Welcome to the October 15th Warehouse & Logistics News. We have two kinds of thought leadership on offer in this issue. First we look at the current wisdom on smarter, safer storage with our SEMA Safety Conference supplement and interviews with storage suppliers BITO, whose customers range from Next to Siemens turbines, and Stakapal, who are reviving the Redirak pallet racking brand. And we have a wealth of insights on business and beyond in our exclusive interview with Lord Digby Jones, former CBI Director- General and now Chairman of specialist logistics provider OnLogistics.


As the SEMA Conference approaches, our Conference supplement’s message is that falling short on storage safety standards risks increased penalties under the new HSE legislation. The best advice is, follow SEMA’s codes for design, installation, use and inspection of storage equipment and you won’t go wrong.

Someone you’re likely to meet at the SEMA Conference is Nick Betteley, former SEMA President and owner and Technical Director of longtime SEMA members Stakapal. As Nick says in our interview, Stakapal has been prominent in the storage industry for over 45 years as the only British manufacturer producing all three types of racking, cantilever, pallet and shop racking, hence they are uniquely qualified to offer a single-source service. Stakapal’s current operations include the reactivated Redirack business, now under Stakapal’s wing.

We also interview Duncan Grime, Marketing Manager of BITO Storage Systems. In recent times BITO has fitted out small item sortation solutions for manufacturing and distribution operations and equipped ecommerce operations for retailers, including Next and George. At the other end of the scale, in our cover page story BITO has provided a streamlined storage solution for Siemens’ Lincoln gas turbine service centre, to store heavy engines safely and efficiently. Instead of storing engines on the warehouse floor, occupying a large footprint and with considerable wasted space above, BITO’s solution was a three-level engine rack providing 72 locations, served by a wire-guided sideloader.

And finally, it’s always interesting to hear the views of someone of Lord Digby Jones’ stature and experience. In our exclusive interview, Lord Digby explains how he keeps his finger on the commercial pulse these days with Non-executive Chairman roles at various companies, including the main topic of our conversation, third party logistics provider OnLogistics, in which he has a personal stake. He is very down to earth about being a celebrity, saying that when it comes to working in business, people’s titles, public recognition and having a well-known past should be things you are willing to leave at the door. The main thing is putting the customer first, second and third. We’ll let you read the full article and see what you think!

Publishing Editor