Small to medium sized logistics firms are being warned to modernise or risk being pushed out as more efficient methods of doing business are now being implemented by forward thinking operators.

Ken Peet, commercial director of Clearway believes that this year could see margins being squeezed ever tighter as clients demand more for their money and will no longer accept loss of stock as an inevitable consequence of storage.

Peet said: The logistics and storage business is going through one of the greatest periods of change the industry has ever seen. Traditionally, storage facilities were disused factories that had been converted into makeshift warehouses, but to compete successfully today, the facilities have to be purpose made.

The idea that you can get away with a large shed in the back of beyond is dead. Today, purpose built premises that are more aesthetically pleasing and integrated into the landscape should be located close to key transport links for ease and speed.

Customers will not put up with 5% of stock lost, perished or rotten due to substandard IT systems. Quite frankly, in this day and age customers deserve better. Warehouses need to be at the cutting edge of technology so that operators can take the cost away from the client and deliver first class services.

Logistics providers now need to have Radio Frequency controlled stock tracking so that customers are always able to keep on top of where the stock is. Further good practice is the implementation of daily electronic billing systems which are utilised to insure that less time elapses between the job being completed and the operator getting paid.

Clearway, which recently moved to a new 173,000 sq ft facility at junction 28, has continued the momentum by investing 1 million in IT. They have also just taken delivery of 40 new trailers manufactured by the Peterborough based company Lawrence David in a deal brokered by Alliance & Leicester.

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