THE Pallet Network (TPN) is offering a proactively managed, end-to-end export solution to Ireland and mainland Europe for UK freight customers. Extensive IT investment ensures customers have all consignment and clearance details in a single platform. With no admin charges and complete customer support, TPN service is as extensive and resilient as ever.
Commercial Manager Ian Large says: “All kinds of businesses count on THE Pallet Network to revolutionise how they meet the needs of their customers. With our technology-driven, end to end export solution, we’re helping businesses big and small with shipping to Ireland and mainland Europe.”
Pre-Brexit customer surveys showed customers wanted a friction-free solution. TPN therefore ensured that its significant IT investment concentrated on simplifying the processes involved to make customers’ and Partners’ lives easier.
Large says that the company ensured that its systems would be sufficiently integrated and resilient to make export declarations easy for all its customers and network partners.
TPN has a dedicated service which runs to the Republic of Ireland and trailers have been successfully despatched nightly since early January. “To all intents and purposes, it’s ‘new normal’ business as usual,” says Large.
The majority of businesses haven’t had to consider freight forwarding at this level in decades – usually not within the memory of current staff - so TPN created a specific support team to help customers find solutions and to guide them through the customs maze.
TPN worked with HMRC directly to feedback and resolve early problems with the government’s GVMS system which generates clearance codes. It shared the resulting workaround with the entire industry on social media.
“This is a time when we all need to pull together to make sure that our economy remains resilient and that freight reaches the people who need it,” says Large. “Our social media feeds have all the information we’ve discovered about how to use GVMS effectively.”
However, if customers are uncertain about HMRC’s TTS and GVMS systems, TPN staff will handle all the necessary Customs clearance for Irish freight – at no extra cost.
“We don’t believe that people should have to pay extra to move their goods over an internal border,” says Large. “If customers want help, we’ll help them. That’s what good service looks like.”
While government systems are technically free to use, it can be complicated and time-consuming creating entries, so TPN has removed that hassle and cost for customers by completing the required TTS & GVMS entries centrally, free of charge.
Large says the network’s approach to Brexit was the same as for every other issue, whether lockdown, or operational excellence.
“We problem solve, we adapt, and we drive for excellence,” he says. “Whatever the procedural challenges of Brexit – and there have been many – we’ve had a long time to invest and prepare and we’ve used that time to innovate and create the solution that our customers need.”
TPN ran online workshops throughout 2020 to educate its Partners and customers about the protocols and how to use its newly expanded and HMRC-friendly consignment management system. This means that the majority of its customers can feel more confident with all the new requirements.
“The TPN Connect integration has allowed us to bring acuity, transparency and intelligence to what would otherwise have been unfamiliar systems for network customers,” says Large.
Services to mainland Europe are also running without issue. TPN XPort, the network’s enhanced international services sends regular freight services to 27 countries.
“Our network Partners are doing a smashing job,” says Large. “They are very experienced at international freight movements within mainland Europe and elsewhere and so we can offer as seamless a service as possible. If customers need more or specific support, we have a 24-hour broker support service, so wherever the pallet is destined for, customers need only ask and we’ll find the solution they need.”
TPN services remain at a best value rate, with no extra costs passed onto customers for NI, and competitive online and broker supported export and import services if chosen. Customers can, of course, use their own broker to make their clearances if they choose.
“There has been much talk in the past 12 months of ‘the new normal’. The truth is that for us at TPN, excellence is our normal. What we say is what we do. We look ahead, we adapt, we innovate rather than imitate, and we ensure that whatever the circumstances, we deliver a genuinely excellent, resilient service,” says Large. “Changing circumstances don’t change our ability, our determination or our job – which is to be THE Pallet Network.”