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Welcome to the 1 April issue of Warehouse & Logistics News, the fortnightly publication for the industry. In our scheduled features, The Loading Bay includes industrial doors, dock levellers and dock lifts. The Fork Trucks feature takes a look at all things fork truck, including counterbalance trucks, VNA trucks and other specialist machines. Racking & Shelving covers pallet racking, shelving and storage solutions.

Read the ‘April 1st’ digital edition

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No jokes in this column this April Fools Day, things are serious out there. Dominating the news as we closed, the Japanese earthquake and the tsunami that followed have united people around the world in sympathy with the sufferings of the Japanese population in the devastation we’ve all witnessed in the media coverage.

The UK warehouse and logistics industry has strong links with Japan, which we tend to take for granted. Not only are we major importers of Japanese consumer goods and business items, but many of the leading suppliers of forklift trucks, IT devices and other equipment that we rely on day in day out come from Japan.

These companies have well established British operations and distributor networks, and are major employers in the UK. Businesses are built on people working together, and our thoughts are with everyone both here and in Japan affected by these appalling events as they try to restore normality in their lives and in their businesses.

A few days before the earthquake, the Logistics Leaders’ Network’s second Annual Luncheon took place at Twickenham Stadium. The first speaker was Mike Balmer, ex-RAF Special Forces and then Logistics Director of Eurocopter UK and now an international logistics consultant, talking about ensuring supply chain continuity after a business interruption. The second speaker was Chris Garrett, board member of the London Olympics Delivery Authority, on the logistics infrastructure being put in place to secure 2012’s place as the best Olympic Games ever.

It’s too early to begin to assess the scale of the damage from the disaster in Japan, or how long it will take to rebuild some sort of normality. But things will eventually recover, and the pace can be accelerated if the rest of the world helps with the massive logistics effort it’s going to need.

Listening to the speeches at Twickenham, the message came across loud and clear that Britain has some of the best logistics talent in the world. Hopefully we will be among those countries providing our skills and expertise to help Japan on its journey to recovery in the weeks and months ahead.

Have a successful April.

Warehouse & Logistics News

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