Brexit makes predicting warehouse equipment needs difficult

For small to medium businesses, a key to buying materials handling equipment is flexibility, but the uncertainty around the effects of Brexit makes it difficult to predict the warehouse material handling equipment requirements.

Flexibility applies to the type of equipment purchased, how it is operated and how it can adapt to the future growth of the warehouse. The asset manager of Doosan Industrial Vehicles UK, Alan Clark recognises that the warehouse finds it a challenge to be flexible, saying:

“How can businesses provide the agility needed to respond to changing operational requirements, with minimum exposure to risk?”

A warehouse equipment manufacturer can supply manual handling equipment like trolleys and packing tables at a reasonable cost. They are also flexible enough to supply new equipment when needed at short notice. For more expensive forklifts, Clark recommends short-term rental to supplement the forklift fleet. Warehouse logistics will always be unpredictable whether it is affected by Brexit or not, but short-term rental of vehicles enables firms to react quickly to changing conditions.

Another major change is automation. To stay competitive, warehouses are looking at increasing efficiency by using automation. Systems to locate items quickly and pack more items in racking systems can process orders much faster. Fully automated systems replace existing material handling equipment but are not affordable by many small businesses.
Semi-automated systems work with existing warehouse equipment.

With the UK officially leaving the EU last Friday, whatever systems are used need to be flexible and have the material handling equipment to deal with the varying demand levels on the warehouse.

Posted by Derek
3rd February 2020
Retail & Warehousing

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