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Welcome to the latest issue of Warehouse & Logistics News. During these challenging times of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been cheered by news of the industry helping others. When Antalis Packaging received a call from ‘Help NHS Heroes’ asking for a donation of boxes, its packaging team went into immediate action and delivered 1000 boxes to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage by the same afternoon. Parcel delivery firm DPD has helped turn a palliative care nurse’s idea into a nationwide initiative to provide much needed welfare and treat packs for patients and NHS staff. The new initiative – called NHS Thursday – will see thousands of welfare packs and food and treat packs collated and distributed by DPD, to 160 NHS hospitals nationwide. Packaging firm Storopack UK has committed to monthly donations over the next six months to The Children’s Hospital Charity, based in Sheffield.

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In an interview, Rolf Eiten, President and CEO of Clark Europe, says “We must stand together in these difficult times”. His overwhelming message is, “you can count on us.” On our Quote Unquote page, Glyn Johnson, Managing Director of Yorkshire Packaging Systems tells WLN he thinks he has got better with age.

Our doors curtains feature points out that at this time of the COVID-19 crisis there is a greater need than ever for safety around the loading bay. While safety has much improved over the years accidents still happen, many of which involve doors. The best solution to the safety issue is adequate training.

A good order picking system is key to ensuring the smooth flow in and out of goods, even when having staff on the ground is compromised due to sickness and there is a need to stockpile products, our order picking feature emphasises. While we are all absorbed by Covid-19, investing in updating your order picking system might seem the furthest thought from your mind. But now is the ideal time, as downtime is the best time to get your warehouse in order to manage the brave new world.

In our warehouse flooring feature, we learn how the likes of CG Flooring Systems have been looking to the future and getting warehouse floors ready for the robots. Warehouses will be operating robots for their materials handling equipment (MHE) and some demanding level grinding is required to ensure the slab meets the specification for the robots to run on.

Jim Hardisty, Managing Director of Goplasticpallets.com – the Responsible Plastic Pallet Company, explains why plastic should be given the credit it deserves in our cover story. Until recently plastic packaging has been perceived almost exclusively as waste. Despite the ecological advantages of using plastic over other materials, the big plastic debate focused little on the benefits of use. Instead we were overwhelmed with stories of how single-use plastics were damaging to the environment. Now, as we find ourselves amidst the coronavirus pandemic – the biggest global crisis since World War Two, the perception of plastic is changing. People are opening their eyes and seeing plastic products in a new, positive light.

All of the above illustrates that in the darkest times there is light at the end of the tunnel. Until the next issue, stay safe.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

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