Welcome to the November 1st Warehouse & Logistics News. With England through to the Rugby World Cup Final, it’s been an exciting few weeks for the team and fans. We hope you’ve been enjoying following the action with our Rugby World Cup wall chart, sponsored by UPN.

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There’s lots of other action in our pages. In our features, conveying has been transformed in recent years by the speed of technical advance. The innovations available range from standalone conveyors, integrating with existing materials handling systems, to fully automated solutions. In our current climate businesses need to be nimble and suppliers offering end users versatility will win the day.

In our Warehouse Flooring feature, we look at this crucial part of your business, which should be treated with proper care, with regular health checks and remedial treatment as appropriate. The warehouse floor is the part of the building that weathers the most abuse in daily working and can help you diagnose what’s needs fixing in your business.

In our Warehouse Supplement, warehouse automation is a huge trend at the moment, but online fashion retailer Asos reportedly experienced a 68% profit fall after a shedload of problems. Over the last year, Asos has installed more robots in its European warehouses and expanded its US facilities, but now the online retailer says it wasn’t prepared for the additional complexities that followed, hence these results. With many shoppers now prioritising convenience when they shop, retailers have had to adapt: with hindsight, perhaps the sector is not ready to be wholly digitized just yet.

There are some exciting new solutions in our Packaging feature which will stand fruit and veg businesses and ecommerce traders in good stead in the next few months. In recent years returnable transit packaging (RTP) has been a major beneficiary of the booming international trade in short-life foods. As traceability becomes even more important, quality RTP will certainly prove its value.

Someone who’s always had a firm grasp on the key issues is Hilary Devey, founder, owner and chairwoman of Pall-Ex, who recently struck a deal to sell her stake in the European haulage giant. Hilary isn’t exactly quitting the business, but is stepping away from its day-to-day running, and will continue in an ambassadorial role to help develop Pall-Ex’s international services. Group MD Kevin Buchanan – who becomes the biggest individual shareholder – says ownership will be split 30-70 between the board and its 50 or so member companies, mostly in the UK.

And finally, on our cover Steve Callahan, Group Sales Director at Dawson Group says: “The current technology revolution is driving increased demand for rented assets, with companies wanting to ‘try before they hire.’ We always advise as part of our consultation that renting or contract hire is perfect for decisions you need to make today but don’t have to live with tomorrow.”

Mainly recognised as a truck and trailer rental business Dawsongroup has grown steadily since the 1970’s into supplying assets across the supply chain, including temperature control solutions and inflatable structures. Last year the group had a record turnover of £236 million and the growth continues in 2019 as demand for rented assets goes on rising.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

james@warehousenews.co.uk