Rix Shipping has entered into a long term agreement with Stora Enso Timber UK Ltd. to provide stevedoring and logistics services at its terminal at Alexandra Dock, part of the Port of Hull. Rix has made significant investment in a new storage facility based on a combination of Combilift 4-way sideloaders and cantilever racking, making it one of the most efficient timber terminals on the East coast.
“This is the main UK entry point for all of Stora Enso’s timber products from Europe,” explains Director James Doyle, “and we needed a new system that would speed up and streamline handling, storage and onward distribution. We previously free stacked timber, but due to the volumes we now handle, making maximum use of space was a priority, as was a faster picking procedure.”
Collaboration between Rix Directors, Combilift engineers and Product Manager Steve Tomlinson and racking manufactures Wickens enabled the new facility to be up and running within just three months, an impressive achievement for a project of this scale. Three 6 tonne capacity diesel powered Combilift 4-way sideloaders were identified as the most suitable models from Combilift’s range, due to their speed of operation across the long runs needed to take packs of timber from the quayside to the warehouse. Their ability to operate in aisle-widths of just 2.4m was a further bonus.
James Doyle calculates that by going for the combination of cantilever racking and the Combilifts, which he says “are made for each other,” Rix has been able to double its storage capacity compared to the 4-pack high limit with the free stacking method. The Combilifts are fitted with a 7.5m triplex mast enabling easy picking from the top levels of the racking, and hydraulic fork positioners enable quick and easy adjustment of the forks for loads of varying size. A guided aisle system was also specified by James, who recognised that this would contribute to faster operations and reduce the risk of damage to loads as well as to the trucks.
Rix has tripled its output over the last 18 months, and handles around 300,000m2 a year, almost a third of the total volume handled at the Port of Hull. A reliable and efficient handling system is therefore crucial to productive operations, and the Combilifts have provided to be just that. On average the three SL’s – soon to be joined by a fourth – load 20 trailers a day for onward distribution, as well as transporting all the incoming timber offloaded from the ships to the storage facilities.
James sums up: “The specialist nature of this project demanded a bespoke solution, and thanks to all involved we can now provide an optimum service to Stora Enso. Combilift supplied trucks tailored to our specific requirements, drivers find locating stock much more convenient than before and our operation is now quicker, safer and easier all round.”
Combilift 4-way forklifts are all designed and built in Monaghan, Ireland, where the company also has its HQ and R&D facility. The current Combilift range now encompasses at least fifteen base models with capacities ranging from 2.5 – 25 tonnes, with LPG, diesel or AC electric power available. Combilift has won numerous awards for its products since the company was established in 1998, and there are now around 14,000 units in operation around the world.
Rix Shipping is a JR Rix & Sons Limited company and includes a fleet of dry cargo ships, a fleet of estuarial and coastal tankers, shipping agents, a freight forwarding operation, haulage contractor, stevedoring services and terminal operators.
Tel: 00353 47 80500
UK Tel: 07870 976 758