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Welcome to the Warehouse & Logistics News Annual 2017, our yearly overview of the leading companies and trade associations setting the pace in this crucial sector.

Access to the best possible information is vital for sound investment decisions. Now in its sixth edition the Warehouse & Logistics News Annual is the ultimate reference source for buyers and decision makers 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 contains in depth interviews and profiles of leading suppliers in each category. You can also read reports and commentaries on recent developments from industry experts. After the surprises of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory, it’s becoming clear that business life is going to carry on much as before. As a trading nation we will continue to do high levels of business with Europe, but increasingly also with the rest of the world. Warehousing and logistics is a major part of the services sector, which has kept our economy growing, and companies and non-commercial organisations continue to invest in people, solutions and equipment.

BITA’s Market Index report shows forklift orders in the first half of 2016 89% up on December 2009. Anecdotally, Brexit and Trump are already affecting forktruck sales. Martin McVicar, MD of Irish specialist truck supplier Combilift, says: “Sterling’s fall after the referendum has made UK products more attractive on world markets, with increased order levels from exporters as well as sellers in the domestic market. In the USA we had already noticed a willingness to invest in equipment before the election and we now expect this to increase.”

The message that comes across in these pages is consistent. Britain is still one of the world’s most robust economies and remains a great place to do business and for other countries to do business with. Part of the appeal is our strong warehousing and logistics sector infrastructure. Our supplier companies and trade associations contribute to the ongoing development of global technical standards, underlining our commitment to quality and excellence.

As The Annual went to press official figures confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2016, helped by export growth and stronger consumer spending. In its second estimate of the health of the economy, the ONS also said business investment grew by more than expected, up 0.9% following the Brexit vote, despite previous fears that both would be hit immediately by the decision to leave the EU. It’s all the more reason to maintain confidence in our prospects and grasp the opportunities as we go forward.

Moving into 2017 Warehouse & Logistics News is committed to leading as the only fortnightly title for the industry, publishing the latest news and comprehensive reports on important issues. We look forward to reporting on another outstanding year of high achievement on all fronts.