Pall-Ex, the palletised freight network founded by acclaimed entrepreneur Hilary Devey CBE, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Since shifting 117 pallets on the first night on 29 November 1996, Pall-Ex has grown to a network that distributes over 10,000 pallets every single night, with partnerships established across Europe in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania, France and the Benelux region.
Hilary Devey CBE, founder of Pall-Ex, said: “We’ve been on an incredible journey here, and I’m so proud of hitting this milestone anniversary. Pall-Ex is now a leading palletised freight network in the UK and across the Continent, and we have huge ambition to expand our reach to become the first pan-European network.
“The 20th year in business is testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment to providing a quality service, both from staff and members. Our business model has always been about sharing the successes across the network with our partner hauliers and international teams, and I look forward to celebrating future achievements together.”
Some members of staff have been with Pall-Ex since almost the beginning. One of these is Liane Crozier-Jones, who is the longest serving member of staff. Having started at Pall-Ex as an operations supervisor 19 years ago, Liane is now in charge of hub operational support.
“I vividly remember when Pall-Ex hit its first 1000 pallets in one night. Hilary bought champagne for everyone – it was such a momentous occasion!
“Pall-Ex has changed and grown over the years, but its core values have remained the same. The entire network feels like one huge family, and from working here over the years I almost feel like the network’s godmother, I know everyone so well.”
Many Pall-Ex members have also been with the network since 1996, including Milton Keynes-based 1st Class Transport, which has grown its customer base year-on-year over the past two decades.
Managing director Robert Caen, said: “Being a Pall-Ex member has certainly put us in a much stronger position. It’s allowed us to offer services anywhere in the country at a known price, which is really important for our customers.
“I think we can be proud of what has been achieved as part of Pall-Ex, as well as excited about the future.”
Pall-Ex has also been committed to charity endeavours ever since the first year. For example, the network has raised over £300,000 to date through its Penny-A-Pallet scheme, which was set up in the network’s first year, allowing giving to grow in tandem with business success. The scheme donates one penny for every pallet to charities, and has benefited a number of organisations including The Princess Royal Trust For Carers.
As part of the 20th anniversary, a number of Pall-Ex members have been celebrated at the Pall-Ex Dinner Dance Awards at the Celtic Manor Resort, near Cardiff. These include Richard Read Transport in the New Member of the Year category; Bullet Express taking home the Outstanding Contribution to the Pall-Ex Network award; and Cartwright Bros Haulage, voted for by members to be the Depot of the Year.