Heavy duty trolley production needs to keep up with demand

According to logistics experts, the demand for warehouses will exceed supply by 2020. Every new warehouse needs shelving and manual handling equipment. Warehouse equipment manufacturers need to keep up with the high demand for heavy duty trolley production and other manual handling equipment.

Space is running out

Property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton, in its report ‘Industrials & Logistics Market’ predicted that warehouse requirements by retailers and distributors will exceed supply in 2020 by around 25 million sq. ft. A large reason for this extra demand is the rise of online shoppers, who demand quick and efficient service.

The pressure of equipment manufacturers

There are new warehouses being built, but the report notes that there are not enough new warehouses under construction or in the planning stages. All these warehouses need equipment, shelves, heavy duty trolleys, forklift trucks, packing tables, and so on. Though large companies like Amazon and Ocado have automated many warehouse processes, for most organisations, picking and packing items is a manual operation. Trolleys are pushed and pulled by workers to pick items ready for dispatch.

Manual handling equipment manufacturers generally make trolleys and similar equipment in small batches using skilled metalworkers who cut, bend and weld tubular steel to make the equipment. Tubular steel is used because it is relatively lightweight, but strong. Most manufacturers are able to keep up with demand by employing enough highly skilled workers who can build trolleys quickly.

Re-equipping warehouses

It’s not just new warehouses that are increasing demand for warehouse equipment. A study in the USA found that the average age of a fulfilment centre was 34 years, and the UK is likely to be similar. These warehouses were not set up to fulfil online orders. Many supplied large orders to retailers, not numerous small items for individual customers.

There is a need to modernise warehouses by rearranging the shelving systems, adding more trolleys, and having the IT infrastructures to process orders quickly.

Moving location

Not all warehouses are located in the best locations. To meet the demand for quick service, warehouses need to be close to large urban populations. These new urban warehouses need to be high to store large volumes of goods and require equipment to reach high items.

The future of heavy duty trolley production looks positive. Though an old technology, heavy duty trolleys do the job well and help businesses cope with the high demand for online orders. Robots are appearing in many warehouses, but they usually work alongside humans using manual handling equipment.

Posted by Katrina
2nd April 2019

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