play our part in this unique collaboration as the entire UK industry joins forces to transport the most vital supplies. We continue to pay close attention to government advice on COVID-19 and have taken practical precautions to limit risks. Collectively our sector has unrivalled resource and the individual companies are local experts with vast experience of express distribution and a key link in the UK supply chain.”
APN chairman Paul Sanders says: “We are uniquely placed to offer our services to ensure that emergency supplies coming from anywhere and destined for any corner of the UK, can be delivered quickly, safely and reliably to support critical services, whether in rural or urban settings.
“We would urge the government to take advantage of our unique skills set and infrastructure at this time of national crisis. The supply of emergency supplies for critical operations – not least ensuring food in our supermarkets and well stocked pharmacies and hospitals – is one of the most important aspects of protecting the UK public during this crisis.”
Pallet networks are one of the most efficient forms of freight distribution enabling overnight deliveries of consignments of any size from a single pallet upwards, anywhere in the UK. Regional members collect freight from their local area, and transport it to the most appropriate regional Hub, where it is reloaded onto vehicles returning to its destination area.
This model is particularly important at a time when many users of essential goods are requiring small frequent deliveries of vital goods with many drop points within a given locality. In 2019 UK pallet networks delivered 26 million pallets of goods.