Suffolk-based Spearhead Turf says that, despite the substantial challenges of delivering turf, it has seen its delivery success rate climb from 75% to over 90% thanks to the efforts of Ely-based TPN Member Malco Freight and the TPN network.
Spearhead delivers its carefully cultivated turfs to residences, garden centres, groundsmen, landscapers and sports centres throughout the UK to create lawns, cricket pitches, golf courses, eco-roofs and more. Director Tim Cannon says: “Turf is a heavy, dirty product and it is also a living product. Most pallet networks do not understand turf and do not want to transport it. But TPN has gone out of its way to become the one pallet network in the UK to try to really meet the needs of the turf industry.”
Turf must not only be delivered the next day but in the morning, so that recipients have time to lay it. Spearhead uses both 10am and pre-1pm delivery slots, but says it is as important for recipients to know if a delivery is delayed as it is to be on time. “If you have a crew waiting to lay turf, then you need to know you can switch to another job while waiting, or leave and return for the delivery. TPN is excellent at communicating with our customers,” says Cannon.
“Our new delivery success is a huge turnaround for us,” says Cannon. “We have excellent products but in the past customers had to put up with hit and miss delivery because it was all we could provide. All credit to Malco Freight and TPN because they have helped us a lot, and always do it with a smile.”
Malco Freight also prints all the TPN tickets and manifests for Spearhead and attaches them on collection.
“We are sending a heavy, dirty, low-value product on a premium service,” says Cannon. “There is no one who would match these service levels. Malco Freight goes to a lot of effort and trouble, and each morning checks on all our deliveries throughout the country.”
Malco also works daily with Spearhead to calculate the optimal number of rolls per pallet, as different soils vary greatly in weight. This optimisation can make a big difference to Spearhead’s and its customers’ transport costs.
“Over Easter we were handling more than 100 pallets of turf a day for Spearhead,” says Malco Freight MD Alison Jeffrey. “Understanding the product is important. We educate our customers about how to present and input freight for the best results, and the TPN Members also inform each other about any special product needs they have to ensure a successful delivery.”
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