Welcome to this issue, where despite unusual uncertainties on the global supply chain scene there are still plenty of encouraging pointers.


In our interview with Hilton Campbell, MD of conveyors specialist, Interroll, we learn of the company’s organic growth plans which will be accelerated by the new products coming on line where the company sees high growth potential. One new product launch this year to look out for is its high performance cross belt sorter, or HPCS, which will exploit the booming demand for sorters, fired by the remorseless rise of e-fulfilment centres. With over 400 sortation conveyors installed world-wide, its conveyor products shine through because they are designed to be flexible and modular, making enhances and changes less disruptive. Just how critical such conveyors are to meet the needs of online shoppers can be seen in our conveyors section where the mantra is to go for sorter adaptability.

Storage safety is never far from minds and pallet racking forms a large part of that. In our front cover story SEMA tells us why they are actively working to improve the professionalism of storage equipment installation companies through its SEMA-approved installation companies (SAIC) initiative because “good installations do not come by chance.” It goes on to explain the hoops SAIC members must jump through, and SEMA also expects its SAIC companies to use installers (including sub contract labour) who are qualified under the Storage Equipment Installers Registration Scheme (SEIRS). Why not check out SEIRS’ launch of an updated installation training programme.

The exhibition and conference scene is entering a busy period. Two of the trade shows we hope to see you at on our stands are Foodex, stand N288, and Multimodal, stand 1040, scheduled for the NEC on March 30-April 1 and June 16-18 respectively. Talent in Logistics has announced details of its new Engage Conference designed to help HR talent and operational professionals in transport and logistics embrace the challenges of employee engagement. It takes place at the Cranfield Management Development Centre in Bedford on April 21 and is focussed on how to engage with employees to reduce staff turnover and increased productivity, while improving absence and safety incidents rates. Another HR conference date to consider is the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2020 – showcasing diversity across logistics at the Newark showground on June 24.

If there is one certainty in the uncertain world of global supply chain disruption it is that modern supply chains bear the seeds of vulnerability to high impact/low probability events. The current corona virus is a classic example, and the extent to which this virus is affecting the industry can be read in the sobering review by the Supply Chain Consultancy Group. Their conclusion is that the supply chain managers across the world will have to find short, medium and long-time strategies that will help assess and tackle the virus outbreak on their businesses to cope with its rapid spread. On the long-term issues more can be read in our WMS section on the necessity for corporate resilience.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

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