The Pallet Network, a leading provider of palletised freight distribution, promises its best year yet for the development of Member opportunities following its acquisition last year by Eddie Stobart Logistics. 

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MD Mark Duggan says the network has continued to have strong Member growth and performed well throughout 2018, with several consecutive record-breaking weeks and excellent KPIs. Duggan says that the management and strategy of TPN has not changed, but that the ESL connection is opening doors to resources and evolvement of new business opportunities for Members.

“Working with the ESL team, we’ve identified many benefits for our Members and potential collaboration which enhance our offering to the network, and our Members’ businesses,” says Duggan. “Our membership is extremely excited about these possibilities and we’ll talk more about individual projects as we deliver them.”

One of the most significant immediate benefits to TPN Members of their new connection to the Eddie Stobart family is that they have become first choice partners for any ESL work they wish to take. Several TPN Members have already started to collaborate with ESL on regional distribution contracts outside the network, as well as some in which freight goes through the TPN Hub.

“TPN’s core values and our relationship with our Members haven’t changed, so, as ever, all these opportunities are offered to Members and they can make their own commercial decisions as to what will be of benefit to their business,” says Duggan. “Clearly, however, the door is now open for TPN Members to benefit from selected commercial opportunities outside their normal work with the network, which they would not previously have been able to access.”

The key to this collaboration is a set of ‘guiding principles’ which ESL CEO Alex Laffey drew up in consultation with TPN. “Our guiding principles lay down the basic values which we will all bring to these new partnerships – the key one being mutual benefit. It has to work for everyone, including ESL, TPN, their Members and the customer,” says Laffey.

“TPN is an excellent addition to the ESL family in its own right. However, its Membership comprises 100+ of the best independent regional distribution specialists in the UK, and for us that is a fantastic opportunity for regional partnership. These are companies we will come to know and trust, and we hope to build a new style of ‘virtual’ network, based on mutuality and respect,” says Laffey.

MD of TPN Member FDC Holdings Peter Allen says: “TPN has always had a collaborative, partnership-based relationship with Members and these new opportunities are in the same vein. We are thrilled that our relationship with TPN and ESL will further develop our business.”

A TPN Member since 2000, FDC runs TPN’s Northern Hub at Preston and is working with ESL separately on haulage opportunities in the North West. It has also taken delivery of five new tractor units, the first to be branded with TPN livery. 

“We are very proud to be the first company in the country to be driving TPN branded trucks as well as trailers,” says Allen.

“Six months post-acquisition, I’m delighted with the speed and imagination with which our Members and Eddie Stobart are realising the potential benefits we foresaw in this match for all parties,” says Duggan. “TPN has always strived to help Members retain a commercial advantage in the sector. And in 2019, as part of the wider ESL family, we will see this reaching a new level of collaborative, sustainable business growth.”