Palletforce’s new SuperHub was given the Royal seal of approval today, when HRH The Princess Royal returned to officially open our state-of-the-art £50m distribution facility.

It is exactly eight years since The Princess Royal opened our original distribution hub at our Burton upon Trent site. Since then we have expanded our staff from 80 to 400 and turnover has grown from £8m to £100m.

Meanwhile more than £65m has been invested across our network – in infrastructure, technology and people – since our acquisition by EmergeVest in 2015.

The Princess Royal was greeted by dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Staffordshire, before being introduced to Palletforce chief executive officer Michael Conroy and John Brotherton, chairman of the Palletforce Advisory Committee.

She then met with the company’s executive directors before being taken on a tour of the 620,000 sq ft custom-built facility, which is the largest of its type in Europe and capable of handling 30,000 pallets of freight every night.

Equipped with the very latest technology and software, including a state-of-the-art computerised weight-checking system, the SuperHub is expected to create around 70 new jobs locally within Palletforce itself and an estimated 700 across the express distribution firm’s wider network when fully operational.

Having unveiled a plaque to mark the SuperHub’s official opening, The Princess Royal was presented with a model Palletforce truck by Connor Wilkinson, a member of the Palletforce Apprentice Academy.

The Academy was created to give young people their first step towards a career in the logistics industry, and is set to expand thanks to the development of the SuperHub.

After the visit, Michael Conroy said: “We were thrilled to welcome back HRH The Princess Royal for what is the start of a new era for Palletforce.

“We’ve come a long way since her last visit in 2008, and the new £50m SuperHub represents an emphatic expression of confidence in our future.

“No other pallet or distribution network in the UK has shown the ability to take such a significant step to create capacity, facilitate growth and ensure the future success of its membership and network.”

In addition to first-class warehousing, the 38-acre SuperHub has 450 truck parking spaces, while single-shift sortation allows for faster turnaround and creates extended delivery windows for member collection and delivery vehicles.

Enhanced environmental features allows rainwater to be harvested for external taps and toilet flushing, automatically switched LED lighting, and electric car charging points.

A great day enjoyed by all at Palletforce and we are delighted to have been able to share the experience with our members.

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