Home >Lithium ion pallet trucks and order pickers on trial at Sainsbury's
Lithium ion pallet trucks and order pickers on trial at Sainsbury's
12 December 2012
Sainsbury's has tasked Toyota Material Handling UK with providing lithium ion powered materials handling equipment on a trial basis. The move follows last month's announcement that Tesco placed an order for lithium ion powered pallet trucks from German lift truck manufacturer Jungheinrich.
The move pits two sets of rivals against one another. Sainsbury's and Tesco are competing to improve the efficiency of their materials handling fleets and boost environmental credentials. On the supplier side, Toyota and Jungheinrich are competing at the innovative end of a materials handling sector which is arguably becoming commoditised.
Sainsbury's will test the new battery technology in one of its largest distribution centres in the UK from the end of September. The trial is part of an initiative by Toyota Material Handling Europe, and will include a range of warehouse equipment including heavy-duty powered pallet trucks and horizontal order pickers. These trucks are often required to work multiple shifts meaning battery efficiency and battery charging is at the forefront of operational planning.
Gary King, logistics operations support manager for Sainsbury's said: â€œSainsbury's is dedicated to finding new ways to work efficiently and reduce environmental impact.We have been working closely with Toyota for a number of years and by sharing our ideas and opportunities we are looking for a practical solution to meet this target.â€
Sainsbury's and Toyota Material Handling UK have a long standing relationship, and have been carrying out an in-depth study of day-today usage of materials handling equipment on site, which has been taking place over several months.