Anand Assi, International Development Director at Pall-Ex UK reflects on the growth in 2018 and how this will continue.
What have the highlights/successes been in 2018?
Almost 60% of the net daily volumes handled by Pall-Ex Group are generated within mainland Europe. This figure continues to grow month-on-month as our European networks continue to develop, registering consecutive record-breaking months.
Poland has seen strong volume development since their launch in October 2017 and Bulgaria also sees growth despite operating in a very challenging market. Each network is focused intently on quality and service and by staying true to this intent are regularly attracting new customers.
How has technology helped to improve the growth?
NexusConnect has empowered members throughout Europe to enjoy a more seamless International service; providing them with systemised rates (for consignments between 1-5 pallets), as well as the ability to print international labels and documentation.
Further IT development will include additional track-and-trace integrations to help deliver the goal of full visibility and the function to download a POD. MyNexus is in the process of being rolled out across our European network as we speak. This new customer-facing system is poised to support a much improved customer experience and interaction, helping our members to better service existing customers and attract new ones.
What makes for a successful international partner?
Each partner has its particular operating conditions and nuances, however as you spend more and more time with each partner listening to their staff and visiting them in their environments; you can take a step back and review the territories as a whole.
Generally, our experiences are more similar than not. Successful International partners are those who lead with passion and share this passion within their membership. The success of the partner is directly linked with their members and their relationship with them; at the core, it is the sum efforts of the 450 plus regional members across Europe. It is their entrepreneurial and progressive spirit which leads them to success and in turn is reflected in the success of the network they contribute to.
Partners who are active in supplementing members volumes with a stream of central/corporate clients is also key to network success. Quality binds us together; it is the focus on being able to provide a quality service which allows us collectively to win customers and drive new volume. Running a developing network is not an easy task, the definition of a network continues to change over time and in line with the market conditions. As we are, our partners are visionary in delivering success across Europe.
Find out more information about becoming an International partner here: https://www.pallex.com/become-a-partner/
How are we going to continue to grow the European network throughout 2019?
Pall-Ex will continue to develop its footprint into Europe; with further networks expected to sign up during the year. Continued efforts will remain to Internationalise our business by not only supporting established partners with development guidance and support but also to start to achieve the benefits of a connected European network.
As we move into developing our capabilities we expect more and more members to adopt NexusConnect, and start to promote and sell the Pall-Ex Connect services. Developing International traffic provides our members with an additional service offering, often at a higher margin than domestic movements.
Do you think Brexit will affect growth in 2019?
I think the short answer is ‘Yes’ and in very complex ways.
History has shown us that supply chains will always flow to the most efficient modes and methods of distribution (e.g. from shipping docks to mass-containerisation practices). We have spent years streamlining our supply chains to run to the leanest and frictionless principles. With Brexit, and in the advent of any possible frictions or trading obstacles, I am sure the economics will be affected (for better or worse) affecting growth more generally.
Changing almost 40 years of established process will not be easy, there will be generations who have not seen customs procedures at all. With the EU being one of our most active trading partners over recent times, coupled with our ‘island’ state, Brexit will indeed offer opportunities for some (eg warehousing/stockpiling) as well as challenges for others.
Of course, at this stage it’s hard to speculate on the effects of Brexit, however, it is likely to change economic pressures; this could include further stress on resources (physical or human), as well as shifts in the supply and demand of products.
What are you looking forward to in 2019? Transport logistic?
Pall-Ex will be exhibiting at the Transport Logistic Show in Munich. We will be showcasing our Brand in Hall A5 on Stand 325/426.
Presence at these shows supports our Pan-European strategy to spearhead our brand as a growing force in and around Europe. As previously mentioned, 2019 will also see new Partners join our network and provide further connectivity for our members across Europe.