Loadhog is a multi-award winning, employee owned, UK manufacturer, dedicated to the design and manufacture, sales and pooling of returnable packaging solutions across a diverse range of industries. Firmly committed to reducing logistics and packaging waste, Loadhog is known for genuine innovation in packaging design, providing benefits throughout the supply chain.
Sue Matthews, Project Manager at Loadhog Limited speaks to Warehouse & Logistics News.
What are your best-known products/solutions/services?
Loadhog is best known for solving supply chain problems by designing and manufacturing innovative, sustainable packaging and reusable solutions which save companies valuable time, money and labour. The company entered the returnable transit packaging (RTP) market with the Pallet Lid, a product designed to replace single use packaging, such as plastic stretch wrap, which dramatically increased labour efficiency. Loadhog’s RTP range has grown significantly since its birth, with new innovations yearly including container and manual handling products.
Which industry sectors are your customers in and which ones are growing fastest?
The key growth areas for Loadhog are within the retail, last mile delivery and postal sectors. Buying habits have increased e-commerce applications massively, encouraging businesses to improve intralogistics and invest in automated warehousing. Loadhog’s extensive range of Attached Lid Containers (ALC) has most recently seen the addition of the Apollo and Artemis range, both with automation features to integrate with the latest supply chain technology, to extend their lifespan on the conveyor and maximise efficiency throughout the supply loop.
What are your most recent product innovations?
Most recently Loadhog launched a new line of Dollies with a uni-link feature enabling easy transportation of multiple loads and Pallet Lid compatibility, making a transportability system as versatile as it is efficient.
What are the major trends and developments affecting your category and your customers, and how are you responding?
The most relevant trend is, of course, coping with the effects of the COVID-19 which has increased the growth of intralogistics integration at a rapid pace, as companies attempt to futureproof their supply chains and safeguard their longevity. Environmental concerns are once again creeping up the list of priorities for operations directors, with Loadhog seeing increasing interest in its sustainable replacements for the single use comparatives, especially the Pallet Lid.
Can you tell us about any recent customer contracts and how you helped the customer meet their challenges?
Our fruitful relationship with Penguin Random House started after PRH had held an internal sustainability meeting during which it was decided that a reduction of the company’s one-trip plastic usage was essential Loadhog was contacted after PRH found the Loadhog Pallet Lid online. We mapped PRH’s supply chain out to develop an understanding of the ‘touch points’ and how the Pallet Lids would help to reduce them and increase efficiencies.
We analysed the operation and discovered the opportunity for significant cost savings – most impressively reducing, by more than two and a half minutes, the time taken to secure each pallet– and single use resources. We mapped out the rest of the supply chain, analysed inbound and outbound flows, discovering other closed loop processes where the Lid could add value to PRH’s operation. Removing single use plastic is never easy, especially when dealing with partners’ upstream, downstream or third-party logistics.
The key barrier is obviously the initial investment transferring to reusable resources but there is always a good return when utilised properly and a good buy by most forward-thinking organisations.
The great news is that PRH has been speaking at conferences encouraging other organisations to implement sustainable solutions, such as the Loadhog Pallet Lid.
How does business in 2019 compare to previous years? What’s your strategy for succeeding in the current climate?
Loadhog has gone from strength to strength since 2018. In 2019 the company established a strong position within the realms of containers and in 2020 Loadhog has seen significant increase in Pallet Lid sales on top of the success with its expanded ALC range.
What’s the latest news from your company?
With business continuing to grow the decision was made to rebrand the company, which meant significant expenditure on updating so many areas of the company, both internally and externally, which impressed by all concerned
This year the company was proud to receive the Sheffield Outstanding Business of the Year Award and honoured with the Queen’s Award for International Business. Most recently Loadhog raised more than £2,500 for the NHS by selling discounted Attached Lid Containers to staff and local companies to encourage them to ‘get organised’ during the lockdown.
Can you tell us about any areas where you’re currently making technical advances?
Recently Loadhog implemented a new manufacturing process to increase the annual output of a single part from 60,000 to 1,000,000.
Are you investing in staff training and skills development?
As an employee-owned organisation, people are its biggest asset. Every employee has a vested interest in the business and therefore plays a significant part in its growth. Every employee has its own progression plan with training playing a key part in that.
Are you taking part in any major trade shows? Can you tell us what you’ll be exhibiting there?
Loadhog considers each trade show, at home and abroad, for its potential value to the company. A stand was booked at the planned exhibition in Coventry – IntraLogisteX – which unfortunately was cancelled due to the pandemic. No others are planned for the same reason.