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  3. Luxury Wood: Fuelling demand for wood pellets

Pall-Ex is fuelling demand for wood pellets

When David Secker launched an online business in 2012, he had little idea of how quickly the company would grow.

Recognising a lack of quality wood fuel in the market, as consumers increasingly searched for clean-burning and sustainable forms of energy to heat their homes, he established The Luxury Wood Company. Less apparent at the time of launch was the vital role that haulage would play in transforming his local business into a national one.

Based in Retford, Nottinghamshire, The Luxury Wood Company offers a range of premium wood products, supplying both the trade market and domestic customers directly. In its first year, the company took £100,000 in sales, a figure that has leapt to £4.1 million in 2018.

David explains: “We have been really surprised by the growing demand. We knew there was a gap in the market in terms of supplying quality firewood and wood pellets, but we are astounded by how quickly demand has increased”.

“Flexibility is essential to a business with seasonal peaks like us and it was not economical to run our own trucks, especially as we wanted to be a nationwide supplier. A pallet network was the only solution that would enable us to ship overnight and deliver anywhere in the UK.”

Pallet networks have thrived with the e-commerce boom. With the ability to react quickly to rapid order increases and a strategic distribution network, pallet networks are the scalable transport solution that independent online retailers need when otherwise lacking the coverage needed for quick growth.

The Luxury Wood Company had tried every pallet network service, but never quite found the right fit. In 2015, tired of the service it had received, the company switched hauliers, choosing fellow East Midlands firm Pall-Ex.

David adds: 

“We tried all of the other networks, but the commitment to our business just wasn’t there. We supply a premium product and we want the customer service of our distributors to echo our own ethos and that means a quality customer experience”.

“Pall-Ex is uniquely qualified to distribute solid fuel to almost any home in the UK, often within 24 hours of dispatch from our East Midlands warehouse. The size of the network enables us to reach any postcode in the UK, and the pallet model ensures we can scale up for peak periods and down for slower periods. It is a haulage method that is designed for these peaks and troughs and helps small family-run businesses like ours achieve success.”

Since The Luxury Wood Company enlisted Pall-Ex’s services in August 2015, the logistics giant has delivered 38,000 pallets of fuel across the UK with a 99% success rate. During its seasonal peak, which typically runs from December to February, the premier fuel supplier sends up to 200 pallets a day through Pall-Ex’s Coalville hub, ready for its network of hauliers to transport to every corner of the country.

In March 2018, the company awarded a further £1m contract to Pall-Ex for continued pallet distribution.  

David adds: “Getting the goods there is very important to Pall-Ex and to us, so their culture reflects our needs. Their willingness and determination to rectify even the smallest issue is of great benefit to our customers and our operation as we continue to grow.”

Mark Steel, Sales and Marketing Director at Pall-Ex, comments: “The Luxury Wood company represents a real challenge for the delivery of B2C pallets and we have worked hard as a partnership to provide a delivery service to rival that of the parcel companies. Many of its clients are in remote and/or rural locations so items such as email/SMS notifications, electric pallet trucks and a growing fleet of curtain-sided 3.5T vehicles has enabled us to grow with them and facilitate such a high level of on time in full (OTIF) deliveries.

“We have also expanded our IT offering to the latest ‘MyNexus’ portal which The Luxury Wood company actually helped us design! This customer portal has sector-leading final-mile visibility that makes their freight management very simple and accurate. 

“It’s a really strong partnership and we are proud to have The Luxury Wood company amongst our portfolio of corporate clients.”

For more information about Luxury Wood visit: www.luxurywood.co.uk