Welcome to the Warehouse & Logistics News 15th May issue. In our uncertain world businesses large and small must be surefooted and resilient to stay ahead, but can always take reassurance from warehousing and logistics suppliers when it comes to delivering the goods, with innovative equipment and solutions to meet their changing needs, backed by a growing concern about the environment.

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Speaking of innovative suppliers, Combilift recently opened its new 50 million Euro global headquarters and manufacturing facility in Monaghan, Ireland with Irish PM Leo Varadkar as guest of honour. Marking its 20th anniversary, Combilift also launched two new trucks, the Combi-HC-PPT high capacity powered pallet truck and the Combi-OP Order Picker and announced plans to create 200 jobs. Warehouse & Logistics News was there for the celebrations, including the grand opening and party afterwards, complete with Irish dancing and very generous hospitality. A big thankyou to Martin McVicar and the team! You can read the full story on page 10.

Also in this issue we present the first quarterly Warehouse & Logistics News Logistics Supplement, focusing on the movement of goods outside the warehouse by road, rail, sea and air.

Technology is changing rapidly but vans and other light commercial vehicles as we know them aren’t going away any time soon, as Grahame Neagus, Renault Trucks’ Head of LCV confirms in our exclusive interview. We also hear from Ford, who strengthened its range at the 2018 CV Show Ford with the all-new Fiesta Van and Transit Connect, the first commercial vehicles in Europe using the new FordPass Connect on-board modem technology.

With plastic’s impact on the environment a hot topic right now, on our front cover Jim Hardisty, MD of Goplastic Pallets, the recycled plastic pallets supplier warns that recent high profile news articles on plastics polluting the oceans and conflicting reports about the success rates of recycling could send a confusing message. Jim’s sentiment is shared by the signatories of the UK Plastics Pact, a set of pledges signed by more than 40 manufacturers, retailers and trade associations, who aim to withdraw single-use plastic packaging by 2025 and make 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Meanwhile changing to paper and other packaging alternatives can also help businesses make a positive move in the right direction. In our Packaging feature we interview Jason Cox, UK Operations Director at Pregis, the UK’s leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly packaging solutions. Their latest high-speed void fill packaging system, the new Quantum™XT allows users to secure goods firmly inside the box using 100% recycled, 100% recyclable, 100% biodegradable paper instead of plastic wrapping.

Finally, the pallet networks’ remarkable strength ultimately comes down to the calibre of their member networks and service offerings. A case in point, UPN, the leading UK pallet network, continues to strengthen its network with the expansion of its comprehensive pallet range and new members nationwide. As our Pallet Network feature reminds us, the current high level of economic activity in this sector confirms pallet networks as a flourishing part of British industry, a major resource for customers, an excellent place to invest and a business model that is being transplanted successfully to the rest of the world.