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What is shuttle racking, and how is it used in materials handling?

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2020-03-19

Shuttle racking certainly isn't the cheapest storage system available, but if you want to maximise the capacity of a warehouse, it's a fantastic option.

In shuttle racking systems, pallets are moved within the racks by a robotic shuttle, a kind of sled which runs on tracks just underneath the beams that the pallets sit on. An ordinary, manually-operated forklift places the shuttle into the rack at the desired height and pallet position, and the load to be put away is placed on the shuttle.

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How to keep your long-term forklift costs under control

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2020-03-12

As we've shown in other blogposts, forklift ownership can have advantages in certain operations over other financing options, such as short-term rental or leasing.

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Keep your old equipment, or invest in new trucks: What’s the best option for you?

Written by Jake Rankin, 2020-02-24

When your leased materials handling equipment reaches the end of its contract, it’s often difficult to decide what your next steps should be. Is it best to invest in new equipment that you haven’t used before, or should you just extend the contracts of the trucks you already have on site?

The correct answer will depend completely on the needs and requirements of your operation. But in many situations, bringing on new equipment can often be the best decision in the long run, once you consider the benefits that technological advances can bring.

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Order picking: How to make this expensive process more cost-efficient

Written by Andrew Hamilton, 2020-02-17

Out of all the different tasks you complete in your materials handling operation, order picking is by far the most expensiveWhen you look at the cost involved with handling 1000kg of goods in different stages of the materials handling process, the contrast becomes clear.

Loading and unloading is quite cheap – in this example, we can put the cost of handling 1000kg at around £1- £2, depending on the equipment you use. Putting away and retrieving goods takes slightly longer, and the cost of handling the same quantity of goods is around £10- £20. However, picking 1000kg of items can cost up to £100, simply due to the amount of labour required.

If you’re looking to make your operation more cost-effective and efficient, it makes sense to focus on improving your order picking.

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The benefits of a bespoke materials handling solution

Written by Matthew Geddes, 2020-01-29

There is no such thing as an ‘off the shelf’ forklift. Instead, the buying process involves speaking with a representative from your supplier, analysing your operation and business needs with them, and agreeing on a suitable solution. While this may take time, the result is well worth it – you get exactly the right truck, perfectly suited to your operation.

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Warehouse automation: How to get the best of both worlds with AGVs

Written by Paul Boynton, 2020-01-21

Automated guided vehicle (AGV) technology has been used in materials handling for decades, but with more recent developments in technology it's becoming a more affordable and flexible solution than it used to be.

However, in some operations full automation may not be appropriate. This is especially true if the materials handling work that needs to be done is different from day to day, if it needs some level of human decision making or if order picking of many varied items makes up a big part of the work.

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Thinking of going electric? Here's why you should make the switch

Written by John Blagg, 2020-01-15

Battery-powered counterbalance trucks are really nothing new for internal operations – they’ve been the standard choice for decades, due to their quietness and lack of emissions.
However, many companies that use counterbalances outside, in yards or uncovered loading and unloading areas, still choose diesel or LPG trucks due to their fast refuelling and ability to cope with the elements.

Due to demands from the market and improvements in technology, it’s now feasible to electrify your entire counterbalance fleet, even for those trucks that work outside. It could even bring a number of benefits.

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The Material Handling Blog's top posts of 2019

Written by UniCarriers, 2020-01-01

2019 has drawn to a close, and the new decade is finally here! To say goodbye to the old year, we've looked at the figures to find the posts which attracted the most readers in 2019.

There's been a lot of new content published, and plenty of new subscribers - but these are the five posts which you liked the most.

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Dealing with the Christmas rush: How do businesses do it?

Written by Håkan Ek, 2019-12-23

Christmas has finally arrived, and the busiest time of the year for many businesses has come to an end.

Peak times can vary dramatically depending on the nature of a company's work and the industry it operates in, but for most business-to-consumer companies, the pre-Christmas period is hard work. Customers are rushing to buy presents for loved ones, and with the recent advent of Black Friday, the pressure is even higher.

But at times when demand for goods may be twice as high as during other times of year, how does an operation keep up? If the materials handling operation is well-optimised, there shouldn't be any 'spare' trucks or manpower that can be brought into action. So how can sudden spikes in demand be met?

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How to choose the perfect order picking truck for your warehouse

Written by Jonas Tornerefelt, 2019-12-17

Order picking is a demanding process, and with the continuing rise of eCommerce, it's becoming a bigger and bigger part of the logistics chain. 

Compared to other materials handling processes, it's also very expensive. To illustrate this, we can look at the costs of handling goods in different parts of the materials handling process. If we estimate that the cost of unloading 1000kg of goods from a transport is around €1 to €2, and the cost of placing the same quantity of goods into storage is around €3 to €5, then the cost of picking 1000kg of goods can range from €30 to €100, simply due to the amount of labour involved. That's why if you want to reduce your operation's costs and boost efficiency, focusing on improving your order picking is a smart solution.

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