Consumer goods, whether home computers or shampoo, are mainly moved in bulk on pallets. The Staffordshire firm Palletways co-ordinates a network of 100 franchised distributors specialising in small, palletised consignments for express delivery across Britain. The company has hubs in London, Edinburgh and the West Midlands, but is also expanding across western Europe, and claims to have 50 franchisees in Italy. Chief executive James Wilson led a management buyout last year backed by Phoenix Equity Partners, which replaced the previous investor, 3i. Its profits grew 51% a year from £1.3m in 2001 to £4.6m in 2004.
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