Palletforce has a continual focus on growth, and our business strategy centres on creating capacity to enable our members to grow, writes Michael Conroy, CEO of Palletforce.

Thanks to the financial firepower from our owners, EmergeVest, we were able to invest more than £65m last year – in infrastructure, a new superhub, market-leading technology and talented people – to create the platform and capacity to drive growth among our membership. That strategy has paid off, with Palletforce reporting record volumes during 2017 and outperforming the sector.

We see opportunities for future growth coming from a number of areas – all of which form key strands of our business strategy. Our new superhub creates the capacity to drive growth in the UK and Ireland, and we recently introduced new express services to five European countries, bringing our continental coverage to 20 countries.

The unknowns around Brexit mean we have also looked further afield, identifying and investing in some exciting opportunities for Palletforce and its members in China and Asia. It is no secret that China holds access to expanding economies and markets, with significant opportunities for both import and export of goods – that is why the prime minister led a trade delegation there recently.

We want to help give all of our members, big and small, the opportunity to seize the initiative and offer new services to their customers. What we have delivered to our members is a massive differentiator; the modern-day equivalent of the Silk Road, connecting trade and people.

We have adopted a three-pronged approach to our Asian activities. The first was investment in a new in-house, global freight-forwarding service, which launched last month. That will be followed imminently by a dedicated pallet service to and from China.

The third strand is the roll-out of the Palletforce model in strategic areas of China. I am writing this from Shanghai where we are formalising the final details and, together with support from EmergeVest and its partners here, it is set to be a truly exciting prospect.

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