Welcome to the April 1st Warehouse & Logistics News. The last three months have been a long haul, made worse by the bitter weather and snowfalls in the last few weeks, and we hope you have all had a chance to relax over the Easter break with friends and family.

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General manufacturing and the food industry are major users of warehousing and logistics services and this is a big month for trade shows targeting these sectors. On our front cover we have news from Doosan, the leading supplier of robust high performance forklift trucks, who are exhibiting at MACH 2018, the UK’s premier manufacturing technologies event at the NEC, Birmingham from 9-13 April. On the stand will be Doosan’s B30X-7 3 tonne electric counterbalance forklift truck, part of Doosan’s extensive range of over 200 counterbalance, reach and warehouse trucks, with capacities spanning 1.3 to 25 tonnes, in electric, gas and diesel options.

A few days after MACH ends, Warehouse & Logistics News is proud to be the official logistics media partner to Foodex 2018, which runs at the NEC from April 16-18 and is the UK’s premier show for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries. See our Foodex Preview in the centre pages.

UK forktruck sales are traditionally held up as a barometer of business confidence. In our Forklifts feature BITA’s latest fork truck Market Index, based on Oxford Economics’ forecasts, highlights an impressive 40% rise in truck sales to the retail distribution sector in the third quarter of 2017 compared to 2016.

For the last two decades or so the UK forklift market has been split 70% on truck hire/lease and 30% outright purchase, but these days the retail sector is driving outright purchase.

Despite the pressure to achieve warehouse performance, safety must never be sacrificed for productivity, especially in loading bays, where 25% of workplace transport accidents occur. In our Loading Bay feature we hear from Dock Solutions about their innovative installations around the UK and CPA Engineered Solutions, whose air barriers offer an energysaving alternative to over-door heaters.

Staying with materials handling, as our Stock Solutions feature reminds us, in today’s highpressure business climate it’s vitally important for warehouse operations to squeeze the maximum performance out of their available working space. A key factor is choosing the right equipment for particular operations. One such solution, the MSP Series of stock pickers from JLG Industries makes everyday warehouse tasks more efficient, allowing operators to carry both people and materials thanks to a flexible platform and extra large material tray. It’s also important for warehouses to be able to adapt as businesses change. Also in our Stock Solutions feature, rather than moving elsewhere, one way to give your warehouse greater flexibility to hold different kinds of stock is to segregate it into distinct areas, which can be done quickly and easily with Flexiwall internal partitions from Westgate Factory Dividers.

Have a good month and we’ll look out for you at the shows. If you’re going to Foodex, come and meet the W&LN team on stand X330. See you at the NEC!