Welcome to the November 15th Warehouse & Logistics News. At this time of year night falls early and the lights burn long into the night in distribution centres and warehouses up and down the land, with people hard at work in the run up to Christmas. For warehouse managers the challenge is to make the best of the cold weather.

As a starting point, Warehouse & Logistics News is an official media partner to Lux Live 2016, at the ExCel London from November 23-24. Don’t miss our Lux Live supplement in this issue. Adequate warehouse lighting is vital all year round for productive loading and unloading, safe forklift working and accurate order picking. Also, the new compulsory legal standards for emergency lighting come with tough penalties, making Lux Live a must to visit.

End users of storage systems can’t afford to be in the dark about racking maintenance at any time of year, as our frontpage story from SEMA’s Distributor Group (SDG) makes clear. With 24/7 online shopping making great strides, prompt rack inspection and repair in these operations is critical. SEMA SDG members offer a nationwide network of storage design and qualified labour, providing on-site support at short notice.

Also in this issue we have features on Power Sources, the Loading Bay and Cold Storage & Distribution. Our Loading Bay feature looks into the reality of making loading bays more hospitable in bad weather, with dock shelters from sara LBS and heat-retaining high speed doors from Union Industries.

In our Power Sources feature, forklift fleets’ performance has been transformed in recent years by technological advances in batteries and chargers and increased availability of alternative renewable fuel sources. Hoppecke’s solutions embrace the different technologies now available, lead acid, nickel cadmium and lithium-ion: ECOBAT Battery Technologies’ new VERTU range offers a six-year warranty instead of the usual five years. Staying with power sources, in our Cold Storage feature working temperatures of -24 degrees C. present major problems for forklifts’ batteries, but Fronius’ Selectiva battery charging systems are ensuring safe, reliable, energy-efficient charging for Frigologo in Austria.

Finally, at the end of October we heard the sad news that Freddy Brown, a key figure in the development of today’s materials handling equipment, has passed away after a brave battle against Alzheimer’s disease. In his outstanding career Freddy pioneered a new type of forklift combining space saving and order picking, the Man Rising VNA forklift, now established worldwide as the industry standard. He went on to develop the Bendi articulated truck, which created a new market sector and won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2003. You can read the full story in this issue.