Devey this week unveiled her plans to take the Pall-Ex model to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Why is she choosing to expand during the worse recession for 50 years? “Our business model works well in a downturn,” she explains. “Hauliers’ margins are determined by ‘vehicle fill’. Before I set up Pall-Ex, it was impossible to transport small consignments of palletised freight quickly and efficiently. You’d have three of four lorries driving to the same destination, delivering small packages – it was incredibly wasteful. Our network model means that hauliers can share loads. The haulage industry in the Benelux countries is very similar to the UK in terms of supply chain demands. Now is as good a time as any to expand.”
Devey set up Pall-Ex Italia in January this year – after three years of negotiations. “It took that long to find a reputable haulier to act as our master licensee,” she says. “You only have one chance to get it right. If you denigrate the brand, that’s it. But Pall-Ex Italia is already well above budget and we have 55 hauliers in the network.”
Devey’s biggest bugbear is that the UK logistics sector is “greatly undervalued”: “Everything you see in front of you – your desk, the glasses perched on your nose, your mug of tea – it has all been delivered to you. But British hauliers don’t have pay parity with hauliers in other major European countries. We ought to have the same legislation.”
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