Linde (UK) supports pandemic logistics with a Brexit enabling Loading Bay Service solution
With the UK logistics sector continuing its dedicated approach to supporting customers through the Covid-19 pandemic, Linde Material Handling – a specialist forklift supplier to critical industry sectors – has extended supply capabilities at its UK operation in Warrington, with a new bespoke modular dock designed by Loading Bay Service (LBS).
The forklift trucks, which are built in Germany, France and the Czech Republic, are constructed to customers’ precise specifications, and always carry a delivery lead-time of several weeks. However, to assure against unforeseen delays surrounding Brexit, Linde relied upon their UK stock of 10,000 rental trucks of various specifications, together with associated spare parts, so supply could be accelerated if necessary.
Linde’s UK head office is located in Basingstoke, and the company has 18 regional operations around the UK and Ireland serving customers’ new, used, rental and service needs. The recent Warrington site extension has involved construction of a new building where all new trucks delivered into the North West are now unloaded. Loading Bay Service’s modular loading scheme has been incorporated into the building’s layout, to provide an improved replacement to the mobile ramp used previously.
“The logistical demands of our customers, combined with the need for us to enhance our capability, encouraged us to streamline systems at our Warrington site,” explains Mike Settle, Depot Director at Linde, “and replace a loading solution that had become comparably inefficient and space consuming.
“We consider ourselves to be specialists in our field and prefer to work with supply teams of comparable position. We had worked with LBS on previous occasions and had always experienced excellent service, together with the supply of high-quality solutions.
“The conversation with Warren Craig, MD of LBS, soon highlighted the significant potential in installing a new, bespoke dock system that would enable forklift shipments to be turned around safely, and faster than before.
“Like many companies we’ve had to adapt to new ways of working in the current business environment. However, connecting with LBS during lockdown was easy. We communicated via phone, MS Teams and email, and found that nothing lacked in terms of customer service.”
The dock solution Warren proposed comprised an integrated system of a ramp, platform and dock leveller, designed to facilitate streamlined loading practice so the reduced workforce Linde currently has on site, could still perform operations effectively.
“The installation process worked very well,” Mike continues. “Everyone remained safe and all social distancing measures were consistently kept in place and adhered to. Now up and running, the equipment is performing superbly and has assisted in improving our health and Safety procedures.
“The team is delighted with the new dock and has expressed ‘user confidence’, together with an equipment preference – as the new solution no longer needs to be pulled into place, then returned to its original position in order to load and unload. Overall, the installation has proved to be a highly successful project, the result of which will serve Linde’s Warrington operation well for many years to come.”
Warren expressed how pleased he was to learn of the project’s success, particularly in light of the current challenges all sector industries currently face:
“Preparing for our move away from the European Union, whilst supporting the nation with delivery supply through a pandemic, could understandably present any loading installation with a series of obstacles,” he said. “I’ve been impressed with the pragmatic approach taken by all parties involved and am pleased to hear of the project’s highly beneficial outcome.”