Trucks allow racking revamp
12 December 2012
United Coffee UK has increased storage capacity by 56 per cent by reconfiguring racking and introducing Atlet Forte reach trucks. Storage and handling operations have been optimised at the company's Milton Keynes dist
Storage and handling operations have been optimised at the company's Milton Keynes distribution centre.
"We store more and we are more efficient because we found the right trucks and rearranged the warehouse," says Ray Holland, supply chain and distribution manager at United Coffee UK.
The number of stock lines had grown to fulfil demand for greater customer choice.More stock was sourced from overseas and delivered in containers. This presented a major challenge because, with up to five arriving each month, demand for storage fluctuated dramatically.
Changes in pack sizes also meant fewer items could be stored on each pallet which led to inefficient use of capacity in terms of vertical and horizontal spacing.
The company approached four prospective lift truck suppliers for their proposals.Working with the team from United Coffee UK, Atlet assessed a number of options and used its Logistics Analyser Program to simulate various racking configurations, including narrow aisle and double deep. Double deep offered the potential to maximise storage capacity but did not support the selectivity and throughput required for this particular application. So Atlet proposed two of its Forte reach trucks which could operate in 2.5m aisles and handle full 1400kg loads to the maximum 6.3m of the highest proposed racking beam.
"Atlet was the only manufacturer that could meet our specification," says Darren Wilcox, logistics manager at United Coffee UK.