Each issue, SHD Logistics magazine features opinions from leading figures in the industry. If you missed our October opinion articles - fear not - they're now available online.
Speculative warehouse building boosts forklift sales
BITA President David Rowell looks at a report highlighting the return of speculative warehouse building as the economy takes off - and the potential this holds for forklift sales.
A recent report from property company DTZ* has highlighted that the take up of 8m sq ft of ‘Grade A’ industrial property in the first half of 2014 was the highest half-year figure on record. When all grades are examined, the figure is 15.9m sq ft, the largest amount since H1 2010, with the retail sector particularly strong. These figures reflect how the UK economy is really powering ahead across all regions. Supply of high-quality space is not keeping up with demand, pushing up rents and prompting developers to return to build warehouses and industrial property speculatively in several regions. In London, the South East and East, and the Midlands, this is particularly prevalent, with large developments in Northampton, Warwickshire, the London Gateway and Dunstable...
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SEMA heads towards zero storage handling accidents
Mike Tucker, chairman of SEMA’s SEIRS Management Committee, talks to SHD Logistics about recent developments in storage safety and training.
SEMA places health and safety at the heart of its agenda. Liaison with statutory and independent bodies has been a key element of our remit since the Storage Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (SEMA) was set up as our industry’s lead body almost 50 years ago. With a mandate to improve safety in the storage industry, over the years we’ve worked cohesively with the HSE and other bodies to establish and continually improve safe working practices. Two recent alignments with RoSPA and the CSCS have both borne fruit. SEMA’s programme of courses has been RoSPA approved. Recently, the leading certification card scheme for construction the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) backed SEMA’s requirement for installer training to be on-going in the storage equipment industry on the basis that safety is of paramount importance and that regulations continually evolve. Refresher training is seen an integral and essential part of this mission. CSCS cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications. Now in its 15th year, the Storage Equipment Installers’ Registration Scheme, SEIRS, (run by SEMA) is an ID card and registration system. SEIRS qualified personnel are recognised by CSCS in the category of a Construction Related Occupation (CRO). They can work on construction sites as they have met the requirement for up to date training and qualifications...
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AMSHA looks at the latest generation of automation
In this month’s article from the Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA), Steve Knights, AMHSA Council Member, looks at the benefits of investing in the latest generation of automation.
The first organisations to adopt a new technology can reap the benefits of the competitive advantage that it can bring. Those who wait for the proven and improved later versions of a new technology can also gain an advantage but they may well be losing a significant edge as they wait.
Take, for example, one of the greatest inventors and entrepreneurs of modern times, Thomas Edison. One of his most famous schemes was to offer homes, offices and factories the new wonder of electricity. Edison provided a 110V DC supply programme and, as his power was far cheaper and more efficient than the existing town gas and kerosene, his customers prospered. However, the thick and costly distribution wires of the DC system forced him to build lots of small, local power-generating stations close to his clients. Along came the Westinghouse organization with a more efficient AC system using transformers so that power could be sent over long distances with relatively small wires at very high voltages, and then stepped down to the voltage required by the user.
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Logistics industry faces driver shortage
In light of the recent passing of the deadline for Driver CPC qualification, Dr Ross Moloney, CEO of Skills for Logistics, looks at ways to address the shortage of HGV drivers.
At the end of August, with just a fortnight to go before the Driver CPC deadline of 10th September, I was invited on to Stuart Linnell’s Breakfast show on BBC Radio Northampton to discuss logistics and the driver shortage. The show received a huge amount of interest, but then logistics in the Northampton area employs some 45,000 people and is warning of a crisis due to the shortage of LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) drivers. Before going on the show we did some number crunching at SfL and found that in Northamptonshire at that time, for every one candidate qualified to be a lorry driver there are nine vacancies. This is a pinch point reached even before the economy really gets going...
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UKWA overhaul of governance structure
UKWA’s chief executive officer Roger Williams reveals a significant overhaul of its governance structure that is expected to lead to more streamlined decision making processes and, ultimately, greater benefits for members.
Twelve months ago we took the decision to review our articles of association, and during the review we discovered that there were a number of aspects of our existing governance set-up that could politely be described as ‘not best practice.’ For example, it was felt that our management committee was too large which sometimes resulted in the level of debate being far lower than we would like at meetings. We also had problems with succession planning and needed to introduce an appraisal system to ensure that members of our board had the skills and experience that we required. In addition, we examined our regional structures and felt there was room for improvement. Historically, we have relied on a number of volunteer regional chairman who, among other things, organised networking events for members. But gradually the interest in attending them has declined, so clearly things needed refreshing...
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See more opinion pieces from industry leaders in the November 2014 issue of SHD Logistics.