Welcome to the February 1st issue of Warehouse & Logistics News. With sustainability being top of the agenda, Oakland International’s distribution business doubled in 2021 with further investment planned in sustainable technologies and electric vehicles over the coming 12-months set to bring their fleet to over 100 prime movers. The total supply chain solutions specialist launched Oakland Distribution in 2020 in response to customer need for supply chain resilience and control at a time when the market was quite tumultuous. Warehouse automation is enabling PHOENIX Healthcare Distribution to fulfil patients’ repeat prescription orders efficiently and securely from its facility in Runcorn, Cheshire. The company is using the Pack2Patient automated logistics solution developed and delivered by KNAPP, which enables single items to be processed rapidly, cost-effectively and with end-to-end traceability. The solution featuring 5 Pack2Patient lines, which was supplied to the Runcorn distribution centre in 2019, has been so successful that PHOENIX recently installed an additional line at the site.

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Vertical storage lift company Randex has announced the latest integration of its ‘Compact’ automated storage technology with an ERP system – the IFS, or Industrial and Financial System. Compact can now be integrated with over twenty established enterprise systems including IBM Maximo, SAP, JDA, Red Prairie and Blue Yonder. Organisations report productivity improvements of up to 400% following a successful integration using its simple API say Randex.

SICK has launched The Monitoring Box, a simple system that enables plug-and-play condition monitoring and preventative maintenance of sensors, machines, processes and plants. The SICK Monitoring Box can be adapted for diverse individual operating requirements to provide live status feedback and historical analysis, supporting more effective maintenance and optimised efficiency. With the SICK Monitoring Box, all kinds of industrial operations from manufacturing and logistics to ports, transport systems or waste management facilities, can begin to digitalise their processes on the road to Industry 4.0.

Lift truck operators need to be aware that the permitted uses for rebated fuels, including red diesel, will be reduced from 1 April. Those no longer permitted to use rebated fuel will need to use fuels (diesels or biofuels) upon which full excise duty is paid, such as white diesel. For applications no longer permitted to use rebated fuel, the fuel in a vehicle or machine and in any storage tanks, should be used up before 1 April, says our fork lift trucks feature.

It may well take many years before ecommerce businesses reach the point where they can deliver net-zero supply of the products that consumers want. However, what they can do quickly is to reduce excess packaging, according to our packaging feature. While it is fantastic to see the innovation in the packaging industry, one hopes net zero can be reached.

Enjoy reading the issue.

James Surridge

Publishing Editor

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