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Investment In New Wash Plant Enables Phs Teacrate To Provide Northern Service
A new state-of-the-art crate washing facility to meet growing demand for Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) has been launched in Durham by PHS Teacrate, as part of the company’s ongoing expansion strategy.
This major £320,000 investment in plant and machinery, which doubles PHS Teacrate’s crate washing capacity and will generate up to 20 new jobs in the region, was officially opened on June 1 by Councillor Jan Blakey, the new Chair of Durham County Council. The ceremony attended by invited guests including the new PHS Group Chief Executive Justin Tydeman, heralds a new era for the innovative business.
PHS Teacrate, one of the largest crate rental companies in the UK, and part of the PHS Group, handles around 20 million crates every year in a variety of dimensions. The new hygienic crate washing facility in the North East will complement the existing wash plant in Birmingham for the company’s customers in the food, retail, facilities management, removals and logistics sectors.
In his welcoming address, PHS Teacrate’s Managing Director, Gordon Philip, explained that investing in the new site provides an additional crate washing service that will help customers cope better with peaks in demand who have historically had to transport their crates to Birmingham.
He said: “The launch of the new facility in Durham represents significant investment by PHS Teacrate. Along with our Birmingham site it means we can offer customers nationwide access to our washing services. It will also help the company grow its share of the market in the north of England and Scotland, as well as service the fishing industry in Hull and Grimsby more effectively.”
Following the official opening ceremony by the Chair of Durham County Council, guests were provided with lunch before being taken on a tour of the facility to see for themselves the strict washing and drying regime designed by PHS Teacrate for specific customers’ requirements to ensure they meet essential hygiene standards.
RTP is becoming more popular among retailers – independent research indicates that 30% of food producers are anticipating their RTP requirements to increase – which in turn will lead to a demand for more washing facilities.
Key to a successful migration to RTP will be having access to sufficient trays to meet peak demand and ensuring that they are properly washed to the highest hygiene standards.
PHS Teacrate believes outsourcing this service from specialist firms like itself can be more cost-effective, reduce the amount of administration leg-work and free up capital. PHS has the flexibility and capacity in key RTP products to meet peak demands, whether from very small retailers or at supermarket level, and offer support when the customer’s in-house washing equipment suffers mechanical breakdown.
With the growth in demand for RTP set to continue, PHS Teacrate is committed to ensuring a competitive market by continuing to invest in products and wash services, as proved by building the new plant in Durham, that meet the bespoke requirements of customers.
Parent company PHS Group is one of the UK's leading workplace service providers. It has grown from a family run firm in 1963 to become a multi-divisional, multi-national company, servicing over 200,000 customers at over 450,000 locations. The Group employs more than 5,000 staff and has a wide network of over 140 regional service branches, strategically placed throughout the UK.
In what is described as its most ambitious initiative to date, the Fork Lift Truck Association is spearheading a nationwide drive to improve safety at every site that uses fork lift trucks: be it single truck or a fleet comprising many hundreds.
The Safer Site Programme is a free, online, step-by-step safety programme that anyone can implement.
The idea is simple: at regular intervals the FLTA will publish on its website a new step in the programme. Each step will contain advice, guidance, resources and a series of practical tasks that must be completed to move through the process.
The aim of the programme is threefold: 1. to actively drive down the number and frequency of fork lift truck accidents – and near misses – in the UK 2. to share successful safety initiatives between companies who operate fork lift trucks and to improve the general level of safety precautions on UK fork lift truck sites 3. to encourage open, blame-free incidence reporting so that everyone feels able to highlight dangerous practices freely and without recriminations
To find out more, or to take your first step on the programme, visit the FLTA website where you will find all the information you need.
“We urge every person reading this, and every company whose work involves fork lift trucks, to participate in the Safer Site Programme” says FLTA Chief Executive Peter Harvey. “For some it will be the first step on the road to a safer site. To others, it will add to their knowledge and provide valuable new ideas and resources. I promise that everyone who gets involved will achieve real and lasting benefits.”
Innovative Scheme Allows Co-Op Food To Steer Clear Of Driver Shortage
The Co-operative Food has geared up to steer clear of a potential national shortage of van and lorry drivers by announcing an innovative training programme for more than 100 warehouse colleagues.
Currently across the UK there is just one driver joining the industry for every six that leave but The Co-operative plans to put the brakes on this trend by training depot staff, without any previous experience. Warehouse to Wheels is a comprehensive eight week programme, costing nearly £2,000 per employee, which involves warehouse workers at eight Co-operative Food depots training to become light goods vehicle (LGV) drivers.
Once they have gained their LGV Class 2 Licence, staff will have a choice of either becoming a full time driver or joining a pool whereby they remain a warehouse operative but available to drive at times of peak need.
Chris Whitfield, Retail and Logistics Director at the Co-operative Food said: “Our Warehouse to Wheels programme is a great example of how we are committed to developing the talent we already have and it will help us counter a potential shortage of drivers by steadily increasing our LGV pool.
“It will enable those who want to become full time drivers while others can continue to work in the warehouse with the option of topping up their pay by working certain shifts as a driver.”