Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Narrow Fork Lift Truck Aisles Demand Flexible Freight Handling Equipment

Busy 3PL Operators Must Maximise Efficiency at Minimum Cost
Shipping News Feature
UK – For a major independent third party logistics (3PL) service operator such as the Bowker Group, versatility in the equipment used to handle the large amounts of varied freight types passing through the company's York warehouse facility is an essential. Founded in 1919, Bowker has a diverse client base and stores and distributes anything from hazardous chemicals to food stuffs, and throughout its seven UK sites the company has standardised on narrow aisle storage which requires fork lift trucks able to function in the restricted environment, whilst also capable of working efficiently in a yard environment.

Bowker’s, which has just announced the sad death of former boss Bill Bowker MBE, son of the founder, has now added a fleet of five new Flexi articulated warehouse trucks to the York fleet meaning the business now operates in excess of twenty articulated trucks across its sites there, and at Preston, Hull, Droitwich, Knowsley, Ripon and Selby. In each of Bowker’s sites an integrated battery charging system ensures that the electric-powered Flexis, manufactured In the UK by Narrow Aisle Ltd, operate at optimum efficiency.

The system features the latest ‘call-forward’ alert technology to identify the most appropriate fully-charged battery for the truck operator to select when a change is due. This means that batteries often last for up to 12 hours between charges, which extends the life of the cells and dramatically reduces Bowker’s overall energy consumption and, therefore, operating costs.

Narrow Aisle also provides a complete fleet management and maintenance support package at each of the facilities in which its trucks operate, which minimises downtime and led Narrow Aisle’s commercial director, John Maguire, to comment:

“Companies strive to be as lean as possible and the days when businesses kept ‘surplus’ equipment on site are gone, so downtime resulting from any maintenance required is likely to have a significant impact on a user’s operation. This makes it essential to proactively schedule preventative maintenance work to suit Bowker’s needs, thus ensuring minimum disruption to the day-to-day running of the business.

”By maintaining a thorough maintenance regime we will ensure the optimum performance of every truck within Bowker’s fleet throughout its lifecycle and deliver on-going operating cost efficiencies which will have a direct impact on Bowker’s bottom line.”