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Achieving an industry first is a major accomplishment for a business; it demonstrates innovation, leadership and can help position a company as an expert in their field.
In the UK pallet industry, plastic pallet experts Goplasticpallets.com, have not just achieved one industry first but many during the company’s 20 years in business. In this article, we share 10 pallet firsts Goplasticpallets.com is most proud of.
1. First to embrace plastic pallets
When co-founders Jim Hardisty and Chris Adam set up Goplasticpallets.com in 2001 they had many years of pallet industry knowledge behind them. Their first business venture together was as wooden pallet suppliers but 20 years ago they made a game-changing decision to diversify into supplying plastic pallets, making them the first UK pallet supplier to successfully transition to plastic pallets.
Now a team of 16 with 155 years combined experience, Goplasticpallets.com is the leading force in the UK pallet industry – as plastic pallet experts they promise to find a perfect match for every customer’s application.
2. First plastic pallet partnership signed
Building and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers, customers and staff is essential for achieving business success and Goplasticpallets.com has done just that.
In 2006, Goplasticpallets.com signed its first exclusive supplier agreement with top Belgian plastic pallet manufacturer Innova Packaging Systems (IPS), now CABKA-IPS, giving the company exclusivity to its then 50-strong product range. Since then, Goplasticpallets.com has secured four further successful partnerships with Q-Pall, SmartFlow, Gamma-Wopla and JCO Plast.
Its these partnerships that have helped position Goplasticpallets.com as the UK’s largest plastic pallet supplier with stocks in excess of 160 different styles of plastic pallets, 27 different sizes and styles of plastic pallet boxes and a comprehensive range of smaller plastic containers, crates and trays.
3. First unusual plastic pallet order
Offering such a diverse product range means that Goplasticpallets.com is not limited to supplying specific industries or applications. The depth of the company’s product range and ability to customise products, when required, is an asset that has seen Goplasticpallets.com supply some very unusual applications over the years – from platforms for nesting ospreys to protecting the world’s largest kite.
The first unusual plastic pallet request Goplasticpallets.com recalls came in 2008 from European producer of premium paperboards M-Real (now Metsä Board) who was looking for a solution to transport its wet lap pulp from Kent to its paper mill in Normandy.
This unusual application required an unusual sized pallet (1420mm L x 1200mm W) to support the wet lap pulp sheets, which Goplasticpallets.com customised to meet the customer’s exact specification.
4. First time exhibiting at IMHX
Although trade shows have had a tough time of late, the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) is a key date for every logistics professional’s diary and is looking to make a comeback in September next year!
As the UK’s largest logistics event, Goplasticpallets.com first exhibited at IMHX in 2010 showcasing its pure yellow Hygienic plastic pallet, demonstrating the high-quality colour matches it can achieve.
This same year Goplasticpallets.com also launched its first two-colour plastic pallet at Packtech 2010 – a new concept introduced to help aid quick pallet identification and prevent pallets getting lost in the supply chain.
5. First Olympic collaboration
2012 was a big year for the UK, hosting the London 2012 Olympics, and a big year for Goplasticpallets.com to boot as it was involved in two significant projects.
The first involved supplying 2,000 of its 1400 litre plastic pallet boxes and lids – the GoPalletBox 1311S 3R – to help a global pharmaceutical giant scale up production of its well-known sports drink.
The second involved supplying 26,000 plastic boxes to a leading security system provider to be used in their scanning machines for checking workers and visitors’ personal belongings.
6. First major warehouse expansion
Having over doubled its warehouse space in 2007 from 4000 sq. ft to 10,000 sq. ft Goplasticpallets.com took on a further unit at its base in Alder Close, Eastbourne in 2013 over doubling its warehouse space again to 21,000 sq. fit.
The expansion included a new 3,200 sq. ft office adjacent to the two warehouses, providing the central operating base for the business. The new open plan office space and upgraded facilities included additional meeting rooms and product display areas for showing products to visiting customers.
With the growth in online meetings, Goplasticpallets.com has recently transformed one of its meeting areas into a demonstration space where the company’s plastic pallet experts conduct live, virtual product demonstrations that can be booked online.
7. First major project overseas
Although the company’s main client base is in the UK, Goplasticpallets.com does sometimes get significant enquiries from elsewhere.
In 2013 Goplasticpallets.com secured its first major overseas project, supplying a whopping 10,000 plastic pool pallets to Qatar’s largest warehouse equipment company to be used in helping store and replenish duty free stocks at the new, state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport in Doha.
It was a hugely important project on a gigantic scale that saw the company supply 10,000 plastic pool pallets; the new airport when complete was expected to occupy 29sq km – roughly a third of Doha itself – and have an annual capacity for 50 million passengers.
8. First corporate video launched
In 2017 Goplasticpallets.com used the power of visual storytelling to take its “Leave the wood” marketing campaign to the next level by launching its first corporate video.
The cinematic-quality video tells the story of how the humble wooden pallet has been superseded by the reusable plastic pallet, as we move forward into the 21st century – a must watch if you’ve not already seen it!
9. First plastic pallet recycling scheme
One of the company’s most recent proudest achievements is pioneering the UK’s first plastic pallet recycling scheme in 2019, pledging to recycle each and every plastic pallet and box it supplies to customers.
It was an epic campaign that got widespread trade media coverage which saw the company introduce its Responsibility Policy and change its strapline to The Responsible Plastic Pallet Company.
In our first two years we’ve collected back and recycled more than 503 tonnes of plastic waste from customers’ used plastic pallets and boxes – that’s a total of 82 full truck loads.
10. First to take a stand in the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and for many, the way we do business. But, ever since the first UK lockdown in March 2020 the logistics industry has demonstrated an unwavering resilience.
Goplasticpallets.com was the first plastic pallet supplier to confirm Essential Business status for keeping supply chains moving, speaking out to reassure customers it would “continue business as usual” – obviously taking the vital hygiene and safety precautions, to ensure customers had access to the stock they needed.
The company has since supported the COVID response in another way by supplying plastic pallets to a leading international pharmaceutical provider for transporting one of the vital ingredients that makes up the second approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Goplasticpallets.com is a company that never stands still, and this year is no exception as it aims to achieve 20% growth.