Welcome to our festive issue where you will, perhaps, find more encouraging, cautionary and thought-provoking news than usual.
Cold store operators will know that the biggest single operating cost is energy which can account for 25% of total costs but that is no longer the case. To find out more check out our news from NewCold and B-Build who are breaking ground for an automated, ‘dark,’ shared-user cold store in Brittany. It will be one of the largest in France, with a low oxygen environment to eliminate the risk of fire from within entirely. The total building design needs only half the energy consumed by conventional cold stores so top marks to NewCold and B-Build for trailblazing on cold store energy costs and helping the environment in the process!
The news on the 3PL front has provided wake up calls, something that UKWA’s CEO, Peter Ward, explains with their latest release on the 3PL viability outlook. Under their sub head, Profit Warning, he says that unless there is some uplift in the price that logistics providers are prepared to charge their clients, many 3PLs will wake up to find that their business models are unsustainable. “Quite simply, if the 3PLs are to stand any chance of meeting the challenges of our fast-evolving society …..margin erosion has to end.” Currently, margins are as low as 1% or even less. Why not check out the rest of UKWA’s sober warning for the implications of this parlous state on necessary future investments in robotics and AI and why 3PL subsidising of online consumers is no longer sustainable.
Scurrying around for warehouse space owing to pressing Brexit-related issues has also been much in the news, but Wincanton believes the future of warehousing lies in collaborative space. Nothing new in that, you may think, but the process is mostly manual and reliant on relationships with providers and points of contact rather than an effective desire to maximise the storage potential available. But what is new is that Wincanton now offers a simple, online virtual collaboration platform, oneVASTwarehouse.com, to streamline this process further and take collaboration within the wider industry to a new level.
In the forklift arena, Linde Material Handling will be making waves with its new generation of IC counterbalance trucks in the 2-3.5 tonne hydrostats range which takes the interaction between man and machine to the next level, delivering new standards in terms of availability, efficiency, sustainability and safety, and includes Industry 4.0 readiness. Influenced by a survey of nearly 1,000 forklift drivers and fleet manager from 26 countries, it has driven Stefan Prokosch, senior vice president for industrial trucks, to remark: “They are the most cost-efficient trucks on the market.”
Worth checking out are our three feature sections on forklifts, storage space issues and pallet focus. On forklifts, there is advice on how to get your drivers to ‘love’ their machines. The key is truck reliability but how do you achieve that? To find out more, check out the section. In our storage space feature, the angst over finding extra storage space could be alleviated by taking a fresh look at how existing space is used.
The perception is that UK operators vastly under-utilise the space that they have already. To learn more on how to achieve it look up our tips. Our pallet focus section reveals how there is often more heat than light when trying to deal with the environmental issues of materials used in load mediums like plastic, wood, paper and composites. See the latest views on the materials’ protagonists that might help you improve your pallet operations.