20/09/05 We're in the pallet Premier League!
Dunstable workplace has key role in distribution chain
A Dunstable distribution centre is playing a vital part in keeping the shelves stocked in UK and European supermarkets.
Every week thousands of broken wooden pallets are repaired at the ND Logistics/Chep service centre in Boscombe Road and transported back into circulation here and across the Channel.
Global company Chep supplies the pallets to supermarket chains and French logistics giant Norbert Dentressangle moves them to wherever they are needed.
The Dunstable service centre, which was opened in April, is dedicated to rebuilding damaged pallets and employs 120 people around the clock to meet this commitment.
Its workforce restores a mind-boggling number of pallets. Administrator Jan Jobber said: "The target this week is 110,000."
And it's not just a question of levering off broken timber and nailing new pieces into place.
Mrs Jobber said: "The pallets may have to be spray painted in corporate colours and also stencilled with C for Chep in two places."
Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisons are among the UK superstore chains that rely on ND/Chep efficiency.
They are being served by high powered organisations.
Norbert Dentressangle provides transport and logistics for packed, bulk and refrigerated goods in 12 European countries.
Chep has its origins in Australia but now manages the daily movement of more than 265 million pallets and containers across a global network of over 440 service centres in 42 countries.
It has more than 300,000 customers worldwide, including Procter & Gamble, Shell, Woolworths, Tesco, Unilever, Hewlett Packard, Ford and General Motors.
At the official opening of the service centre, ND Logistics' president Francois Bertreau and Miguel D'Cotta, senior vice president Chep Asset Management, joined the mayor of Dunstable Councillor Andy Fairbairn and Luton mayor Councillor Haji Abid in a tour of the works.