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Welcome to the April 15th issue of Warehouse & Logistics News. We hope everyone in the industry is staying safe in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. While this has been a challenging time, it has also provided inspiring examples of how the industry is pulling together for the good of the nation. One Lancashire refrigerated van manufacturer is battling on with a skeleton workforce to ensure the nation has access to vital drugs and food supplies. CoolKit, in Burnley, has a team of 25 staff working hard to convert vehicles essential to the safe delivery of pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs to frontline organisations across the UK. Rupert Gatty, CoolKit CEO, said: “We feel duty bound to join the national effort at this unprecedented time. The most important things needed around the country right now are medicines and food supplies and we are helping our customers increase the safe transportation of these products.”

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In his column, Peter Ward, CEO, of UKWA writes that it’s critical the logistics sector responds quickly and decisively in this time of need. Facilities, vehicles and workforce have a vital part to play in ensuring that essential supplies continue to course through our national supply networks. If ever the country depended on logistics, it’s right now. Protecting warehouse staff must be the primary concern for all businesses operating during this difficult time. Strict working practices must be followed regarding social distancing during traveling to work, entering a warehouse and within operational processes. Extra protective equipment should be made available and work based common rooms or canteens should be closed.

Our loading bays feature points out that the last thing any warehouse operator wants at this time is to further burden the already overstretched health services by allowing staff to get injured. In the loading bay, there is the risk of vehicle creep during the loading process or of staff slipping on wet surfaces. It is therefore worth considering the likes of BID Group and Assa Abloy – providers of dock shelters, restraint systems, platforms and any other equipment that makes the process of loading and unloading safer.

Lifting specialist Konecranes has said its top priority during this period of great uncertainty is the health and safety of its employees and their families, its customers, and the communities it operates in, as flagged up in our lifting feature. It has adopted measures including restricting travel, working from home and increasing employee spacing at work sites. On the operational side, Konecranes is fully committed to supporting the business continuity of its customers, some of which are playing critical roles in ensuring the uninterrupted flow of essential goods such as food and medical supplies.

In our power sources feature Stuart Browne, Operations Director-Sales and Service at Hoppecke UK, recommends steps to keep batteries in peak condition while electric forklifts are idle for a prolonged period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, our cover story highlights how Kite Packaging wants its customers to use less packaging and to spend less on it. The firm focuses on ways it can support businesses to achieve this goal. By offering products that use less plastic or are alternatives to plastic as well as products that can be re-used, Kite is able to support businesses who have a stated aim to reduce the negative impact of plastics on the environment.

Until next time, let’s stay safe, look after staff and customers and keep the nation moving.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

 

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