Two heavy hitters join TPN in Kent
TPN — The Pallet Network — will see two major logistics firms join its 107-strong membership next week, both in the fiercely contested area of Kent.
Abacus specialises in importing freight from Holland, Belgium and France which it has traditionally then sent on for UK delivery through several different pallet networks.
Butlers of Kent has strong roots in the Hazchem network and in the airfreight industry. Its one foray into pallet networks in 2008 was not a success.
Both companies have decided to join TPN to fulfil key business objectives. It will allow Abacus to take control of its customers’ onward freight and so improve margins and service levels. Abacus has invested in a double-decker, two 18-tonners and a Luton van to handle the 30 import pallets a night. Global logistics manager Craig Smith says it will now start to boost its pallet numbers with local customers.
Abacus will cover postcodes ME15 and 17, and TN23-27.
TPN Membership will also allow Butlers to diversify and offer a more comprehensive service to customers for their non-Hazchem freight.
Both companies have clear reasons for their choice of network. “We’ve had problems with some other networks and we’ve never had a problem with TPN,” says Craig Smith of Abacus. “We know and like its system and we know it works. We’re very excited.”
Butlers of Kent MD Roy Butler says: “TPN has offered us the right postcode because it is 25 minutes from our depot to the outskirts of the delivery area. It will help us to optimise our fleet.” Butlers will cover the ME 7-14 postcodes, which include Gillingham, Sittingbourne and Sheerness, as far as Faversham.
Butler expects to grow his 12-vehicle fleet in the coming year, and says he would like to further develop its links with Europe, perhaps through his separate forwarding business Consignments Worldwide.