Global express distribution network Palletforce has strengthened its presence in North-East England after Elddis Transport elected to join the leading network to help it meet current customer requirements and develop new business to complement existing operations.

Elddis Transport hasn’t been part of a pallet network for 17 years but chose to join Palletforce due to the company’s leading service, technology and continual investment in infrastructure.

Based in Co Durham, the family-run firm has a fleet of 160 vehicles operating from nine regional hubs and will cover postcodes in the Consett area and north into the Tyne Valley. Together with Tyneside-based haulier Murray Hogg, who joined the Palletforce network from Pall-Ex in May, and long-standing member BM Stafford International Transport, the trio will provide comprehensive and unrivalled coverage in the North-East.

Nigel Cook, Elddis managing director, said: “This is the first time we have been a member of a pallet network since 2001. However, with customers increasingly looking for different solutions and our ongoing growth aspirations, it made sense for us to align with a network once again.

“It’s a crowded market, but all the feedback we received was that Palletforce is the stand-out distribution network currently operating in the sector in terms of support, technology and investment.

“We are delighted to join Palletforce, and look forward to playing our part in its continued success.”

Nigel, a former chair of the Transport Association, is the great-grandson of Thomas Cook, who first set up the family business in the 19th century with a horse and cart. His son Siddle grew the company into one of the largest privately-owned heavy haulage operators in the country.

Elddis Transport was established in 1971 by Nigel’s father Geoffrey, and initially transported steel from Consett steelworks before diversifying into the distribution of consumer goods in the 1980s.

Nigel said: “Family values remain a cornerstone of our business, with high staff retention and some blue-chip clients who have remained with the company for decades. In fact, more than 40 per cent of our turnover is made up of clients we have worked with for over 30 years.”

Michael Conroy, Palletforce chief executive, said: “Elddis Transport is a significant addition to the Palletforce network and a perfect fit for our membership. Our continual investment and strategy of connecting trade and creating capacity to enable growth for our members sets us aside from our competitors. That approach, alongside industry-leading technology and a real passion to consolidate our position at the forefront of the sector is attracting the highest quality members in the UK.”

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