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The Association of Pallet Networks (APN) has said that the UKs eight pallet networks have joined together to offer the government support during the COVID-19 crisis, and deliver critical equipment and emergency supplies.

Between the pallet networks, they have 30,000 employees, 750 depots, a fleet of 23,500 vehicles and offer 100% coverage by postcode.

Paul Sanders, chairman of APN said: “we are uniquely placed to offer our services to ensure that emergency supplies coming from anywhere and destined for any corner of the UK, can be delivered quickly, safely and reliably to support critical services, whether in rural or urban settings.

“We would urge the government to take advantage of our unique skills set and infrastructure at this time of national crisis.

“The supply of emergency supplies for critical operations – not least ensuring food in our supermarkets and well stocked pharmacies and hospitals – is one of the most important aspects of protecting the UK public during this crisis.”

The pallet networks will be able to offer overnight deliveries to anywhere in the UK, and regional members will collect freight from their local area, transport it to the most appropriate regional hub, where it is reloaded onto vehicles returning to its destination area.

Sanders said: “As a sector we are determined to pull together and put our huge resources, skill and professionalism at the disposal of our country.”

Michael Conroy, Palletforce chief executive, said: “An unprecedented challenge calls for a unique response and Palletforce is proud to play its part in this collaboration headed by APN. Now it’s time for our sector to work together.

“Collectively, we have a huge resource available and are vastly experienced in delivering critical supplies as a key part of the UK supply chain.”