UPN hub build project

Background

United Pallet Network (UPN) operates a highly successful palletised freight delivery service throughout the UK and Europe, known for its impressive 99.9% reliability rate. Pallets are collected during the day from multiple sites, brought back to the hub at night and then reloaded to be delivered on new consignments the following day.

UPN contacted Aganto in May 2019 about an ambitious relocation project for their expanding Central Hub Operation in Lichfield, Staffordshire. The proposed construction of four new temporary buildings would support the company’s rapid growth and further develop the existing hub facility, which Aganto had worked on previously in 2010 to increase pallet capacity by 8,000 units per night.

On completion of the planning process, when the client was ready to commence building work on site, an installation date was arranged. Within a few weeks, the 8-man strong Aganto site crew arrived on site with the building parts to be assembled.

Installation

The first phase of the project involved installing two 25m x 60m structures with a 6.2 metre eave height. These would be built adjacent to each other to create a 50-metre span, finished with roller shutter and sliding doors. The second phase comprises of two ‘scan tunnels’ of dimensions 15 x 20 x 6.2 at the eaves. Aganto’s ‘Insulate Range’ specification was selected for the scan tunnel buildings – steel sandwich cladding with insulated PVC skin roofing. All four buildings were required on a 60-month hire basis. At the end of this period, the client has the option to have the buildings dismantled or have the rental contract extended.

In less than a month, the two 60-metre long buildings were installed on the existing tarmac base by Aganto’s site team, without the need for groundworks. The aluminium profiles are laid out on the ground, fastened down to base plates using Duckbill anchors, and assembled before being hoisted up into position. For this project, the larger frames required a crane, although most Aganto temporary buildings can be installed with smaller plant such as scissor lifts and/or telehandlers. The roof and gables came next with PVC guttering and downpipes, which were attached to the neighbouring building.

Once the first building had been erected, work began on marking out the ground for the second. The extruded profiles were lifted with the crane before being secured into place. Following this, portal beams were fitted, and structural link brackets used to add strength. The roller, pedestrian access and sliding doors were then added to complete the structure.

The second phase of the build, the scan tunnels, will start in the coming weeks.

Phase 1 Outcome

UPN’s investment has created additional on-site capacity faster, and at a fraction of the cost of an equivalent permanent building. UPN were able to spread costs and reduce upfront capital expenditure with their rental contract, freeing up cash to be used elsewhere. The buildings are made from sustainable materials (the PVC is from recycled window frames for example, the aluminium frames are 100% recyclable), and crucially, they can be relocated and re-used. Significant energy savings can be achieved through the naturally translucent properties of the PVC roofing, which greatly reduces the need for artificial lighting. By choosing the Aganto product and service, UPN has gained maximum commercial value while maintaining high standards of sustainability in their supply chain.