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Combilift and Intelligent Energy join BITA

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The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) has seen increased demand for its services in the run up to – and during – the COVID-19 pandemic, as Secretary-General James Clark explains.

The proactive role played by the association this year in campaigns such as National Forklift Safety Day and its work on coronavirus safety procedures has attracted widespread interest in BITA’s work – both from the industry and beyond. 

The heightened profile has helped to expand the association’s membership, with two new companies joining its ranks – including a leading truck manufacturer. 

Combilift’s desire to deliver innovation in the materials handling arena has seen it develop some significant – and award-winning - solutions for the industry, including last year’s Design4Safety Awards. Its ethos of responding to the ever-changing needs of its customers resonates with BITA’s goal to raise industry standards. 

The company, which employs more than 600 people and occupies a brand new, purpose-built facility spanning 46,500 m² in Monaghan, Ireland, has an extensive product range, which includes multi-directional, articulated, pedestrian forklifts as well as straddle carriers.  

BITA is delighted that Combilift has agreed to become a member of BITA. The company shares our desire to raise standards across the industry, both in terms of safety and innovation and we are sure they will make a significant contribution to the association as it moves forward. 

Martin McVicar, CEO and co-founder of Combilift, said why the company considered BITA membership so important to its development: “Combilift considers the UK to be its home market and it is also our biggest and as such our membership of BITA will be beneficial for us. We share the same values as this organisation, which is committed to promoting excellence, lifting standards and improving safety in the industry,” he said.   

But he is by no means the only one to think so. BITA’s broad stance on promoting excellence in the materials handling sector has seen it attract companies advocating technological change as the way forward for the industry. 
Intelligent Energy is a world-leading fuel cell engineering company focused on the development, manufacture and commercialisation of its Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell products. This is directed towards a wide range of industries, including the automotive, aerospace, generator, telecoms, materials handling and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sectors. But IE is no newcomer to the scene, the company has been developing its fuel cell technology over the last 30 years.  Following its acquisition by Meditor Energy, part of the Meditor Group, in October 2017. IE has benefitted from additional investment to facilitate further development and commercialisation of its technology and expansion of the product offering. The company is headquartered and manufactures in Loughborough in the UK, but also has offices and representation in the US, Japan, China and South Korea. 

The role of BITA 

Having two such diverse but equally important businesses join BITA has been very welcome and is a substantial endorsement in the role the association plays within the material handling sector. As the trade association for manufacturers and suppliers of forklift trucks and associated components and services, we are keen to embrace all sectors, especially when it raises standards across the industry. 
Many of the companies joining BITA are attracted to the association because of the unique benefits it can offer. 

Its member-exclusive market analysis provides an accurate picture of current market trends and is considered indispensable to companies drafting future sales strategies. The forecasting has proved extremely reliable down the years, helping many companies generate new business before their competitors.  

BITA is also the sole provider of industrial truck sales statistics in the UK. The statistics are supplied by and made available exclusively to, association members. Gathered and distilled into precise, pertinent and simple-to-apply statistical data by Systematics International Ltd, BITA’s sales statistics provide an ongoing, accurate illustration of current market conditions. 

The association also carries out an important consultation role for its membership, helping to shape future legislation, especially on technical standards and safety. 

One of the most invaluable benefits to members is a discount on the opportunity to exhibit at the industry’s showpiece exhibition, IMHX. IMHX offers an unparalleled opportunity to see the newest products and services to enter the market, connect with new and existing suppliers, and stay one step ahead of the trends that are transforming the logistics industry. 

Previously held every three years, from next year the exhibition will become a biennial event, helping to keep all those working within the material handling sector, fully up to date with the latest developments in the industry. 

Together, the BITA membership comprises many international brands, which manufacture and distribute more than 90% of all new forklifts procured each year in the UK. Together, they employ 7,000 people directly and enjoy a combined annual turnover of £1.3bn. BITA members play an increasingly important role in the UK’s overall economic health, supply chain effectiveness and environmental performance. 

Visit the BITA website for more details on membership.

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