The increased demand for Flexi articulated trucks – which are built in the UK at Flexi Narrow Aisle’s production facility in the West Midlands – is coming not only from the home market but also from overseas.
John Maguire, sales and marketing director of Flexi Narrow Aisle, comments: “In the UK we have won a lot of new business from third party logistics (3PL) specialists, freight forwarders and retailers operating internet fulfillment operations who are investing in new facilities, while Europe and the emerging BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China – continue to offer excellent export growth and future opportunities.”
“No one can really be certain how the local and economic situation will develop over the coming months but we are optimistic that we can consolidate and build on 2011’s growth during 2012” added John Maguire.
A particular highlight of 2011 for Flexi Narrow Aisle was when the company’s managing director and founder Peter Wooldridge was presented with the Forklift Lift Truck Association’s prestigious Award for Services to the Forklift Truck Industry in recognition of his significant contribution to the forklift truck business.
Peter received his award – which is dedicated to an individual whose contribution to the materials handling world has been outstanding – at the Forklift Truck Association’s (FLTA) Annual Awards evening in Birmingham.
He was presented with his bronze FLTA ‘Archie’ Award by BBC Radio Two’s Sally “Traffic” Boazman.
In announcing Peter as the winner, Sally Boazman, said: “Peter is an innovator and an entrepreneur, whose expertise – both as an engineer and as a businessman – has helped to change the face of the fork lift truck industry… and not once, but twice.
“He has been designing groundbreaking warehousing trucks – and building them in the UK – since the mid 1970s. Indeed, his company’s first creation, the Rota-Reach, seemed so unusual it earned him an appearance with Raymond Baxter on Tomorrow’s World.
“Peter went on to become a pioneer and leader in the development of Very Narrow Aisle technology – popularising the concepts of guided lateral stacking and man-up order picking trucks.
“Then, in 1990, he repeated the feat – and played a huge role in bringing the novel idea of articulated trucks squarely into the mainstream.
“In the intervening two decades, thousands of Flexi trucks have been sold and Peter’s love of travel has helped his company to build a presence worldwide – supplying customers as far afield as India, China and South Africa with trucks manufactured in the UK.”
Peter Wooldridge said: “It was a great honour to receive the award. It was particularly satisfying because it is made by the industry itself and it is always pleasing to have achievements recognised by your peers.”
“British manufacturing success stories are all too rare these days and, in the forklift truck industry, they are almost unheard of, so I consider this award to be not simply a reward for my efforts but recognition of the marvellous quality of the products that my team build.”
“Back in the 1990s, the Flexi concept was initially received by many commentators as a quirky, niche product, but the Flexi articulated truck has gone on to revolutionise the way palletised loads are stored and picked at many warehouses and distribution centre,” said Peter Wooldridge.
The success of the articulated forklift concept has been built around the fact that its clever design allows it to load and unload trailers like a counterbalance forklift truck and work comfortably within very narrow aisles saving up to 50 per cent of space required without compromising productivity.
Over the past two decades the Flexi has become the most popular articulated forklift truck in Europe. Over 5000 units – not only in Europe but throughout the world – have been sold and the Flexi range continues to be developed to cover the requirements of customers operating in hugely diverse industries.
Flexi Narrow Aisle