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Logistics

Material handling equipment is vital to supply chain and logistics systems. Find out more about the link between warehouse equipment and the broader logistics industry here.

Topics

  • Intralogistics: What Is It And Why Is It Important For Warehousing?

    Intralogistics is today’s top buzzword in manufacturing and warehousing — but in some cases, buzzwords live up to the hype. Different companies define “intralogistics” in different ways, but the core concept is always similar. In short, intralogistics refers to optimization and automation of every piece of information within a distribution center or warehouse. It takes the lean methodology to its... Continue Reading
  • Coping with the Skilled Labor Shortage in Manufacturing, Electrical, and Other Industries

    The skilled labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, and industrial employers need innovative solutions to address the problem. Per a report from the American Action Forum (AAF), employers in nearly every state will face significant shortages of qualified workers by 2029. These shortages are not confined to skilled trades, but industrial employers — warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and electrical distributors,... Continue Reading
  • Pallet Turntables: Spring-Operated Vs. Pneumatic Turntables

    The manufacturing and warehousing industry completely depends on pallets, and that won’t change anytime soon. The global use of pallets is expected to increase through 2026, and pallet turntables allow operations to maximize throughput through better ergonomics. Improvements in pallet loading/unloading procedures can translate to a safer, more efficient facility. Manual loading & unloading of pallets causes more injuries than... Continue Reading
  • Palletizing and De-palletizing: What Employers Should Know

    Pallets are the basic building blocks of the global supply chain. They standardize shipments; they influence the design of material handling equipment; they make it possible to move goods from the manufacturer to the store or the consumer’s doorstep more efficiently. Without pallets, we might not have lift trucks. Without pallets, we might think of “unit loads” in radically different... Continue Reading
  • Cable Reeling Equipment: What It Is and Why It Matters

    Electrical wholesalers are always looking for ways to fill cable and wire orders faster and with less risk to workers. And while cable reeling equipment has come a long way since the days of hand-cranked reeling machines, it’s still highly varied, without the sort of industry standardization we see with, say, the industrial truck market. The Occupational Safety and Health... Continue Reading
  • Smart Parcel Lockers: How IIoT Technology Improves Last Mile Delivery

    The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects machinery and software platforms for predictive analytics, automated reporting, condition-based maintenance, and other Big Data-related tasks. So far, most studies of the IIoT have focused on manufacturing and business processes; this post is about how IIoT technology applies to the supply-chain challenge of last-mile delivery—which is to say, this is a post about... Continue Reading
  • In-Plant Logistics and Material Handling Efficiency

    The discipline of logistics is concerned with the whole process of managing, storing, and transporting products and materials. In-plant logistics refers to the same thing, but within a single manufacturing facility, not across global trade routes. Don’t be fooled by the smaller scale, though: in-plant logistics is just as crucial to manufacturing productivity as the broader supply chain. Think of... Continue Reading
  • Parcel Lock Boxes for B2B Materials Distribution

    With the continuing rise of e-commerce, consumers and shippers alike are looking for better ways to complete deliveries. Parcel lock boxes provide greater flexibility and security than traditional options like home delivery or retrieval from a staffed location, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies make locker retrieval even more reliable and convenient. These advantages explain why the smart parcel lock... Continue Reading
  • 5 Micro-Fulfillment Trends to Watch This Year

    Of all the micro-fulfillment trends developing in the first half of the 2020s, the most significant one is simple: rapid growth. Analysts at LogisticsIQ say there will be an installed base of around 2,000 micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) by 2026, and the MFC industry is expected to grow from a worth of $1 billion in 2022 to $10 billion just four... Continue Reading
  • Industrial Reel Racks: 3 Key Factors to Consider

    Without proper storage, wire and cable reels can quickly become unmanageable. Industrial reel racks improve organization and maximize floor space, and they’re essential when workers pay out cable or wire from a consistent location. While shelving is a functional option for long-term storage, racking is the best option for reels that are used regularly — and the quality of racking... Continue Reading
  • How Do Scissor Lift Tables Work?

    Scissor Lift Tables play a critical role in thousands of workplaces by ergonomically positioning loads where workers can reach them comfortably. That’s an important task in warehousing, logistics, and other industries, since proper ergonomics keeps workers safe while maximizing throughput. A quality Lift Table can substantially improve productivity, making it an excellent investment. However, while scissor Lift Tables have similar... Continue Reading
  • Plan For Every Part (PFEP) Material Flow: Where Data Meets Material Handling

    It’s common for manufacturers to practice the lean philosophy of continuous improvement. But typically, that improvement occurs only on the line, through changes in labor practice or manufacturing techniques. Material flow is often the last place managers look for innovation. That’s a costly oversight. The Lean Enterprise Institute reports that materials and material handling make up between 50 and 80... Continue Reading
  • Warehouse Picking Strategies and Equipment

    Call it the Amazon Effect: Consumers expect quick, low-cost shipping on their e-commerce orders. If your warehousing operation is struggling to adjust to two-day, next-day, or even same-day delivery promises, it might be time to rethink the fundamentals. Start by considering alternate warehouse picking strategies. Every warehouse develops its own unique picking strategy based on a range of factors, from... Continue Reading
  • Last Mile Delivery Ramps for Distribution Center Docks

    In the United States, most warehouse docks stand somewhere between 45 and 55 inches above the ground. That range works for semi-trailers, even if it’s not an exact match for every bed height. Dock plates and edge-of-dock levelers can usually make up the difference, allowing safe, reasonably flat passage from dock to trailer and back.  But loading docks aren’t just... Continue Reading
  • 5 Parcel Locker Uses for Industrial Distributors

    Electronic parcel lockers are all around us, whether we’ve started using them or not. With the rise of e-commerce, many consumers are looking for a secure, convenient pickup location for their orders. The parcel locker fills that niche. These units are much more than simple secure storage. They provide a simple way for recipients to pick up orders 24/7, without... Continue Reading
  • What Is a Parcel Locker and How Can It Help Your Business?

    Parcel lockers are bulkstorage units with multiple lockable compartments, designed to facilitate delivery and collection of orders at any time of the day or night. This 24/7 accessibility makes parcel lockers a powerful tool in an era of increasing e-commerce. A customer can order an item online, for instance, and travel to a nearby parcel locker to retrieve their order.... Continue Reading
  • How Warehouse Equipment Helps to Prevent Workplace Injuries in Winter Weather

    Advanced, ergonomic warehouse equipment is designed to do two things: Make work safer and boost productivity. The best material handling solutions accomplish both of these goals simultaneously, year-round. However, as the snow, sleet, and ice pile up on our docks and in our yards, there’s even greater reason to rely on mechanical assistance for warehouse workers. Extreme weather has all... Continue Reading
  • Picking without Pallets: Flat Deck Carts and Turntables

    For nearly a century, the humble pallet has been the lifeblood of the supply chain. With the rise of the pallet, patented in 1939 by George Ramond, Sr. and Bill House, came the concept of the unit load, the ubiquity of lift trucks, warehouses lined with pallet racking, and many other familiar features of today’s supply chain industries. But what... Continue Reading
  • Managing Forklift Batteries in Food Production Facilities

    If you use forklifts in a food production capacity, odds are those trucks are electric. Electric lift trucks run cleaner and don’t release emissions, making them ideal for the super-clean, hazard-sensitive nature of a food production facility. Of course, while electric forklifts won’t leak oil or leave a layer of soot on the machinery, forklift batteries do sometimes leak. Electrolyte... Continue Reading
  • How BHS Products Comply with the FDA Standards for Food Production

    The FDA Food Code provides recommendations to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments on food-safety standards. While it is up to individual governments whether to write the Food Code recommendations into local law, the Food Code does represent a unifying authority on safety in food production, handling, transportation, and service. So when you’re designing material handling equipment for the food... Continue Reading
  • Optimizing Inventory Levels in Retail: The Role of Material Handling

    Matching inventory to demand is always a challenge in retail. Too much, and you hemorrhage money in storage and handling costs. Too little, and you miss out on make-or-break opportunities. The trouble is, an optimal inventory level is always a moving target. As we write this, there seems to be some anxiety regarding retail inventory at the national level. The... Continue Reading
  • Material Handling Costs in Electrical Construction and How to Lower Them

    One major study on material handling in electrical contracting came up with a shocking statistic: Around 40 percent of the work electricians do in the construction industry is consumed by material handling. Not cable pulls, installing conduit, or wiring light fixtures: simply moving materials around the work site. Even highly trained, highly paid union contractors end up spending nearly half... Continue Reading
  • The IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference 2019: What to Expect

    The 2019 International Foodservice Distributors Association’s (IFDA) Distribution Solutions Conference takes place October 27 through 29, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. So what do they have in store for the industry this year? First off, it’s important to understand the significance of the IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference within the industry. This is the major annual meeting for distributors who work within the foodservice space. Food warehouses, cold chain transportation, and supply chain specialists gather at the IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference every year to navigate the latest issues and discoveries in the field of foodservice distribution. In other words, this event offers unparalleled networking within this fairly niche industry. In addition to the professional relationships that emerge... Continue Reading
  • Green Supply Chain Management for Electricians

    It’s hard to create a more sustainable electrical firm without cleaning up the supply chain while you’re at it. But how can electricians make the move toward a green supply chain? First, of course, it’s helpful to have a working definition of “green” in the context of supply chain management in the electrical industry. According to an early paper on... Continue Reading
  • Green Manufacturing: Understanding the Basics

    Just as economic development depends on a strong manufacturing sector, sustainable development depends on green manufacturing. You’ve probably heard the term in the industrial press, or even the mainstream news. But what exactly do we mean by green manufacturing? The sponsors of the 2008 Green Manufacturing Expo offer this definition. Green manufacturing is: The creation of manufactured products that use... Continue Reading
  • Supply Chain Trends for 2019

    Labor shortages. Automation. The growth of omnichannel retail. The trends that transformed the global supply chain over the past few years are likely to continue for some time; these forces also provide hints as to what’s to come in the near future. In fact, some of 2019’s challenges are clearly on the horizon. Here are a few of the market... Continue Reading
  • Electric Forklifts in Multichannel Retail Facilities

    Brick-and-mortar retailers that run e-commerce channels out of existing stores have a competitive advantage, especially if they operate multiple locations. The combined retail space/distribution center offers retailers incredible access to customers, whether they’re picking items up in the store or having them shipped directly. There is one challenge, however: Space. The retail store and the distribution center have totally different... Continue Reading
  • Eliminate Supply Chain Bottlenecks at Distribution Centers

    Supply chain bottlenecks can slam the brakes on a booming economy, say economic analysts. Currently, market capacity is limited by a shortage in labor; there simply aren’t enough truck drivers on the road to move goods in sufficient quantity. However, the shipping industry is responding. Trucking firms are offering pay hikes and hiring bonuses in an effort to attract new... Continue Reading
  • Maintaining the Cold Chain: The Role of the Distributor

    Food safety depends on maintaining the cold chain at every step, from producer to processor to foodservice operation to, eventually, the diner’s plate. In the United States, a handful of federal agencies regulate all the industries involved in taking food from farm to fork. These include the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even... Continue Reading
  • Preparing the Shipping/Receiving Area for DC Peak Season

    The holiday peak season for distribution centers encompasses both shipping and receiving, making this area a potential efficiency bottleneck. Every DC manager needs a plan for scaling up outbound orders while simultaneously processing returns. The good news is that the elements of this plan don’t need to be expensive or difficult. We’ve already looked at a few strategies for preparing... Continue Reading
  • Preparing the Forklift Battery Room for DC Peak Season

    Every retailer has a peak season, and distribution centers are no different. Certainly, the peak can differ between one outlet and another — an office-supply store may experience peak season during the final days of the summer, when parents stock up for back-to-school season, while most general ecommerce DCs brace for the winter holidays. Whenever peak-to-average order ratios soar, it’s... Continue Reading
  • How Automotive Manufacturers Can Improve Material Flow Systems During Plant Shutdowns

    Automotive manufacturers can’t push out the next big model without retooling plants, and that means periodic shutdowns at factories across the U.S. But while teams of workers busily upgrade assembly lines, plant managers also stay busy planning to move the entire operation forward. Disruptions of day-to-day plant operation create tremendous opportunities for improvement. This is especially true in the automotive... Continue Reading
  • 3 Green Warehouse Improvements You Can Make Right Now

    Whether it’s for cost-saving or environmental responsibility, warehouses are going green and saving money in the process. Here are a few simple ways warehousing companies can reduce costs while limiting their carbon footprint with green practices. 1. Upgrade to LED Lighting Switching to LEDs can save an operation more than 60 percent on energy costs compared to fluorescents and other... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Sales Grow for the Third Consecutive Year in a Row, Says ITA Report

    The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) has announced that 2017 was the third consecutive year of record-breaking forklift sales in North America. Over 250,000 units were sold marking a nearly 10 percent increase from 2016. These record-breaking numbers took even industry insiders by surprise. “The 2017 sales numbers of 253,146 exceeded most industry expectations,” said Brian Feehan, president of the Industrial... Continue Reading
  • Women in Warehousing: The Value of Building and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

    March is National Women’s History Month, but that’s not the only reason that this is a great time to talk about women in warehousing. We’re also at a crucial point in the development of logistics workforces, which aren’t keeping up with the industry’s growth. If businesses can’t attract new employees, we’ll start to have serious problems keeping up with the... Continue Reading
  • Retaining Warehouse Staff with Ergonomic Equipment

    Hiring and retaining warehouse staff could be the next big challenge facing the logistics industry as a whole. And while you might have read a lot about the ongoing scarcity of truck drivers, the entire supply chain, from start to finish, is starting to compete for the best workers to stay ahead of the curve. These new conditions could hit... Continue Reading
  • Electric Forklift Fleet Costs Over Time

    If this is the year you switch to an electric forklift fleet, costs are bound to be a major topic of conversation in your office. The expense of a capital investment like a forklift fleet can’t be limited to the purchase price alone, of course. You need to consider the future costs, as well, and those can be hard to... Continue Reading
  • How Warehouse Ergonomics Can Help You Cope with Labor Shortages

    The logistics and warehousing industries are facing substantial labor shortages. A 2015 study presented at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) conference showed issues with labor availability throughout the sectors; however, the CSCMP’s 2018 survey noted that the vast majority of 3PL professionals agreed upon an increased need “to respond to customers more quickly and with complete, accurate,... Continue Reading
  • Designing a Better Forklift Battery Room

    So you’ve decided you need a new battery room. Maybe your current battery charging area is outdated, or perhaps your fleet is just now large enough to justify the expense. Regardless of the reason, your new battery room’s success depends on a great plan — from choosing the ideal location to optimizing equipment. Battery room planning tools from BHS help... Continue Reading
  • What is International Logistics?

    If you’re involved with warehousing in any capacity, you’ve likely heard the term “international logistics.” It’s a fairly large and complex concept — in short, it encompasses the entire process of controlling the movement of goods as they travel from one country to another. International logistics includes a close consideration of every factor involved in the flow of products, people,... Continue Reading
  • Order Picking and Shipping Strategies for Omni-Channel Retailers

    In order to survive, online retailers need to streamline the order picking and shipping processes. Efficiency is always an important factor — regardless of the size of the operation — and while the largest distribution centers may rely on automated goods-to-picker systems, this technology isn’t cost efficient for small to mid-sized stores. The Internet provides these smaller retailers with ample... Continue Reading
  • Planning for Battery Room Expansion in the Logistics Industry

    Even if you’re not ready to add to your current lift truck battery inventory, you should always be prepared to expand. Any facility may suddenly need to add shifts, hire new workers, and add new lift trucks to its fleet — especially given current growth trends in the warehousing industry. Demand for warehousing services is soaring as consumer spending increases... Continue Reading