Palletline expertise helps Certainly Wood overcome challenges to deliver first-class service to customers

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One of the UK’s leading kiln-dried firewood suppliers, Certainly Wood, is enjoying healthy growth with the help of leading freight distribution partner Palletline.

The pioneering family business supplies firewood to both trade and consumer customers across the UK. Trade customers include niche businesses such as stove retailers, garden centres, country stores, farm shops and camp and glamping sites.

Certainly Wood was the innovator behind kiln-dried firewood, with George Snell, who runs the business with brother Nic, pioneering a unique kiln drying process some four years before the launch of the business in 2006.

Now, 15 years later, with growing environmental concerns on the effects of wet wood on emissions and clean air, the government has followed Certainly Wood’s lead, banning the sale of wet wood.

Nic said the consumer side of Certainly Wood is fast-growing, now accounting for 40 per cent of the business. With increased regulations, Nic said there are always fresh challenges to overcome. However, by working closely with its delivery partner, the Palletline-owned ABE (Ledbury), and regularly communicating with customers, most situations that arise are quickly resolved.

He said: “We have worked hard over the years to make sure our customers are fully informed of how their orders will arrive, from advising them about the size of the lorry to ensuring they understand the restrictions around delivering goods on pallets – it’s all about educating the customer so they know what to expect.

“Ever-changing markets bring additional challenges; for instance, health and safety revisions can impact our delivery capabilities almost overnight and growing vehicle sizes can bring new access issues at customers’ properties.

“But then Palletline continues to make improvements to its service – their Lift Assist service with power-assisted pump trucks, for example, has been hugely successful, with our customers directly reaping the benefits that comes with improved accessibility.

“We will continue to work with both ABE (Ledbury) and our customers to identify challenges and manage expectations.”

Nic said as the business focuses on growing its online offering, so the number of pallet deliveries will continue to grow.

He continued “The Palletline service is a part of our rounded offering – customers perceive their delivery driver and the delivery experience to be a part of our business. And with more and more people shopping online since the pandemic, customer service is at the top of our tree. We provide top quality firewood and we want a customer service offering to match.

“It’s not always straight forward as we must ensure our consumers understand that a pallet delivery is not the same as a parcel delivery, but we are extremely pleased with the job that ABE (Ledbury) does and thankfully most of our customers appreciate the issues we face.”

Certainly Wood was born out of the family farm which had previously been run by George with their father Hugh, while Nic worked in marketing before joining his brother in 2006.

Today Nic, who had previously grown raspberries and ran a local soft fruit co-operative before entering into his career in marketing, runs the sales and marketing side of the business whilst George focuses on procurement and production whilst still farming in a small way too.

The business now processes 20,000 tonnes of kiln dried logs per annum along with kindling and Flamers natural firelighters with approx. 15,000 pallets moving through the network every year.

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