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As technological improvements continue to significantly impact warehouse management systems, the demand for these niche skills is increasingly competitive as companies search for ways to optimise and streamline their supply chain processes.
“Currently, hiring practices are shifting pace, with advanced skills in software programmes, such as RedPrairie and Manhattan becoming incredibly valuable,” says Contracts Team Manager, Stuart Stanton at specialist staffing company, Progressive Recruitment.
“Companies looking to hire are under time pressures as well as they look to secure contractors for long-term projects that take them off the market for two or three years and as a result, we’re facing a skills shortage.
By utilising, the contractor’s advanced skills in-house this can allow a company to upskill their existing permanent division at a reduced cost compared to going to the software department. It’s enabling greater efficiency of the warehouse in terms of how the system is utilised and ensuring that it’s being used to the utmost accuracy,” says Stanton.
“It’s the third-party logistics providers who will typically take on a resource only when the end customer signs it off and as a result, it creates a highly reactive environment for companies and directly impacts the level of quality talent they can attract, as the most valuable individuals are already in contracts.
“It’s in the best interests of companies to offer the longest possible contract length from the outset, as the contract is only, in reality, as long as the notice period. Offering a longer contract gives the contractor confidence, and stability. A three-month contract is not attractive to the current high quality talent pool and in the current market, it will only be the company that is disadvantaged,” says Stanton.
Onward Holdings Will Be Mapping Out Its Key Warehouse Sites At Multimodal
When considering investing in new storage and logistics operations it is essential that the site is right.
Onward Holdings will be offering a range of solutions to meet the acute shortage of prime locations for warehousing in the north of England at this year’s Multimodal show.
Among the sites family-run Onward Holdings will be showcasing at the NEC are 3PL facilities based in East Leeds, new-build warehouse sites near Wakefield and a soon to be refurbished facility in Normanton, West Yorkshire, all suitable for freight forwarding and distribution.
A scarcity in available warehousing space along the M62 corridor could possibly hinder economic development as firms seek out sites offering quick and easy distribution of their products through motorways, ports and rail freight.
All three sites are close to the motorway networks for fast delivery to all parts of the UK, the railway freight network, Humber ports and regional airports. They are in superb locations and can be utilised for a wide variety of uses, subject to planning permission.
The Willowbridge Lane site in Castleford is an ideal warehouse base for those needing to quickly move and/or store goods in the north of England. It is equipped with a host of facilities making it one of the best locations for those using containers. These include two dock levellers for the loading and unloading of containers and also box vans.
Onward Holdings is expecting strong interest in the design and build opportunities at its site in Featherstone. Unit 4 is a 1.6 acre development of up to 20,000sqft providing a potential logistics operation with scope for a service area for trucks. It has planning permission allowing for construction to commence in a matter of months. Unit 5 is made up of four acres with a footprint for warehousing of up to 70,000sqft – planning permission for this unit should be quickly forthcoming.
Meanwhile, visitors to Onward Holdings’ stand can also learn of the company’s plans for the ongoing development of the unit at the Normanton Industrial Estate, which, if required, can be split into two separate warehouses.
Onward Holdings is promoting at Multimodal a combined total of around 150,000 square feet of potential warehousing and storage space in Yorkshire, a region which has seen a huge take up of available space since the economy came out of recession.
A significant knock-on effect of the economic recovery is the scarcity of available warehouse space, due to companies becoming more confident of investing in supply chain facilities and the increasing demand from third party logistics providers and e-retailers seeking additional capacity for their customer fulfilment centres.
Onward Holdings director Neil Storey says: “We are delighted to be returning to Multimodal. The demand for good quality warehousing shows no sign of slowing so it is an excellent platform for the business to promote the range of sites it has available. The most important question when looking for a foothold in the northern supply chain is location, location, location. We believe that the different facilities that Onward Holdings offers can alleviate the lack of prime sites.”
Customised Stacking Bins Hatteland’s Fully Robotised AutoStore Systems
Schoeller Allibert, leader in returnable transit packaging (RTP) since 1959, is proud to announce a new partnership with Hatteland, inventor of the AutoStore cubical automated warehouse system.
“Our team is very proud to be working with Hatteland towards a more efficient and sustainable future in logistics,” said Ludo Gielen, Schoeller Allibert’s Chief Innovation Officer. “What we have designed fits perfectly with AutoStore’s innovative system, and handles the heavy workload without any issues. And our two companies are a perfect fit, too: two innovators with a savoir-faire between them, working in unison to find the best possible solutions for our common client’s needs.”
Schoeller Allibert does supply, in Europe and in the USA, 100% recyclable plastic bins, made from high-density polyethylene or anti-static polypropylene (ESD), for Hatteland’s fully robotised AutoStore system. The customised stacking bins are designed to seamlessly integrate into AutoStore’s aluminium framework.
Unlike traditional “from the side” warehouse order picking systems, AutoStore’s unique “from the top” robotised technique, combined with the stack’s constant reorganisation (to access bins at the bottom, the robot must first remove those above it), means that the top of the bin is subjected to far greater levels of manipulation and weight stress. Schoeller Allibert has therefore developed a more robust bin structure that will easily withstand this new working environment.
AutoStore robots can fill orders four times faster than manual order pickers, and the system only requires 25-50% of the surface area of conventional storage facilities. Its carbon footprint, too, is considerably greener: not only does it optimise warehouse space utilisation, saving on building and labour costs. It also consumes considerably less power (one robot uses less electricity than a vacuum cleaner).