Welcome to the July 1st edition of Warehouse & Logistics News. Most enduring reputations in this business are achieved through sheer hard work and staying focused. Our front page celebrates the success of two young racking salesmen who started their company, United Storage Systems, 40 years ago. Their first order was for £2,814, for shelving in a chemical warehouse: in a neat coincidence the latest is exactly 100 times bigger at £281,400, long span shelving for a mezzanine floor in a clothing warehouse.

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Also in this edition, as official media partners to the event we present our Preview Supplement for the 2017 UKWA Awards, on Wednesday July 5th at London’s Dorchester Hotel. This year’s Award categories are Customer Service, Warehouse Company of The Year, Technical Innovation, Training, Environment, Warehouse Manager of The Year, Young Employee of The Year, Best New Warehouse Member and the Chairman’s Award, presented by UKWA Chairman Tony Mohan. We’ll have a full run down of the results in the next issue and on our website.

In our exclusive interview we speak to Andy Butters, MD at Aganto Ltd, whose temporary buildings are permanent fixtures on many blue chip companies’ shopping lists, including Arla Foods, Britvic, Siemens and Mini Clipper Logistics. Aganto have recently extended their offer with a retractable tunnel range and will soon add heating and electrical auxiliary products to the list.

As our features confirm, the warehouse industry has been transformed by technology since United Storage and Aganto started. In our Storage Solutions feature we look at Klinkhammer Group’s automated dispatch warehouse for German media company WKS, which retrieves 160 pallets per hour. In our Order Picking feature we hear how automation provider KNAPP has worked with Spanish pharmaceutical wholesaler Novaltia since 1999, extending and modernising their Zaragoza distribution centre. The latest enhancements include Pick-it- Easy and KNAPP-Store robotic storage and picking systems and Open Shuttle automated guided vehicles.

There’s more technology on offer in our Warehouse Lighting feature, spotlighting energy saving through LED lighting and management systems such as Danlers’ High Bay PIR occupancy switches and Lumilow’s wireless controls.

And finally, returning to the UKWA Awards, past attendees will know there’s a lighter side to the event thanks to the VIP guest speaker. This year it’s Gerald Ratner, former CEO of Ratners the jewellers. We wonder whether Mr Ratner’s comments about the warehousing industry will be anything like as provocative as his remarks about the quality of some of his products! It should be a good day. If you’re going, we look forward to seeing you.