Welcome to the July 1st issue of Warehouse & Logistics News. At this time of year Britain’s warehousing and logistics industry traditionally honours its brightest and best and we have news of the latest awards in these pages.

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First up, the annual FTA everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards celebrate the ongoing trend to greater gender diversity in this business and the growing number of women in senior jobs. We have news of the 13 inspirational women role models in the UK transport and logistics industry who are this year’s category winners, plus a new prize for a man championing women’s progress in transport and logistics, the Male Agent of Change Award.

Following our preview of the Talent in Logistics 2018 Awards, we report on the winners. Most notably, the prestigious Lifetime Contribution Award was presented to Andy Kaye of Bis Henderson Group, who has spent 20 years ensuring this industry secures the best talent. He set up the charitable trust Novus, which works with universities and companies, ensuring sponsorship and mentoring programmes. He also created a Learning Academy and promotes apprenticeships.

Also in this issue we present our UKWA Awards Preview supplement, coinciding with this year’s ceremony on July 4th at the Dorchester, with the award winners’ champagne sponsored by Warehouse & Logistics News. Among the finalists, Diamond Logistics, one of the UK’s fastest growing logistics businesses, is in the running for Best New UKWA Member, with 314 percent market share growth last year. In the Technical Innovation section Avery, celebrating 200 years in business, is shortlisted with its Avery Weigh-Tronix MPS100 mobile pick station. And in the environment category, lighting efficiency experts Holophane Europe are in the frame with their Holophane Primaspace lighting solution, including light modules that can rotate 180 degrees.

There’s more on lighting in our Warehouse Lighting feature. LED’s recent boom in popularity has sparked an influx of cheap, untested products from the Far East and elsewhere that fall short of EU standards. So before buying LED systems check out the small print on warranties and suppliers’ credentials, and ask about their other clients.

In a few years’ time experts predict 60% of UK consumer shopping will be online. Right now, as our Order Picking feature reminds us, the big challenge is the human factor: labour accounts for half the cost of picking, yet typically order pickers spend only 55% of their time at the pick face! The pressure is on businesses to move to flexible, automated picking systems and redeploy human pickers to other tasks. Leading on from this, as our Storage Solutions feature points out, it will undeniably be warehouse automation that defines not only the future landscape for big warehousing but also the winners and losers in the struggle to win online shoppers, particularly in the grocery sector.

But rest assured, this business will continue to be about people making news and winning awards. Speaking of which, if you’re going to the UKWAs, see you there!