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Robert.Jervis_43227 Oct 26

Six new members on board as Fortec Distribution Network continues to drive growth across pallet network

Also gains ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management accreditation
The haulage companies to most recently join Fortec Distribution are Butlers of Kent, Lakeland Commercials in Cumbria, Poole-based haulier Harbour Transport Ltd, the London branch of Freightport Logistics, Middlesex-based firm LHR Global and Synergix Logistics Solutions, which has depots in both in High Wycombe and Hinckley.

The Managing Director of Fortec, Adrian Bradley said:

“Our growth in members is indicative of the determination and resilience of the UK logistics industry, which has impressively responded to the challenges of COVID-19 by both diversifying and recognising the benefits of a pallet network.

“By joining Fortec our members, whatever their size and wherever they are based, can transport anything that goes on a pallet – UK wide and beyond. Our members also benefit from our recently implemented shareholder options and being able to work with each other, all like-minded hauliers who are proud to be part of a network that supports each other goes out of its way to help each other’s growth.

“We are delighted to welcome so many new members to our network, all impressive businesses that are adapting, striving and thriving despite the challenges of COVID-19.”

Fortec’s newest members are located throughout the country – from the Lake District to Poole – and the pallet network has since recruited more to officially start in the coming weeks and months.

Freightport Logistics joined Fortec Distribution Network at the end of June. London Branch Manager Andy Caunter describing this as a “significant milestone in the company’s growth”. Since joining the company has had a major recruitment drive and more than doubled its revenue.

LHR Global Logistics Ltd fought back against Covid-19 after furloughing its workforce and has put much of its success down to joining Fortec Distribution Network, which director Ian Godfrey describes as “the final piece in the puzzle for us as a company”.

Joining Fortec Distribution Network has enabled Cumbrian transport firm Lakeland Commercials - until recently known for its general haulage, coach and repair services - to start providing overnight pallet deliveries and smaller shipments to independent shops and traders. Gareth Bowman, director of Lakeland Commercials, said: “This is not something we could previously do so we are proud of the fact that we have chosen not to sit still. Instead we have moved forward with some bold decisions which are enabling us to adapt and grow our family-run business.”

Synergix began trading on July 1 and two days later became official members of Fortec Distribution Network. Co-director Anthony Champness said joining the pallet network was one of their first decisions as a new company. “Just 10 weeks later we were on track for a multi-million-pound turnover” said Anthony.

Harbour Transport Ltd joined Fortec Distribution Network on the eve of the country’s COVID-19 lock-down, a decision Owner and Managing Director David Buik credits with the company’s continued growth: “When the lock-down was announced our work abruptly stopped due to the closure of shops. Fortunately, by joining Fortec, we had already made the decision to diversify and had secured an alternative stream of revenue. The Fortec team have been by our side at every step and are known in our industry for their high-quality service. We believe this partnership to be a perfect match.”

Family-owned Butlers of Kent are now covering the CT and partial ME postcodes for Fortec from their site in Maidstone.

Separately, Fortec Distribution Network has achieved an industry accolade for high efficiencies in quality management and exceptional customer service despite the continuing challenges of COVID-19.

The pallet network started the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management application during the peak of the pandemic in July this year, and was recently awarded the internationally recognised accreditation.

Acquired by the Pall-Ex Group in August 2020, Fortec Distribution Network has become the sixth company in the Pall-Ex portfolio to achieve the ISO certification, reinforcing its vision and ambitious five-year plan to help members adapt to a new landscape and drive even more volume across the network.

Kelvin Sidaway, Fortec’s Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Manager, said:

“Having this accreditation gives our members reassurance and peace of mind that we have quality processes in place to ensure their freight is delivered as it should be, whilst showing that we are trusted and passionate about continuously performing at a certain level.

“The process involved rigorous evaluation, staff interviews and staged audits along the way, requiring buy-in and support across the whole business, from senior management to the shop floor.

“We’ve effectively built a system from the ground up, and that will put us in the best place as a network to continue to increase volumes.”

With significant effort and support from all areas of the business, the next step is to go on and achieve the ISO 45001 Health and Safety and ISO 14001 Environmental Management certification. 

Adrian Bradley, Manager Director of Fortec Distribution Network, added:

“Having this ISO accreditation not only proves to our members we are doing the right thing, it gives us a trusted, internationally recognised stamp of approval.

“Having a documented system on how we run our network helps us to continually monitor and manage quality whilst identifying areas of improvement – it’s an incredibly powerful business tool. In terms of benefits to our members, we hope it gives them a sense of pride to be part of a professional pallet network – one that has accountability at an international level.”