TPN – The Pallet Network – offers sustainable, cost effective and utterly reliable pallet distribution around the UK and Ireland, and into Europe.
The pallet network concept consists of a Hub and Spoke distribution model, based on the analogy of a bicycle wheel.
TPN Members comprise more than 100 of the best independent transport companies with 120+ depot locations across the UK. By working collaboratively, these regional hauliers can offer a more cost-effective, environmentally sustainable and operationally efficient service to their customers. It is not cost-effective or green for one regional company to try to send individual or small groups of pallets all over the UK. However, working collaboratively, TPN Members can make this a green, cost-effective and utterly reliable service.
TPN Members collect pallets from their customers, and then consolidate and trunk that freight to the Hub facility at Minworth. This is then unloaded at the Hub and placed into numbered bays representing specific postcode areas within the UK, Ireland and Europe. Each TPN Member is a regional specialist with an allocated area.
All pallets which are collected by TPN Members will be labelled and scanned, giving full visibility of freight for all customers. Our electronic proof of delivery (EPOD) system is award-winning and our IT sector-leading. TPN and its Members all pride themselves on excellent communication, using the latest in technology and the old-fashioned method of picking up the phone.
After sortation at the Hub all pallets are loaded onto trunk vehicles destined for their specific postcodes and the vehicles return to the Members’ depots. On arrival at the depot, the freight is unloaded, checked and scanned again before being loaded onto vehicles and dispatched for delivery.
Our Regional Hubs
TPN has two regional Hubs. Our Northern Hub, located near Preston, handles pallets which both originate in and are destined for Northern postcodes. This cuts mileage and service times, as well as improving the pallets’ carbon footprint. It sorted and delivered almost 300,000 pallets in 2017, making it the busiest regional Hub in the sector.
Our second regional Hub is in Northampton, and it has a pallet capacity of 8,000 per night.
The regional Hubs enhance both the cost-effective and environmentally friendly nature of the network as a delivery model. They do this by literally cutting miles from each pallet’s journey, meaning less fuel, fewer emissions, less congestion and road wear and, of course, less cost. We estimate that our Northern Hub takes approximately 200 miles off the journey for each pallet, or saved over one million miles in 2017, assuming each pallet was carried in a fully-laden double deck trailer.
The traditional pallet network model is designed to take standard pallets overnight. This means that Hubs are usually under-utilised during the day but more importantly for the customer, it means that unusual or bulky freight which doesn’t fit the standard profile is often treated as the unwanted guest. Most pallet networks lack expertise for unusual freight and do not prioritise its service. TPN has changed this with TPN XL – a dedicated, capacity-managed service for unusual or bulky freight. The Minworth Hub is now used during the day to take such freight with the time, care and expertise it requires and deliver it within pre-arranged windows. This is a fundamental innovation in the pallet network model and offers a much better service to customers and a more sustainable, sensible way of doing business for transport companies. TPN XL – the smarter way to handle unusual freight. Download our XL brochure here.
TPN. We are THE Pallet Network