With Brexit just around the corner, we are about to enter a tumultuous period. But 2019 is, of course, an IMHX year, and the UK logistics industry’s biggest trade show – co-owned by BITA – should once again give a welcome shot in the arm to all exhibitors.

Simon Barkworth
BITA President

Whatever the ramifications of Brexit, BITA will support its members with guidance to ensure they are able to concentrate on making and selling fork lift trucks. We will work with members, end users, suppliers, stakeholders, government and other trade associations – both at home and globally – to ensure a smooth Brexit process at least for our members.

We have strong influence globally in the setting and upholding of technical standards surrounding the design, manufacture and operation of fork lift trucks, and we do not envisage this status to be diminished post-Brexit. Our members, and the end users of their products, can rest assured that we will continue to fight to ensure the highest technical standards continue to apply to fork lift trucks.

For 2019, in addition to the regular work that goes one behind the scenes – such as providing market statistics and economic forecasts to our members – there are three key areas we intend to focus on.

Firstly, safety – we will continue to concentrate considerable effort on increasing and improving both the integral safety of equipment as well as its operational safety. Industrial trucks are sophisticated, powerful machines, and we have committees and working groups set up to ensure their continued safe, efficient and environmentally-friendly performance.

Secondly, BITA will take a leading role in supporting our members’ shift towards greater levels of automation. A significant decrease in the cost of automating a forklift to perform repetitive tasks means the payback is becoming shorter. At a time when there is tremendous strain on the labour market in the UK, some of these technologies are already proving highly costeffective. BITA will have a significant role to play, because it’s a complicated area from a standards perspective.

Thirdly, BITA needs to take a really strong leading role in attracting new talent into the sector. Using inspirational examples such as former BITA presidents Mike Mathias and Tim Waples – both of whom worked their way up from apprentice to MD of a major MHE company – we need to start making this industry a whole lot more attractive.

Finally, BITA wishes all Warehouse and Logistics News readers a Merry Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you at IMHX in September.

Main Events in 2019

Early Spring – Annual Thought Leadership

Conference and Members Dinner

September – IMHX

About BITA

The British Industrial Truck Association, BITA, is a substantial and dynamic trade association representing a membership of fork lift truck manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and media operating in the UK. It is considered the leading trade body for the sector, due to the broad range and depth of the influence and support it offers its membership.

BITA is the voice of the industry in matters technical and legislative at the highest levels in Europe and internationally. It enjoys a close working relationship with bodies such as the UK Health and Safety Executive, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

As a member of the British Materials Handling Foundation (BMHF), BITA is allied with the Fédération Européenne de la Manutention (FEM), the European manufacturers’ association of materials handling, lifting and storage equipment.

BITA produces a wide range of specialist publications, encompassing best practice and health and safety assurance, as well as technical guidance notes and unique market insight. Its specialist committees include the Truck Suppliers Group (TSG), Technical Policy Committee (TPC), and the Component & Services Group (CSG) among many others.

BITA members, including many international brands, manufacture and distribute over 90% of all new forklifts procured each year in the UK. They employ 7,000 people directly, and enjoy a combined annual turnover of £1.3bn. BITA members play an increasingly important role in the UK’s overall economic health, supply chain effectiveness and environmental performance.


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