Briggs Equipment has landed an important new contract with transport and logistics company BAP Group. It has supplied the biggest independent on-port operation of its kind in the UK with an innovative materials handling solution at the Port of Felixstowe.
BAP Group operates two divisions, BAP Transport and Port Centric Services, and deals with a wide range of import and export products, from general merchandise, textiles, stationery, paper, timber and ambient foodstuffs to stone imports. It also works closely with supermarket chains, import suppliers and global heavy plant machinery exporters.
Port Centric Services handles 20,000+ containers a year and uptime is therefore critical. Robust, reliable materials handling equipment capable of working outside and on rough ground is therefore essential to maintain the efficiency of its seven days a week, 364 days a year operation.
Previously, the lifting services required by Port Centric Services were provided by the Port of Felixstowe. As the company's operation has expanded, and the port has focused more on terminal support, BAP decided to look into acquiring its own reachstacker to support the diverse Port Centric Services operation. However, following detailed discussions with Briggs, it was agreed that a Combilift StraddleCarrier represented the most cost-effective handling solution.
James Wyatt, Operations Director at BAP, cites three main reasons for choosing the StraddleCarrier. Cost was an important consideration, but the determining factors were the relationship the company built with Briggs over a short period of time and speed of delivery.
He said: "We provide supply chain services geared around containerised cargo handling of both inbound and export goods and full container movements inland. The trading environment in which we operate is demanding, as we strive to provide our customers with maximum flexibility in their contracts. We therefore want to work with a materials handling partner that understands this and offers us real flexibility, too.
"We approached Briggs following a recommendation and were impressed by their ability to understand our business and to make an assessment of what we really needed operationally before proposing several solutions. Briggs also had the new equipment operating ahead of the timescale we had stipulated."
Having assessed the options, BAP Group made its decision based on the flexibility to use the StraddleCarrier internally within its 500,000 sq ft of prime warehouse space on-port as well as within the conventional external operation. The machine is more manoeuvrable than a reachstacker when operating under a canopy, so is ideally suited to the unique Port Centric Services operation. The StraddleCarrier's ability to handle unusual, oversized and difficult loads with ease was also a key factor.
Sally Quantrill, Key Account Manager at Briggs Equipment, said: "Other suppliers advocated a traditional container moving approach using a reachstacker. However, once we understood how the machine would be used, we concluded that, in view of the usage hours, the Combilift StraddleCarrier offered the most cost-effective solution. What's more, with our engineering capability, Briggs service and maintain this equipment to ensure maximum productivity at the port facility.
"We are delighted to be working with BAP to deliver important cost savings and an enhanced materials handling solution."