Shipping pallets throughout the UK and Europe – Knowing when to use a Broker, Pallet Network or Haulier.
Palletised transit is a big business in the UK, contributing £11.2 billion to the economy in 2016. And exports to Germany and France alone (the UK’s biggest European customers) were worth a over a whopping £75 billion.
With so many different goods moving throughout the UK and Europe it pays to understand the different transport providers as selecting the right one will save you money.
A Pallet Broker is a middle man between you and the carrier. Having middle men can be beneficial as they tend to put a lot of business towards certain hauliers and pallet networks and therefore can achieve some very competitive rates. You can recognise a pallet brokers website as it will usually give you a price online as well as letting you book collection and delivery online.
Finding a Pallet Broker is very easy. Google a search term like ‘Pallet Delivery’ everything on page 1 will be a pallet broker I guarantee.
These tend to be best for low volume and ad hoc usage as they are geared up towards one-off work and have little ability to negotiate if you have something more to offer.
A Pallet Network is a group of hauliers. Each haulier will operate several HGV’s and have a warehouse to use as a hub where pallets come and are sorted for onward delivery. Finding a pallet network and contacting them directly can save you money by cutting out the middle man however some will give a higher price when quoting directly to the end user (that’s you, the person who has the goods to send) to encourage you to use a broker.
Finding a local Pallet Network will involve some investigation. Research terms like ‘pallet network’ and include your location. Once you have a few companies phone them up and ask it they have their own vehicles. This will let you know if they are actually part of a network or a broker.
Pallet Networks are happier to share business among different businesses within the network and as such will usually direct you toward the best local hub (local to the collection point). Here you can start to build a relationship with reputable network partner who will also be a good source of advice for any unusual haulage needs you may have in future.
Haulier / Carrier
A Haulier (Also called Carrier) will own and operate different vans lorry’s and trucks for various haulage work, not just pallet delivery. A haulier is likely to be able to deliver your pallet on a dedicated vehicle (straight from point A to point B) which is quicker and less open to error that a network but more expensive.
Engaging a haulier will give you better access to dedicated vehicles if you need to more your pallets as quickly as possible however you will pay a premium for a dedicated vehicle.
You will find a haulier in a business directory (like yell) listing which is likely to include a Road Haulage Services category. The businesses you find here will most likely be local hauliers who have the means to advise you even if you don’t use their services directly. Make sure you ask yourself these 6 questions you need to consider if you want to find the cheapest pallet delivery before contacting a haulier.
Make sure that..
You ever use a pallet that has been badly damaged as it may fail completely during transit. Remember, if it is going through a pallet network it may be loaded and unloaded over 10 times during its journey. Once your pallet is loaded use pallet wrap (like a large roll of cling film) and go round the pallet several times. It is best not to scrimp. And always include as much contact information for the consignee including a name and mobile number as the driver or local hub will use to avoid any issues with the final mile delivery.