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chaz1Welcome to the 1 May Warehouse & Logistics News. Black clouds are a well-worn metaphor for those big problems that affect what we’re doing, and which we’re powerless to control, like the recession or the outcome of the election (hopefully not a return to recession…) But there was nothing metaphorical about the recent black cloud of volcanic ash that closed UK airports for several days and brought airfreight movements to a standstill.

Not many years ago, such an event wouldn’t have raised a logistics eyebrow, because all factories had buffer stock to tide them over and/or relied on locally sourced parts. In today’s globalised markets, depending on complex, worldwide supply chains geared to Just in Time delivery, much of it involving airfreight, that’s not an option. Here’s a question to ponder – should contingencies for the unexpected be built in to our stretched supply chains?

No one predicted the Icelandic black cloud. At least we can schedule our features! This month’s Fork Trucks feature includes counterbalance trucks side loaders, VNA, reach trucks and other specialist machines. In Conveying & Sortation we cover automated materials handling equipment and IT solutions. Health & Safety looks at precautionary measures including fire and smoke alarms, fire prevention and vehicle reversing alarms.

We have interviews in this issue with three companies who have each been helping their customers come through the recession, in different ways. First, Leicester-based CI Logistics has made itself a name for over 30 years for its bespoke, fully integrated solutions for handling and storage of packages, materials and garments. Led by Gary Bale, Managing Director, CI’s strategy going forward is to promote the business as one identity, with the different parts working together on customer solutions, and a commitment to rapid response to customer enquiries, starting with its new-look web site as the portal.

Our second interview is with Structure-flex, currently enjoying major growth in orders from high-profile drinks brands and brewers for its digitally printed curtains for commercial vehicles and trailers, for which it offers a fully vertically integrated print and production service. We interview Ian Doughty, MD of Structure-Flex, and showcase their recent work.

Our third interviewee is Dr Robert Perryment, whose Distribution Hygiene Services offers specialist services few other cleaning companies can offer, including ‘builder’s cleans’ of new sites. On the food side, DHS specialises in cleaning coolers in distribution centres in both chilled and freezer chambers. It regularly carries out annual cleans for major food distribution depots including Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Wincanton, Waitrose, Brakes and 3663, and is acknowledged as the leading authority in this field.

Happy reading, and enjoy the sunshine.

Warehouse & Logistics News

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