The UK’s wholesale and distribution sector may finally be over the worst of the recession, according to recent research by the British Industrial Truck Association, the UK’s leading trade association for forklift truck manufacturers and suppliers. Overall, the sector’s 2013 output forecast for investment goods has increased to 3%, an upward revision from six months ago.

chazThe latest Close Brothers Business Barometer supports this forecast, with 36% of respondents in the wholesale and distribution sector expecting business to expand in the next year. Focusing on the forklift market, the demand for warehouse trucks has nearly recovered to pre-recession levels and the forecasts are strong.

Cutting expenditure on transit packaging is on every wholesale manager’s to-do list. On our front page, we have the welcome news that FHG IPP Logipal, the UK & Ireland’s second largest pooling supplier and leading high quality pallet pooling specialist, has launched a range of reusable box solutions comprising the FHG Bulk Box, FHG High Protection Box plus handling and packaging accessories including liners, flexible textile inserts and a smart pocket frame. The new FHG Bulk Box range is aimed at the retail and industrial sectors and offers a robust and efficient way to handle, store and carry products.

With warehouse efficiency top priority, Crown is offering lift truck innovations. Following a successful launch last August, Crown’s new ES/ET 4000 Series is expanding again. With the new ESi 4000 pedestrian stacker and ETi 4000 rider stacker, the range is now capable of meeting all stacking challenges, whether racking, retrieving and transporting open or enclosed pallets, working on rough surfaces, loading and unloading lorries over docks and ramps or double stacking, indoors or outdoors.

Also in this feature we report on how Fronius, the Austrian battery charging system specialist, has developed a generation of charging systems for traction batteries that is both a world first and totally in keeping with today’s requirements to be resource-conserving and cost-effective. In addition to a much longer battery service life, one of the most impressive features of the new Ri charging process is its maximum energy efficiency. The new process achieves 90% charging efficiency levels that were previously inconceivable. Combining this with device efficiency, which Fronius has increased to 93 percent, results in a total efficiency value of 84 percent, never attained before.

Fronius “Selectiva” battery chargers with “Active Inverter Technology” are allowing large numbers of forklift truck batteries to be charged at Spar Austria with considerable savings in energy costs compared with conventional 50 Hz transformers. People in Austria know the “Spar” brand with the green fir tree in its logo, and Fronius supports their commitment to sustainability.

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