HRH The Princess Royal is to officially open Palletforce’s new £50m SuperHub on Thursday 5 October, exactly eight years after visiting to open the original distribution hub at the company’s Burton upon Trent site.
The 620,000 sq ft custom-built facility is the largest of its type in Europe and is capable of handling 30,000 pallets of freight every night.
When fully operational it is expected to create around 70 new jobs locally within Palletforce itself and an estimated 700 across the express distribution firm’s wider network.
It will also allow Palletforce to extend its Apprenticeship Academy, giving young people the first step towards a career in logistics, while state-of-the-art conference facilities will also be available to local companies.
In addition to first-class warehousing, the 38-acre site has 450 truck parking spaces, while single-shift sortation allows for faster turnaround and creates extended delivery windows for member collection and delivery vehicles.
Palletforce is a great British success story. Since HRH The Princess Royal last visited in 2008, Palletforce has expanded its staff from 80 to 400 and turnover has grown from £8m to £100m.
Michael Conroy, Palletforce chief executive officer, said: “We are 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 from our modest facilities of the past and the new £50m SuperHub represents an emphatic expression of confidence in our future – the latest in a line of significant investments in our network.
“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.”
Since its acquisition by EmergeVest in 2015, Palletforce has invested over £65 million across its network – in infrastructure, technology, acquisitions and people.
In addition to benefiting from the latest technology and software, the new building has enhanced environmental features. Rainwater will be harvested for external taps and toilet flushing, all lighting will be automatically switched LED and the SuperHub will offer electric car charging points.