Welcome to this issue where there is much to read of an encouraging and cautionary kind. First up, on our front page SEMA, the British trade association of the storage equipment industry, warns buyers to beware of suppliers or manufacturers who claim that their products meet the standards of the FEN 10.1.02 code, which is generally accepted is now out of date and has been superseded by EN 15152.

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Still on the cautionary tack, Peter Ward, the CEO of UKWA, under the heading: “Not a done deal,” warns that “Getting Brexit Done by passing a withdrawal agreement is deeply misleading.” The fact is that this catch-phrase is only ratifying an agreement which will signify the beginning of intensive and extensive negotiations to implement wide-ranging changes that could well take years to complete. “In short, this is the start and not the end of Brexit and not until we know the nature and timing of that relationship and the processes for managing it will the business world have the much-needed forward certainty business craves.”

In our interview sections you can learn from Victoria Blake, EasyFairs Event Director UK Packaging Portfolio, how the vibrant packaging industry is shaping up to meet the challenges ahead posed by environmental issues, provided you visit the Packaging 2020 exhibition scheduled for February 26-27 at the NEC. The show spotlights packaging innovations and features a comprehensive seminar programme which allows visitors to hear industry leaders, innovators and policy influencers.

DawsonGroup has some interesting comments following its recent overview of reliance on rental, driven by the uncertainty of our immediate future. It focuses on the presence of the DawsonGroup in materials handling and how they are revolutionising rental to benefit customers. A good example is the company’s recent purchase of £1.3m of various Combilift trucks. Combilift could not support new lead times or short-term demand from its network of UK dealers, says DawsonGroup, an opportunity gap they have now filled.

Doing its bit to help aspirational e-commerce brands, 3PL has responded to the warehouse shortage by building a new distribution centre. Based in Wigan, it is aimed at the e-commerce and wholesale sectors and will usher in round-the-clock operations and the introduction of extended cut-off times for next-day delivery and enhanced same-day despatch.

To return to packaging, why not see our packaging section and what the industry is doing to meet challenging environmental issues, while over in our buildings facilities section you can see how the concern over shortages of storage space can be eased by fast-build temporary warehousing.

Not to be left out of the news, we are proud to announce our media partnership with the Big Logistics Diversity 2020 Challenge through Talent in Logistics and the RTITB. This is designed to promote the diversity, equality and inclusion across the logistics industry.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

james@warehousenews.co.uk