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Palletline flies high with new chair

Palletline has, for the first time, appointed a new Chair of the Board of Directors from outside the network, demonstrating the business’ commitment to innovation and growth.

Forsyth Black has been enlisted to introduce an independent and dynamic way of thinking which will help bring a fresh perspective to the network.

He joins the business at a time when the UK’s leading palletised freight distribution network is going through something of a resurgence with investment, new developments and people featuring prominently in Palletline’s future roadmap designed to reinforce the company’s market leading position.

The announcement was made at Palletline’s recent AGM at which former Chair Jim Welch, Managing Director of Welch’s Transport – a long-standing member of Palletline – passed the baton on to Forsyth.

Having spent six years in the role as Chair, and 10 years on the Board, Jim has steered Palletline through some challenging times including the tail end of a recession, the pandemic and driver shortages. His knowledge of the industry and respect amongst Palletline members have been invaluable over the years. 

Forsyth's track record within the logistics sector is impressive introducing an exciting new skill set into the business and one which is set to play an integral role in Palletline’s long term strategy. His career spans more than two decades and has seen him hold a number of senior positions in transport, logistics, and aviation where he has driven innovation, cultural change, and profitability.

One such example, was in his role as Managing Director of Menzies Distribution, where he steered the company from structural decline to sustainable profitability through a move away from newspaper and magazine distribution into the parcel and pallet sector.

He said: “I’m delighted to join Palletline at such an exciting time and relish the opportunities it presents for growth.

“Palletline has an enviable position in the market. It has several unique features including its fully member owned model and I hope my experience will benefit the network as it continues to thrive.”

A Chartered Management Accountant, Forsyth also holds a BA in Accounting and an MBA. He currently has a portfolio career which includes Chair of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, a Board position at the Port of Aberdeen, and he leads a small boutique advisory firm working predominantly in mergers and acquisitions for aviation, security and logistics clients around the world.

Graham Leitch, Group Managing Director of Palletline, said: “Forsyth's experience and knowledge will complement our existing strategy to drive the business forward and enhance our focus on service, network optimisation and commercial development.

“We would like to welcome Forsyth to Palletline, and we look forward to developing a close working relationship for the benefit of both the business and our network members.”

Graham also paid tribute to Jim, commenting, “Over the past ten years Jim has been an invaluable member of the Board and made a fantastic contribution to the network, playing an instrumental role in our continued growth and success.

“He has been a steady hand on the tiller, supporting us through some significantly challenging periods and we are extremely grateful for his input during the past decade and his level of commitment to the role.”

Two further Board members were elected at the AGM - Palletline members Jonathan Edge, Managing Director of Edge Transport and Ed Sanderson, Commercial Director of Stephen Sanderson Transport.

Bill Bowker, Managing Director of Bowker Group, also steps down from the Board this year. Thanks go to him for his substantial contribution during his tenure.

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