Fortec Members supported retail sector as non-essential shops prepared to reopen

Many of Fortec’s Members up and down the country have been delivering protective screens and PPE by the pallet-load – helping non-essential retail stores as they prepared to reopen following the COVID-19 lock-down.

Evesham-based Superior Freight won a contract with Morrisons to deliver more than 600 pallets of protective screens to stores around the UK.

M&H Logistics, one of the first depots to join Fortec in 1996, was awarded a similar contract with Tesco supermarkets and OTEC, based in Witham, Essex, has been delivering protective screens to Next stores across the UK.

PPE and protective screen deliveries to non-essential retailers were the latest in a line of covid-related freight handled by Fortec Members over the past four months. The changing trend of goods travelling through networks reflected the fast-moving pace of the pandemic and transport companies rose to the challenge.

Initially, back in March, Fortec saw an influx of PPE and hand sanitiser bound for NHS sites and other healthcare facilities. And weeks later, Fortec Members were also delivering hospital beds to NHS Nightingale centres in key locations.

Later, demand for essential goods increased and deliveries to RDCs became a priority as supermarkets battled to upscale their supply and distribution.

As the UK population found themselves with more time on their hands, Fortec Members began to respond to the increasing demand for DIY products and gardening equipment. Freight profiles changed again to include garden furniture, power tools and paint.

As the government announcements bring news of the reopening of bars, pubs and restaurants, preparations for deliveries of further PPE and protective equipment will be underway and as ever, Fortec network members will be on hand to ensure fast deliveries that will enable more workplaces to protect their staff once their customers’ return.

Adrian Bradley, Managing Director, Fortec Distribution Network, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, our members were committed to playing a key role in keeping the country moving and our workforce safe and healthy.

“As the country slowly returns to a ‘new normality’, it will be vital that our network continues to move those goods around the country that will keep people safe. We expect to see a continuation of PPE and protective screens for the coming months as restaurants and bars reopen and our freight profiles will continue to change to meet customer demand.

“Thank you to every Fortec member that helped to deliver vital food, medical and pharmaceutical supplies, and essential goods and equipment to supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies and other key locations.

“As a pallet network we are a key link in the UK supply chain, providing efficient forms of freight distribution and enabling overnight deliveries of consignments anywhere in the UK. What the coronavirus outbreak has demonstrated is that our services have never been more essential.”

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