Welcome to our ‘The Warehouse’ feature. We’ve got the latest news and customer case studies from leading warehousing and logistics equipment and services suppliers to help you get the best performance out of your warehouse operations this winter.

The warehouse is arguably the most important part of a cash ‘n’ carry or a delivered wholesale operation, besides the management office and purchasing. If you don’t keep it well equipped with up to date and properly maintained equipment at this time of year, performance, productivity and safety will suffer.

Speaking of safety, in the winter it’s often gloomy outside for a large part of the working day, putting more pressure on indoor visibility. So you need to address warehouse safety by paying particular attention to lighting levels, floor markings and signage, including warnings in pedestrian areas about trucks operating.

Winter brings demanding challenges for warehouse operators. As temperatures drop, added strain is put upon key components such as batteries, alternators and tyres as well as engine oil and antifreeze. If forklift trucks are poorly maintained and components fail, downtime is inevitable and costs increase.

Leading industrial truck suppler Toyota Material Handling UK understands how extreme temperatures can affect business operations, not only in terms of logistics and transport but also the implications on the reliability and operation of forklift trucks and warehouse equipment. As detailed in this feature they offer top tips and advice to ensure your forklifts are ready for winter.

No matter what size your operation is, the right equipment will make an immediate difference to operational productivity. As reported in these pages warehouse automation specialist KNAPP AG has been celebrating success in no less than five prestigious retail and logistics awards programmes for the automated handling system it designed and installed for Boots. The system has increased time efficiency by 65% compared to manual operation, while also improving order traceability.

If you don’t need an automated storage and retrieval system in your operation as yet, you will definitely need suitable fork trucks, and a new year is as good a time as any to review and update your warehouse equipment.

As featured on our front page, the BT Lifter hand pallet truck range from Toyota Material Handling is evolving to meet changing operational needs and responding to trends, particularly within the retail and wholesale sector. Toyota offer three unique hand pallet trucks; BT Pro Lifter for easier operation, BT Lifter Silent for out-of hours or residential deliveries and the BT Lifter Half Pallet to manage smaller pallet sizes. First launched in 2004 the BT Pro Lifter hand pallet truck has won various awards including the IMHX Design 4 Safety Awards for the Professionals’ Choice in 2010.

Have a successful and safe winter.

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