As the nation stayed at home, pallet networks kept homes supplied with the most popular products during lockdown.
Paul Sanders, Chairman of the Association of Pallet Networks (APN) comments on its members’ response to rises in home deliveries during the Covid-19 pandemic:
“Pallet networks have traditionally been seen as providing B2B services, although in recent years we have seen a gradual increase in residential deliveries;” explained Paul, “But the national lockdown saw home deliveries rise to unprecedented levels.” Q1 2020 saw 14% of pallet network volumes being delivered to residential addresses, during April this rose to almost 36%. “Home delivery volumes remained strong even as lockdown eased – more than half a million pallets were delivered to homes during July,” observed Paul.
Recent research from Royal Mail1 suggests garden products and DIY equipment were among the most popular items for home delivery between April and July 2020; products which pallet networks are well equipped to deliver efficiently. Paul observed “Our members have the capability, capacity and skill to deliver a wide range of freight, from hi-tech goods to food and drink, in a safe and efficient way.”
Having coronavirus-safe deliveries was important to customers, with three quarters of those surveyed saying this was one of the most important delivery factors. “Our members were instrumental in quickly creating safe and secure contactless deliveries,” said Sanders, “Members work closely on health and safety issues; best practice in this area was developed at the start of lockdown and was well received by customers and end consumers.”
As the UK entered its second period of lockdown, and the additional complications of Christmas and Brexit, the sector has proved beyond any doubt that it has the skills, the resilience and the operational protocols to rise to the challenge.”