Welcome to the latest issue of Warehouse and Logistics News. This week WLN has been cheered up by speaking to Martin McVicar, the managing director of forklift manufacturer Combilift. Martin said the firm is doing well despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. Combilift is running a two-shift operation to maintain social distancing. By doing this, the company has been able to keep production levels at 90%. Martin is also happy to report that Combilift is also doing virtual warehouse visits via WhatsApp and Skype.


Large fires in industrial and commercial properties in the UK occur on a regular basis. Even if a business survives the incident, there will be impacts on trading, profitability and reputation, as well as negative impacts up and down its supply chain and environmental implications. The Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA) is interested to better understand current thinking and concerns among commercial property owners and occupiers regarding fire protection and regulation. To this end, the BSA has created an online survey, at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/G8DC6ZB.

Our warehouse lighting feature reports on how the lighting industry is showing resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. A survey by the LIA (Lighting Industry Association) to discover the effect of the lockdown on the industry found 89% of members are keeping their businesses open in some form and 71% reported having a recovery plan in place ready for the removal of lockdown measures. It is great to see the industry thinking positively and looking forward with a view to how it will progress beyond the current challenging season.

Inevitably, more businesses are taking steps towards reopening as they begin to understand what the ‘new normal’ will look like and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic deepens. Facilities managers can help build a new generation of workplaces which can allow their staff to work safely, flexibly, collaboratively and productively, maximising the benefit to the individual and the organisation, our buildings/facilities feature notes.

As different sectors of the economy start to open again, we can expect demand for chilled and frozen food to pick up too, says our cold storage and distribution feature. However, pubs, restaurants, mass gatherings and international leisure travel are expected to be among the last sectors back in operation. Seeking out new sources for orders to replenish diminished demand from these sectors will be vital for many cold chain businesses.

Talking of cold storage, Grøntvedt Pelagic has expanded its cold storage capacity even further with the addition of a third Rubb ‘Thermohall’, our cover story reports. Grøntvedt Pelagic, one of Norway’s leading producers of herring, salted fish, dryfish, and clipfish, chose Rubb as the supplier for their third warehouse project at Ørland in Sør Trøndelag. Rubb’s fabric structures provide the ideal environment for temperature controlled cold storage. With quick construction time, energy efficiency, and modular design they provide the perfect solution for recent warehouse shortages.

Enjoy reading the issue, and take care.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

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