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If not already done so, now is a good time to fill your diaries with must-see events lined up for Spring. The leading European intralogistics show, LogiMAT 2020, for which W&LN is proud to be a media partner for the first time, will leave visitors with much to mull over if attending any of the forums. Subjects will take in Retail logistics 4.0 – Fit for future?, Digitalization: Now or Never! and Sustainable Urban Logistics: New Ideas Are Needed, among many others. If going, why not call in on our stand A72, Hall 3, meanwhile catch a flavour of the show with our LogiMAT supplement, which can be found in the centre of this issue.

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If packaging is your concern, you cannot afford to miss the Packaging Innovations show at the NEC, February 26-27, where you could also drop in on our stand K6 to discuss anything on your mind. And don’t forget to pencil in March 30-April 1, NEC for Foodex, where we hope to see you on our stand N288.

Still in the realms of learning about things to come, you may find the UKWA National Conference of interest, where at the Hallmark Queen’s Hotel, Chester, March 3-4, there will be thought leaders discussing everything from robotics and AI within the supply chain to the impact of ‘Generation Z’ and climate change on logistics. “There can be little doubt,” remarks UKWA’s CEO, Peter Ward, “that those who fail to recognise and adapt to the current future impact of radical change in our industry risk being left behind but with a full schedule of speakers, interactive discussion panels, networking opportunities and more, all those who attend can expect to take away valuable insight to inform future development as they strive to guide their businesses in fast-evolving times.”

On our front cover story, Translift Bendi, pioneers of articulated forklifts, has an interesting slant on how refurbished forklifts can also benefit the environment. After a busy two years investing in parts, the team and putting strategic partnerships in place, plus building up a fleet of over 450 trucks for short, medium and long-term hire the company stresses the importance of its ECO Bendi, which has proved very popular in 2019. At the core of this environmentally-friendly truck is its robust, recycled chassis which saves hours in labour and steel costs, while saving the end users money without compromising on performance. Valuable though this is, compared with articulated forklifts’ ability to enhance their environmental credentials per se, the refurb angle is only one of its remarkable assets on ‘green’ issues.

It is heartening to see in a plastic-fixated time that Goplasticpallets is doing much more than lip service to enhance supply chain sustainability. It has helped companies from more than 60 counties to recycle their plastic boxes and pallets amounting to 251 tonnes by educating their customers on its products through its sign-up scheme which sees the plastic waste recycled at its Belgian facility.

In our loading bay feature we explain why maintenance is such a key issue that is more important now than ever owing to the online shopping revolution which places such importance on demanding delivery times. This need for robust maintenance is also reflected in our order picking section where we explain how a global robotic picking boom seems very likely and what that will mean for the more lucrative side of systems integrators providing robust, after-sales service contracts, an issue where Britain leads.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

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