The theme for UKWA’s 2020 Conference is ‘Logistics for the Next Generation’ – which not only refers to the young people who will increasingly rely on the efficiency of supply chains for all aspects of their lives, but is also an acknowledgement of the fact that, as an industry, logistics is entering a new era, says UKWA CEO, Peter Ward

In September the logistics industry descended on Birmingham’s NEC for four days of networking, free seminars and demonstrations of state-of-the-art intralogistics solutions, at IMHX 2019 – the UK’s largest and busiest materials handling event.

Of course, as the trade association representing the UK’s warehousing industry, UKWA had a strong presence at the event. The UKWA Pavilion was prominently located and generated a real buzz throughout the week as visitors arrived to learn about the workings of UKWA and the benefits of collaborating with our members and I am grateful to all those companies that contributed towards making the Pavilion such a success.

In addition, it was my privilege to moderate a number of fascinating panel discussions throughout the show. A recurring theme was how the logistics industry and the end users it serves can harness new technology and the data it generates to increase productivity and efficiency. I was particularly interested to hear the thoughts of Voiteq’s Head of New Business, Guy Willott, when, along with representatives from Sainsbury’s and Greencore, he explored how integration of systems and best use of data is leading to success and growth for a number of Voiteq’s clients.

There is no doubt that logistics service providers will have to engage with rapidly advancing technology and concepts such as ‘big data’ if they are to succeed and, going forward, those companies that fail to embrace the opportunities and, of course, the challenges, that innovation is bringing risk falling so far off the pace that they may well struggle to ever catch up.

I firmly believe that keeping members informed of the changes in technology that are impacting on our sector is a vitally important part of UKWA’s role and it was interesting to note that many of the topics that were up for discussion at the numerous conference and seminar sessions held throughout IMHX were themes that anyone who attended UKWA’s Annual Conference earlier this year would have been familiar with.

I am sure that 2020’s UKWA Conference – which takes place in March 2020 and, like this year’s event, is being held at the Hallmark Queen Hotel, Chester, will prove equally ‘on message’.

For 2020’s Annual Conference we have chosen the theme ‘Logistics for the Next Generation’ which not only refers to the young people who will increasingly rely on the efficiency of supply chains for all aspects of their lives – but is also an acknowledgement of the fact that, as an industry, logistics is entering a new era.

The reality is that our industry is changing more quickly than at any time in its history. Indeed, with over a third of the exhibitors at IMHX showing some form of automation, robotics or autonomous vehicles, it is clear that the days when warehousing conjured up images of men in brown cotton storeman’s overcoats checking inventory with a clipboard and a pencil are long gone!

We are in the process of drawing up an influential programme of speakers that will arm members who attend 2020’s UKWA conference with the kind of knowledge that is essential as they guide their businesses through these fast evolving times.

Peter ward

UKWA, CEO

Goplasticpallets.com new Key Account Sales Manager

GoPlasticPallets.com is pleased to announce the appointment of Esther Bussell in the new role of Key Account Sales Manager.

Esther, who has worked in the pallet industry for over 13 years, brings her in-depth knowledge and experience of the pallet industry to GoPlasticPallets.

Esther commented: “I’m delighted to join the team during a period of tremendous growth. There are many reasons why I knew GoPlasticPallets was right for me, one being the extensive range and quality of the products, allowing me to recommend the best plastic pallets for the client’s application!”

Growth see’s Warehouse Systems Limited relocate

Family owned, Warehouse Systems Limited (WSL) have enjoyed steady growth and continual success since formation in 1989. In more recent years their operations have magnified resulting in all employees, equipment and machinery set to up sticks and move to new premises in the next few days.

The company specialise in providing bespoke storage solutions including a wide range of pallet racking systems, shelving systems, mezzanine floors and ancillary equipment. Their current site at Albion Business Park has been home to the business for the last twelve years and it is here, WSL first entered fabrication and where they now manufacture a wide range of bespoke products including mezzanine floors, stairs, handrails, guiderails, cantilever racking, pallet gates and protection barriers. Since opening the factory in 2007 their continual drive to exceed in quality and safety standards resulted in WSL becoming the largest British manufacturer of mezzanine floors to achieve Full SEMA Membership whilst holding the CE Marking BS:EN 1090 accreditation. Their strong team of designers, project managers and fabrication engineers work in collaboration to ensure the very best result for each of their clients. Benefitting greatly from a truly customized service, clients can rest assured knowing that the same team are managing their project from initial design to installation with the added benefit of quality and safety assurance.

30 years strong, WSL’s growing client base has resulted in a larger workforce and an increased desire to broaden their manufactured product range. Having outgrown their premises at Albion Business Park, WSL have purchased a two-acre site just a stone’s throw from their current site, which offers an industrial space of 27,000 sq ft. This exciting move to Brancepeth Place will allow WSL the much needed space to accommodate their expanding team as well as an opportunity to introduce new fabricated products. This will add more flexibility and uniqueness to the already attentive services currently provided to their clients.

WSL’s Managing Director: Sophie Langdale said

“The move to Brancepeth Place is very exciting for us as a business and also for our employees and customers. The added space will allow us to expand our fabricated product range and work on a wider variety of projects. It will also provide our staff with a top of the range working environment.

We’ve carried out some extensive redevelopments to the site and we are all itching to get in. It’s a great way to celebrate our 30th year and we are looking forward to another 30 years in our new home.”

ELOKON wins Design4Safety Award

Safety and assistance systems developer and supplier ELOKON received yet another industry accolade for its ELOprotect product, which won the Industrial Vehicles & Ancillary category at this year’s BITA (British Industrial Truck Association) Design4Safety Awards. ELOprotect beat a strong line of contenders for first place, underlining the increasing success of this system in the UK as well as in other global markets.

Along with all other ELOKON products, ELOprotect is designed to ensure the highest levels of accident prevention in the warehouse when industrial vehicles such as forklifts are working in proximity to the human workforce. It is a laser-based VNA vehicle-pedestrian safety system which monitors danger zones around forklifts and is automatically activated when a truck enters the narrow aisle. If it detects persons, other forklifts or obstacles it emits visual and acoustic warnings to pedestrians and drivers and automatically brings the vehicle to a standstill. The system is available with various modules such as anti-collision protection to enable the simultaneous operation of multiple VNA trucks in one aisle, ensuring not only maximum safety but also high levels of productivity.

The ELOKON team accepted the trophy from BITA Secretary James Clark during this year’s Logistics Awards which took place on 26th September. ELOKON MD Alexander Glasmacher comments: “We are delighted with this latest award for ELOprotect, which confirms our major contribution and commitment to increased warehouse safety. Recognition from major bodies such as BITA and the FLTA – which chose ELOprotect as its Safety winner in 2018 – mean a great deal for us as well as our customers, who know that they are on to a winning solution when they work with ELOKON”.