With over 35 years of loading and unloading experience, Thorworld Industries offers a comprehensive range of solutions from container ramps, loading platforms and dock levellers to loading and unloading accessories, seals and shelters and bespoke products.
As the leading container ramp company in the UK and Ireland, we understand the industry and yours better than anyone. We know that being able to load and unload quickly, effectively and, most importantly safely, is critical to your business.
John Meale – Managing Director of Thorworld, speaks to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products/solutions/services?
Thorworld has been a leading name in the loading bay equipment sector for 35 years and is associated with expertise, safety prioritisation and quality standards.
Recognised for the designs of our UK-manufactured CE certified ramps, we are also recognised throughout the logistics sector for our comprehensive range of loading products and safety accessories.
We only recommended solutions we know will perform. As such, our installations continue to generate significant customer praise and repeat business.
Which industry sectors are your customers in, and which are growing fastest?
We’re a sector-wide supplier, enabling nationwide delivery companies, hospitals, home furnishing businesses, automotive manufacturers, fashion and leisure operations, and food and farming enterprises. Our compact products, including lightweight access ramps, extend our applications and allow safe wheelchair and foot access, or trailer loading for motorcycles and bikes.
In our experience, the ‘next day delivery’ sector – which relies upon smaller, faster vehicles to ensure ‘on time’ distribution – is growing rapidly. The logistical shift requires loading facilities to be re-thought to accommodate smaller vehicles in addition to, or in place of, larger articulated lorries.
What are your most recent product innovations?
We have worked hard to perfect our enabling equipment. Our core product range is reflective of quality and safety and our innovative accessories help improve efficiencies and safety standards.
What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?
The major trend for smaller delivery vehicles to fulfil next-day or even same day deliveries means that loading facilities built for larger vehicles must adapt.
We’ve designed a series of different-sized yard ramps to support smaller vehicles. Creating an ‘instant transformation’ the ramps and supporting platforms can be positioned flush with, or below the dock to safely accommodate different-sized vehicles and help customers stay ahead of the ‘next day delivery’ curve.
Can you tell us about any recent customer contracts and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?
We completed an installation recently for national logistics company 2Excel amidst the Covid-19 lockdown. A front-line food delivery enterprise with a new 10-year contract, 2Excel had pre-lockdown designs in place to purpose-develop a supporting flagship warehouse. When the social distancing guidelines were announced in March 2020, our team worked – safely and responsibly – to ensure the installation was still performed, enabling 2Excel to deliver vital food supplies nationwide.
We’ve helped many companies, similar to 2Excel, to continue essential deliveries during the pandemic. We’re extremely proud of our industry’s key workers; whose commitment to manufacturing, servicing, maintenance, and installation has been considerable in supporting the country’s operations.
How does business in 2019 compare to previous years? What’s your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?
The industries we supply rely on effective logistical solutions. 2019 was successful, with strong orders for ramps and modular docks and demand for our bespoke installations. 2020 will naturally present challenges, however to best prepare for a testing year, we have continued product production, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines and have maintained our ramp rental offering to support active, front line delivery enterprises.
What’s the latest news from your company?
Understandably, COVID-19 is the news of the day. We’re working hard to maintain our business and keep all employees safe and healthy as we continue to manufacture and install orders. We remain confident that, following the pandemic, Thorworld will be as strong as ever.
Can you tell us about any areas where you’re currently making technical advances?
We are a British company, manufacturing within centrally located Derbyshire headquarters to help improve our quality control and negate the need for international transportation – benefitting the environment and our sustainability credentials.
Safety is intrinsic to everything at Thorworld, and we strive to reduce product hazard risk with the continuous development solutions including handrails, warning mechanisms and anti-slip floor coatings.
Are you investing in staff training and skills development?
We believe staff training and skill development help provide customers with better service. We enable health and safety training for office-based and manufacturing staff and continuously support employees with personal professional development.
Are you taking part in any major trade shows? Can you tell us what you’ll be exhibiting there?
Whilst Covid-19 has led to the postponement of many live trade shows, we are, in an online capacity, continuing our successful work with leading industry associations. Our alliances with the Association of Loading and Elevating Equipment (ALEM), the British Materials Handling Federation (BMHF) and the European Federation of Materials Handling (FEM), as both members and associates helps us stay involved in work on Standards, Directives, Regulations and Guidance Documents; which are always considered beneficial in performing safe business practice, but never more so than in today’s challenging safety climate.
t: 01246 260981