Welcome to the December 15th edition of Warehouse & Logistics News, and a Merry Christmas to all our readers. Warehouse and logistics people traditionally get less of a festive break than everyone else as they keep things moving over the holiday period. So we hope you get a good rest, ready for 2017.

As we reach the end of another eventful year, it’s time for people in this industry to take stock of where they are now, where they want to go and what they want to achieve. Despite the shocks of the Brexit vote and Trump’s victory, thankfully we’re all still here and business life carries on pretty much as before. Warehousing and logistics is of course a major part of the services sector, which has kept the UK economy growing over the years, and businesses and other organisations continue to invest in people, equipment and solutions.

So don’t miss the 2017 Warehouse & Logistics News Annual, being mailed with this issue. Now in its sixth edition The Annual is the ultimate reference source for buyers and decision makers involved in purchasing materials handling equipment, warehouse IT, logistics services and other essentials for warehouse operations. A valuable tool to help you throughout the coming year, The Annual showcases leading suppliers in each category along with reports and commentaries on recent developments from industry experts, including the major UK trade associations.

Meanwhile in our last issue of 2016 we bring you the latest stories from the industry and features on Forklift Trucks, Pallets and Storage Solutions. As we report regularly in WLN, warehouse automation is an ongoing trend, especially in the retail sector. On our front cover we hear from Swisslog, the warehouse automation specialists, who recently completed the automation and integration in Nordic department store chain Rusta’s new central high-bay warehouse and distribution centre, which picks 1,600 pallets of goods per day for some 100 stores and growing home delivery orders.

Inside this issue, our features have a consistent message – don’t cut corners on preparing for a busy Christmas and handling the inevitable returns afterwards. To quote Alan Parsons at Briggs Equipment, underestimating the amount of forklifts you need and your existing fleet’s ability to cope with additional demand raises the risk of disruptive breakdowns and costly accidents. On the Pallets front, deciding which type of pallet to choose can be difficult at any time, partly because the cost equation is not the only determining factor, it’s about what the pallet needs to do. Lastly, rethinking your Racking and Shelving arrangements is a growing concern for warehouse operators, with the boom in online shopping causing a revolution in distribution channels. Having said that, changing your storage systems to achieve greater productivity needn’t necessarily be costly and disruptive, if you think it through.

Enjoy the festive season and we’ll be back again in January with our next issue. Happy Christmas!