IMHX 2022 IN FOCUS - July Issue

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2022 THE LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS SHOW 6 - 8 September | NEC Birmingham, UK



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Welcome to IMHX in Focus The last three years can be summed up as transformational. The logistics sector has faced, and dealt with, so many challenges in a relatively short period. From Brexit and the additional complexity that this brings with it, to Covid-19 and the Pandemic. And let's not forget the explosion in e-commerce and changes to consumer buying habits. The logistics industry is now headline news. No longer are we that forgotten sector and our resilience and perseverance has ensured that the wheels of the UK’s economy have kept turning. Our association leaders and esteemed academics are regulars across mainstream media and TV. Finally, logistics is in the limelight, and it is for all the right reasons. Out of adversity comes opportunity, and the logistics sector has seized the day. We have seen businesses significantly invest in their supply chain operations and warehouse footprints. Our own IMHX Optimism Index highlighted that 80% of respondents expected their operations to grow in 2022. A recent report commissioned by Colliers points to a record year for warehouse property with the take-up of new facilities smashing previous records at 50.7 million sq ft. Research from Savills highlights that in 2015 the warehouse footprint for online retailers was just a shade below 8m sq ft. Fast forward to today and that footprint has risen to 60m sq ft. And analysis conducted by Prologis expands further on this. For every extra £1bn spent online, the additional warehouse requirement is a staggering 775,000sq ft. And with online sales predicted to surpass £150bn by 2024 this will add further strain

on our supply chains, but it also opens up further development opportunities. We are living in an age of automation and robotics where digitalisation has come to the fore, and this will be reflected on the show floor at IMHX. IMHX has always had a unique position within the logistics and supply chain calendar. We are an event of scale – both in terms of size and the number of visitors we attract. We have a myriad of intralogistics suppliers on hand to provide visitors with expert insights and guidance. We have a plethora of live product demonstrations, both on exhibitors' stands and as part of our interactive Demo Zone. And to complement this we are developing, a fantastic conference programme. Our overarching theme is sustainability which will see us focus on topics like diversity, inclusion, belonging and sustainable tech, along with Warehouse Infrastructure. Talking of sustainability, new for this year is the IMHX Sustainability Zone. This will provide visitors with the opportunity to evaluate and discuss the developments that are shaping today’s sustainable supply chains. Developed in partnership with SEC Group and sponsored by Crown Lift Trucks, Intelligent Energy, ASG Services, Ecologi and Cranfield University, this will be a dynamic space which will host physical exhibits along with augmented and virtual reality. With some 300+ exhibitors, a conference programme and unparalleled networking all under one roof IMHX is the event that you need to attend and we are looking forward to welcoming you to this year’s IMHX which takes place at the NEC this 6-8 September. 

ROB FISHER Event Director



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IMHX Essentials WHAT... For 21 years, IMHX has been at the heart of the UK’s warehouse logistics and materials handling sector. Free to attend, it’s where leading suppliers of forklifts, warehouse robotics, automation, racking, storage, lifting equipment and supply chain tech gather to introduce the latest products and services into this dynamic industry. 

WHO... Perfect for those working in the warehouse and distribution sector, in supply chain logistics, e-commerce retail and the manufacturing / automotive industries, IMHX brings you the latest technology and critical thinking through a free seminar programme, live demonstrations and right across a show floor comprised of some 300 exhibitors.

IMHX runs 6-8th September 2022 in Hall 5 of the NEC. The doors open 9:30am each day and the show closes at 5:00pm (4:00pm on the final day). With the next IMHX not scheduled until 2025, it’s certainly one not to miss! 

WHERE... The Birmingham NEC is one of the most accessible event venues in the UK. Whether you plan to drive, fly or take a train, getting to the NEC is a breeze. There is ample parking for visitors and Hall 5 sits at the heart of the NEC complex. For sat-nav directions, please follow B40 1NT. 

HOW... Visitors are invited to REGISTER, FREE OF CHARGE, in advance of the show to avoid any queues on the day. For detailed information about what’s on, hotel accommodation and getting to the NEC, visit the show WEBSITE. 

As an opportunity for networking, its second to none with thousands of materials handling professionals bringing the NEC to life alongside suppliers and members of our key association partners, including UKMHA, AMHSA and UKWA. 




Forklift orders still historically high With IMHX just weeks away, the industry will be interested in new data from the UK Material Handling Association (UKMHA) which shows, despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty, sales are at an all-time high.

UKMHA’s Market Outlook Report predicts that 2022 and 2023 industrial truck orders will remain at historically high levels, but with modest contractions. However, the risks to the forecast are heavily to the downside and the forecast has been modestly reduced since the last report. 2021 was a record year for total orders, surging to 16% above pre-pandemic levels. However, supply chains face continuing disruption, with new lockdowns in China and the war in Ukraine, leading to a more gradual recovery in shipments. The lag between bookings and shipments is especially pronounced for counterbalance trucks, at over 5000 units in 2021, the largest difference in the available historical data. Some difference is natural due to lead times between bookings and shipping, but it likely reflects the robust recovery in the production side of the economy increasing demand for forklifts, while capacity constraints and supply chain issues held back deliveries. Shipments are forecast to grow steadily through ››




›› 2022 and 2023 as supply chains recover, the backlog is reduced, and normality returns to the market. Counterbalance trucks were worst hit by the pandemic and have seen the strongest recovery. Following five years of pre-pandemic market stability, growth, unsurprisingly especially strong in the electric trucks of Class 1, is predicted to be sustained through the forecast period. Warehouse trucks suffered less, both in terms of orders and in shipments, as online shopping increased, but orders are expected to fall back towards pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023 as consumers shift spending back toward services such as international travel. However, along with reducing the forecast since last November, the report cautions that inflation reached a 40-year high of 9% in April, following the 54% rise in the energy price cap and the VAT rate for the hospitality sector being restored to 20%, and upward pressures on global goods prices remain intense. In addition, sterling has weakened significantly against the US dollar in recent weeks, due to the Fed's hawkish shift, which will push up import prices. Rising fuel costs will increase the cost of distributing goods. As operating costs for logistics businesses increase, squeezing their profit margins, some of these additional costs may be transferred onto consumers in the form of higher goods and/or delivery fares. ››




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›› Tim Waples, Chief Executive, UKMHA, explains, “UK households face a severe squeeze on their finances this year and have limited scope to cushion the blow by saving less as the household saving ratio is already below the 2010-2019 average. Moreover, 'excess' savings accumulated during the pandemic are concentrated among high-income groups, who tend to spend a smaller share of their saving. We therefore expect demand to be weaker than forecast in the Autumn report, although a recovery in real incomes next year should allow spending to rebound strongly.” There are, however, some positive outlooks, explains Tim Waples, “Though the early stages of the recovery in capital spending have been slow, business surveys report robust investment intentions. The strong financial position of firms (in aggregate) should support a solid recovery. Many large companies paid down bank debt during the pandemic, and the corporate sector has accumulated large ‘excess’ cash holdings. “The temporary ‘super-deduction’ tax incentive should encourage firms to make use of this cash and bring forward capital spending before the scheme finishes in April 2023. This is reflected in a strong outlook for the machinery sector, although we expect a pullback in 2023 after the tax incentive expires. He concludes, “Respondents to the UKMHA survey are on balance less optimistic about the year ahead. This is quite a reversal from the November survey, where most respondents were more optimistic. However, this is understandable given the surge in inflation and the headwinds facing the UK economy. “Despite this, we expect IMHX to as be busy as ever. With the postponement of live events over the last two years, IMHX 2022 is the perfect opportunity for exhibitors to meet with prospects, demo equipment and develop their sales pipelines.” 




Choose Whittan for reliable and sustainable storage Sustainability has become a growing and significant issue that cannot be ignored, and when it comes to the logistics industry storage solutions can play a big part. As the UK’s largest steel storage manufacturer, Whittan understands the importance of sustainability.

Our pallet racking, shelving and lockers are manufactured here in the UK across four factories and one in Spain, meaning we’re never far away from our customers. By choosing Whittan you’ll benefit from shorter lead times and avoid supply chain issues, as well as minimising your impact on the environment. Built to last

Storage that grows with your business If you need more storage space it can also make environmental sense to expand on your existing system rather than extending the footprint of your current location. That is precisely where Whittan comes in! We can work with you to build on your existing storage solution to add extra capacity and we can install adjustable solutions that are designed to grow with your business.

When addressing sustainability, it’s crucial to address the lifecycle of the product. Does your storage meet the Team of SEMA approved experts needs of your warehouse or building Finally, no matter how carefully you and throughput of goods? Has it use your storage scheme, damage been designed, manufactured and will occur from time to time, which installed to the highest standards can limit its lifespan and more according to the relevant codes that importantly can result in serious ensure reliability and long life in consequences for staff. SEMA use? Our solutions are in line with guidelines suggests you should British standard requirements and have at least one inspection, from British Safety Council Certifications. an expert every 12 months. For the We are also members of the ‘expert’ inspection we have a skilled Storage Equipment Manufacturers team of safety engineers, who are Association (SEMA) which requires on hand to provide SEMA approved our products to be independently pallet racking inspections. tested to meet their stringent Quality Assured Standard. This means our products are built toTHE last.UK’S LARGEST INTRALOGISTICS EVENT

Join us at IMHX In line with our commitment to sustainability, we are exhibiting at IMHX this year. Whittan’s stand will be constructed from our own UK manufactured products, allowing you to see with your own eyes the quality and durability of our solutions. Enhancing our sustainability credential even further, once the show has finished everything used in making the stand will go back into our factory to be reused! Visit Whittan on Stand 5F55 and you can speak to one of our experts, who will be on hand throughout the day to discuss your specific requirements.

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6 - 8 September | NEC Birmingham, UK


Prepare to automate The UK’s largest supply chain event is the perfect destination for companies preparing to automate. Matthew Jones, Administration and Events Manager for AMHSA, explains why. The Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA) will be showcasing the very latest in warehouse automation at IMHX 2022. With over 60 members, AMHSA is the voice of the automated intralogistics industry and provides a programme of training workshops and networking events throughout the year for members in order to facilitate the sharing of best practice. With six of the world’s top 10 system integrators being members of the trade association, AMHSA is uniquely placed to showcase the leading edge of the supply chain sector. And, with 30 AMHSA members exhibiting at IMHX, the exhibition is the perfect place to find the best in automated material handling solutions and potential suppliers. AMHSA PAVILION: THE HUB FOR AUTOMATION IMHX will once again feature the AMHSA Pavilion, which will be the prime focus for promoting logistics automation


at the show. Located in hall 5, adjacent to the main Logistics Conference theatre, the AMHSA Pavilion will enjoy a high footfall. Nine AMHSA members will exhibit on stands around the perimeter of the pavilion, while a further 21 will be based on larger stands around the exhibition. As at previous IMHX shows, the central area of the AMHSA Pavilion will feature a lounge for members to offer hospitality and light refreshments to clients, other guests and potential members. There will also be two meeting rooms for the exclusive use of members wishing to hold private discussions with customers and other visitors. AMHSA will be well represented at the show again because there is really nothing to compare with IMHX in terms of providing opportunities to meet prospective buyers and network with existing clients. This is why AMHSA invests heavily in its presence at the exhibition and seeks to educate as many visitors as possible ››


“IMHX will once again feature the AMHSA Pavilion, which will be the prime focus for promoting logistics automation at the show” MATTHEW JONES Events Manager AMHSA

›› about the benefits of automation. What are those benefits? Well, automation solves some of the most pressing issues in the supply chain today: labour availability problems, how to deal with e-commerce volumes and the need for resilience. LABOUR SHORTAGES The result of a combination of factors including labour migration out of the UK due to Brexit and perceived unattractiveness, labour availability is a real headache for warehouse operators today. Investing in automation can circumvent this issue and enable a step-change in productivity. Wage rises, demanded by many in the face of inflationary pressure, also help to shift the economics of the decision to automate. E-COMMERCE The rise of e-commerce is another significant driver of automation. Online sales as a proportion of all retail sales stood at over 26% in May 2022, substantially above its level of almost 20% in February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic. With global market research company, Forrester, predicting that online retail will account for 35% of all retail by 2025, retailers need to plan for increases in labour-intensive e-com fulfilment. Automation can deal efficiently and cost-effectively with e-com’s challenges in terms of singles picking and high return rates. RESILIENCE Another driver of the trend ››




to automate is the need for supply chain resilience. Following the complications of the pandemic and Brexit, companies want to ensure that they are better prepared for potential disruption in the future. With its lower reliance on labour, its capacity to handle peak volumes and its focus on avoiding single points of failure, automation is an increasingly attractive option.

cover one of the organiser’s key themes, Sustainability Through Technology. The other two AMHSA conference sessions form part of the Logistics Solutions series of presentations and take place from 11.30 am on Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, several AMHSA members are planning to deliver 5-minute Power Pitches to highlight an innovative product, service or solution.



The combination of these three factors – labour issues, e-com challenges and the need for resilience – mean that many firms are not viewing the decision to automate as a purely financial one but more as a way of creating competitive advantage, ensuring a high-quality customer experience or simply surviving as a business. Even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which have traditionally shied away from automation, are realising that they need to adopt digitalisation and automation to retain existing customers and win new business. As larger organisations create efficient supplier networks that leverage digitalisation, there is a trickle-down effect to not only their larger tier 1 suppliers but also to the SMEs in tiers 2 and 3. Fortunately, SMEs looking to implement automation are finding that there are now many scalable solutions on the market, along with more creative financing options.

AMHSA will also use its presence at IMHX to champion the recruitment of diverse talent into the logistics industry. Given the current rate of growth in logistics automation, handling system suppliers need to prioritise recruitment in order to develop the skills needed to design, install, maintain and upgrade these technologies. A key tool to help bridge the skills gap is apprenticeships and AMHSA operates its own apprenticeship programme – now in its eighth year – in association with car manufacturer, Toyota.

CONFERENCE SESSIONS Automation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence are just some of the topics that will be covered in the packed conference programme across two presentation theatres at IMHX. AMHSA has three conference presentations booked. One will be a panel discussion at the main stage on Wednesday at 10 am. This will


MEET OUR MEMBERS The AMHSA members exhibiting in the AMHSA Pavilion at IMHX are Actemium Automation, Diamond Phoenix Automation, ek robotics, Elmleigh Electrical Systems, Engelmann & Buckham, Invar Integration, IPL Global, Kardex Remstar, MiTek Mezzanine Systems and Warehouse Control Solutions. Members taking larger stands elsewhere at the show will be Bowe Systec, BS Handling Systems, Conveyor Units, Daifuku, Ferag, Gebhardt European Conveyor Systems, Go Plastic Pallets, Hi-Level Mezzanines, ifm electronic, Interroll, John Bean Technologies, KNAPP, Korber Supply Chain, Logistex, Narrow Aisle, NerakWiese, S&S Plastics, Swisslog, Wise Robotics and Witron. 


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The unstoppable rise of industrial real estate

Ahead of this year’s IMHX event, CLARE BOTTLE, UKWA CEO, describes how various supply chain forces; online shopping, Brexit, COVID, net zero targets, are all shaping the warehouses of tomorrow.

Record take-up, low vacancy rates and rising demand currently characterise the industrial and logistics real estate market and have done so for the last few years. In fact, warehousing is the fastest growing sector of the UK economy, outpacing information and communication, as noted in the recent report from The Office for National Statistics (ONS), The rise of the UK warehouse and the “Golden Logistics Triangle”. Consequently, the sector is gaining a profile amongst investors and policy makers that hitherto would have been undreamed of. There are several drivers behind this emergence of warehousing into the spotlight. Firstly, warehousing has become an essential to the online shopping/home delivery supply chain, with most retailers outsourcing at least in part to 3PLs. Warehouse operators are no longer simply storage and distribution points, but order fulfilment spaces where packaging and other added value activities are performed and returns processed. Accordingly, more, and larger warehouses in the right locations are needed to meet the new and growing demands on the sector. ››




›› The months of lockdown hastened the demise of high street retailing, with many stores closing for good. Online retailers flourished, with leader Amazon reporting record profits and accounting for 25% of all warehouse space take-up in 2021. Meanwhile the major supermarkets had to adapt to a changed business model, which saw shoppers opt for home delivery of groceries, adding further to pressure on warehousing space. A second driver is the recognition that long supply chains are vulnerable. Initially, the prospect and eventual realisation of Brexit caused companies importing into the UK to increase inventory levels to avoid likely supply chain delays. Subsequently, disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, climate-related events, incidents such as the Ever Given stranded in Suez, and geopolitical tensions – the most recent being the conflict in Ukraine, have served to underline the need to keep more inventory closer to markets to safeguard supply chain resilience.

Clearly we need more space. Research from Forrester states that by 2025 online retail will account for 35% of all retail, which means that at least 64m sq ft of additional warehouse space will be needed for that sector alone. Meanwhile, a report published by The British Property Federation and UKWA earlier this year, ‘Levelling Up – The Logic of Logistics’, showed that demand for logistics By 2025, online space across England has been underestimated retail will account for in planning policy for a decade, highlighting poor recognition of what it called ‘critical infrastructure’ in the National Planning Policy Guidance. If these constraints could be overcome, the report argued, warehouse expansion would be of all retail 29 percent higher than the already stellar growth seen across the UK.


Accordingly, with take-up last year reaching a new record high of 55.1m sq ft, 86% above the long-term yearly average and overtaking the previous record in 2020, Savills has reported that this demand for space means the vacancy rate has plummeted to an all-time low of 2.9%, causing rents for occupiers to rise sharply. Colliers states that the average prime rent for large distribution warehouses (100,000 sq ft +) in the UK rose by 15.6% to £9.24


per sq ft, while prime rent for smaller and multi-let units in the UK reached £12.36 per sq ft, up 15.5% year on year. Prime rents for London recorded an eye-watering 25.4% average annual increase.

That more land will need to be allocated for future industrial development is beyond doubt. However, the approach of planners invariably continues to be to prioritise residential development. The government has rolled out plans to build hundreds of thousands of new homes, yet what they have failed to grasp is that this simultaneously creates hundreds of thousands of potential new online shopping delivery addresses too. UKWA has long been calling for fundamental change in land use planning, arguing that warehouses provide an essential service ››


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›› for communities and should be baked into planning policy in the same way that GP surgeries and schools are an accepted part of critical infrastructure planning. To date the government hasn’t been listening. Warehouses need to be built close to communities. As well as being better able to serve consumers, warehouses located in or near to populous areas are more attractive to potential employees. This is a critical issue. Warehouse operators are in a highly competitive marketplace for workers, as recruitment specialist Indeed Flex confirmed at this year’s UKWA National Conference. They cited an 143% increase in warehouse job postings on the platform since before the pandemic, with 81% of companies struggling to attract staff. Proximity to place of work – as well as a conducive work environment - is a key consideration for workers looking for a better work/life balance. These market forces, along with net zero targets, are shaping the warehouses of tomorrow. UKWA’s 2021 report into the size and make up of the warehousing market in the UK has already identified that warehouses are getting larger and taller, while JLL has described ‘human-centric warehouse design’ as very much to the fore. UKWA member


Iron Mountain’s new warehouses, for example, are being built with the comfort and convenience of workers in mind – including facilities from creches to 5-a-side football pitches. As well as worker wellbeing, JLL’s recent survey suggested that technology is expected to have the greatest impact on building design in the coming years, along with sustainability. Reducing energy consumption and product waste will be key to achieving the government’s net zero targets for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy by 2050, as well as meeting stringent new ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) regulations. As real estate is responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions, the industry’s contribution to sustainability is crucial. Warehouses that are both energy efficient and self-sufficient, with on-site renewable sources and technologies, are resilient sites. In a future where climate risk will be interlinked with financial risk and where resilience will drive competitiveness, the ability of warehouses to generate and manage their own power will be crucial to continued long term success. 



R E I M E R P R YOU TICS EVENT S I G O L A R T IN IS BACK! It’s been a long three years, but the wait is finally over. This September, it’s time to welcome you and your industry back to IMHX – the UK’s must-attend intralogistics event of the year.





Sustainability Zone to deliver unique virtual world The Sustainability Zone at IMHX 2022 is a brand-new showcase feature for IMHX that promises visitors an educational experience rarely, if ever, seen at a logistics industry event.

The logistics industry has seen many advances over the last decade and has experienced an accelerated pace of change during the last three years in particular. The Sustainability Zone showcases technologies, processes and practices that have come to the forefront of the UK’s Warehouse and Logistics market across the three key areas of Technology, Innovation & Infrastructure, and People. Each area of the Zone provides practical insight into the tools available to build and maintain a sustainable, profitable and agile business model. Each area highlights pertinent themes, from leveraging data and digital processes to inform the design and implementation of the latest AMR technologies and their application in storage solutions for warehouse space, through ››







›› to the training and education of the workforce and more.

“The Sustainability Zone provides visitors with an opportunity to take stock of the technologies available without being sold to. The Zone is designed to be an inspirational, knowledgegathering space with a unique twist.” SIMON BAUGH Marketing Director SEC Group

The themes are represented by leading businesses in each area, widely regarded for their innovative approach and expertise. Visitors will be able to access information and practical advice about each theme at their leisure in a non-commercial environment, designed to allow visitors to benefit from time to research, learn and compare. “Often at events, exhibitors are under pressure to generate leads and new customers" comments Simon Baugh, Marketing Director at SEC Group. “The Sustainability Zone provides visitors with an opportunity to take stock of the technologies available without being sold to. The Zone is designed to be an inspirational, knowledge-gathering space with a unique twist.” Visitors will be able to view displays and information as with any other stand however the IMHX Sustainability Zone packs a hidden punch. Each physical display is a gateway to a digital universe full of additional information, interactive landscapes and a thought-leadership Knowledge Hub of relevant, useful resources. A trail of QR codes on key themes across the three core areas can be scanned simply via a mobile phone. These will reveal ››




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›› a dynamic layer of Augmented Reality that enhances the physical display with video, infographics and data highlights, bringing to life static information presented on the stand. Furthermore, visitors will be able to access links to additional resources and there is a portal to a virtual representation of the entire Sustainability Zone. Visitors can be transported in cyberspace to an auditorium that gives access, not only to the Sustainability Zone’s Digital Twin, but to an extended reality where visitors can walk through themed rooms in full Virtual Reality. Each room showcases a range of interactive features where visitors can take a walk through a range of warehouses and experience in vibrant 3D, just how technology can be applied to a variety of scenarios suitable for SMEs as well as larger organisations. The Virtual Reality layer in itself is a demonstration of how data and digital design can be used to visualize, prototype, train and test operational scenarios to generate flexibility and agility in the face of rapid changes to market demand.


Harry Watts, MD of SEC Storage, is particularly looking forward to guiding visitors through the Sustainability Zone, “The pandemic and the effects of lockdown provided a clear focus on what was essential for organisations to deliver, in order to survive and keep customers happy. Operational cost management, efficiency and the ability to be agile in response to rapidly changing market conditions became paramount concerns.” Harry continues; “We have some real surprises for visitors to the event and I think seeing how digital platforms can extend reality across a wide range of applications will be thought-provoking for those visitors deliberating how best to prepare for a volatile future. “Being chosen to deliver the Sustainability Zone at IMHX 2022 is a great honour for SEC Group and recognition of SEC’s experience and expertise delivering warehouse solutions that leverage technology and data to drive sustainable ROI and operational efficiencies.”  The Sustainability Zone is sponsored by ASG Energy Services, Crown lift Trucks, Ecologi, Intelligent Energy and Cranfield University."






A centre for excellence Cranfield University, the newly announced academic partner of IMHX, explains the benefits of the collaboration. The Cranfield Centre for Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management (CLPSCM) is a worldwide leading faculty group based at the School of Management at Cranfield University. It enjoys a strong legacy and history in logistics and supply chain management with our MSc in Logistics having been one of the first MSc Logistics programmes in the world. We are thought leaders with expertise across every function and area within logistics, procurement, and supply chain management and we are internationally recognised as a major centre of excellence. We deliver numerous activities including taught MSc programmes in MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management and MSc in Procurement and Supply Chain Management (both full-time) as well as a MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (part-time) which targets primarily managers and is supported by the Apprenticeship Levy. ››



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We also run executive short courses and customised programmes and research and consulting projects funded by numerous bodies and directly by companies. We also run the Agile Supply Chain Research Club which is a forum where senior managers representing numerous well-established and reputable companies and our senior academic staff meet regularly to explore contemporary challenges faced by senior managers in their company operations. Finally, CLPSCM is supported through an Industrial Advisory Board which explores the dynamics of continuous change faced within the logistics industry and feeds this back into our thought-leadership activities for the benefit of the logistics, procurement, and supply chain management communities around the world. These activities combined with CLPSCM’s legacy and reputation provide an ideal platform for an excellent collaboration and partnership with IMHX. This collaboration aligns to the Cranfield School of Management ethos of “knowledge into action” where we aim our thought-leadership to support and shape the future thinking of our stakeholders (e.g. students, managers, policy makers etc.) by bringing logistics, procurement and supply chain management to the forefront of societal awareness. Equally, this collaboration introduces CLPSCM to a wider audience supporting our continued commitment to the dissemination of ideas and knowledge through publications, keynotes and symposia and compliments the IMHX offering to its retailers, manufacturers, transporters, developers, and other sectors with an opportunity to source solutions, services and suppliers who are capable of tackling the challenging demands faced by supply chains. As part of this collaboration CLPSCM is proud and excited to be part of the Sustainability Zone, which is a great initiative.  or visit



Conference Overview | August

already made a huge impact in their career.

An exciting line up of speakers will address the biggest developments fuelling innovation across the logistics sector during a series of free-to-attend sessions taking place at IMHX 2022. The resilience of the UK’s supply chain was in the spotlight throughout the pandemic. Whether keeping supermarket shelves well stocked or delivering vital PPE, logistics workers across the country – and, indeed, the world – proved the importance of developing and maintaining a robust supply chain strategy. With over 45 hours of content across three days, logistics professionals can expect to learn how to build on that resilience. Sessions will highlight the latest in automation technology, an update on the state of the UK property market and in-depth discussions around how to integrate both ecological and social sustainability into your business. There will be two conference theatres at IMHX. The Logistics Theatre is your hub for high-level discussions about sustainability and infrastructure. With panel debates on each day of IMHX, this is your chance to engage with and learn from industry leaders from across the logistics sector.

The Solutions Theatre will house the latest technological solutions leaving their mark on the world of warehousing. You can expect product demonstrations and case studies, as well as a panel debate of tech experts who will discuss the future of warehouse automation and where to make the best investments. Power Pitch, a Dragons' Den-style session, will take place in the Solutions Theatre. Five companies will have five minutes each to give the most impressive three-slide presentation showing practical applications of their product, and a panel of judges will give a prize to the best pitch. Speakers already confirmed include Shane Brennan from the Cold Chain Federation, Carl Hawkes from the food waste charity Fareshare, and Dr Heather Skipworth, Associate Professor of Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Management at Cranfield University. The full conference programme will be available within the coming weeks and can be viewed online at IMHX is the UK’s longest running materials handling exhibition and IMHX 2022 takes place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 6 – 8 September 2022. This year, more than 300 companies will be presenting the latest developments in intralogistics technology, making IMHX 2022 the largest intralogistics solutions exhibition in the UK. 

Wednesday afternoon in the Logistics Theatre will host the announcement of the Supply Chain #NextGen initiative, highlighting 30 logisticians under the age of 30 who have



August | Conference Overview

Tuesday 6th September Sustainability Zone: Panel Debate SEC Storage, ASG Energy Services Intelligent Energy GXO Presentation Mark Simmons, HR Director Innovation and Infrastructure Prologis Investing in Our Carbon Future through Estate Transformation Iron Mountain, Tritax, JLL Social and environmental benefits of redistributing surplus food FareShare Placing ex-offenders into employment Tempus Novo

Wednesday 7th September AMHSA Sustainability: Panel Kardex, Hi-level Mezzanine, Interoll Generation Logistics Panel: Recruiting a diverse pool of talent NOVUS, WiL, TBC Bi-modal supply chains for efficiency and responsiveness Cranfield University Revolutionising the last mile Prologis How can occupiers secure space in the current environment? Savills Lessons from crisis: Mapping the future of resilient cold chains Cold Chain Federation

Thursday 8th September Strategic procurement and supply chain management Cranfield University UKWA Presentation Clare Bottle, CEO End user showcase Speaker TBC XPO Logistics: Panel Debate Dr Nicholas Head, Environmental & Sustainability Lead Adapting to the e-commerce boom Rueben Scriven, Interact Analysis

Supply Chain #NextGen: Winners Ceremony



Exhibitor Highlights | August

Key exhibitor round-up Over three days more than 300 exhibitors - including Whittan Group, Knapp, Combilift, Geekplus, Cesab, Zebra Technologies, Crown Lift Trucks and Swisslog – will showcase the developments that are reshaping the post-pandemic global logistics industry. IMHX 2022 event director, Rob Fisher, comments: “IMHX 2022 will be the essential gathering place for UK logistics professionals to reconnect with the industry, stay ahead of supply chain trends and source the latest storage and handling solutions from some of the world’s most innovative and influential manufacturers and suppliers.” “Nothing compares with the power of face-to-face meetings and the opportunity to engage with product demonstrations and interactive displays that a ‘live’, in-person event provides.” AUTOMATION AND ROBOTICS The chance to see working demonstrations of the latest automated handling technology - from entry level solutions to fully automated warehouse systems - is just one of the many


reasons to visit IMHX 2022. Interest in warehouse automation has been growing exponentially over several years and the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the availability of picking staff, forklift drivers and other warehouse personnel has driven demand for the automated guided vehicles, autonomous vehicles and other forms of robotics to new levels as more and more logistics companies seek ways of working that rely less on large numbers of people. For example, IMHX 2022 will be the place to evaluate the growing range of driverless forklift trucks that are becoming an increasingly common feature within warehouses and DCs. Operator-free forklifts undertake every type of task that ››


SOUTHGATE SHD ADVERT JULY 2022_Layout 1 08/06/2022 09:49 Page 1

August | Exhibitor Highlights

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Exhibitor Highlights | August

›› would be expected of a traditional manually operated forklift – including vehicle loading and unloading, pallet put-away and retrieval in both standard and very narrow aisle racking configurations, as well as pallet and stillage movements throughout the warehouse. In addition to the obvious savings in labour costs, the technology brings a host of other benefits, including reduced damage to goods, racking and trucks, greater picking accuracy and more efficient use of the available storage space. VisionNav Robotics is among the fastest-growing operator-free industrial vehicle manufacturers in the world and the company will use IMHX 2022 to highlight the range of fully automated, vision-guided forklift trucks and intelligent operating systems that it has produced for the European market. These days plenty of sophisticated automated handling technology is within financial reach of SMEs as well as the biggest players, and a host of pioneering and industry-leading automation providers will be demonstrating solutions that range from entry-level technology to advanced, large scale integrated projects at IMHX 2022. Exhibitor Swisslog’s automated warehousing technologies include traditional high bay warehouses and innovative robotbased materials handling solutions that provide quality, flexibility and efficiency. Every application is customised to deliver the lowest cost per pick. Meanwhile Gebhardt – who celebrate their 70th anniversary in 2022 – will show examples of the kind of customised and innovative intralogistics solutions that they have been supplying to customers throughout the world for more than seven decades.


The automated storage, transport, sorting and picking systems supplied by Daifuku include flexible automated guided vehicle (AGV) transport technology as well as rail-guided sorting transfer vehicle (STR) systems, while Knapp’s smart solutions and automated storage systems support the logistics processes of leading companies worldwide. BotsAndUs will show how their fully autonomous robots measure, track and find goods across warehouses without workflow disruption, while visitors will also discover how Exotec’s range of robotics deliver sustainable warehouse productivity gains by enabling human workers and robots to collaborate. HAI Robotics, the pioneer in Autonomous Case-handling Robot (ACR) systems, will exhibit its highly flexible goods-to-person solutions that are designed to improve operational efficiency and storage density. Warehouse operators visiting the event can find out how they can enjoy the benefits of Covariant’s robotics solution with minimal upfront costs by signing up for the company’s robotics-as-a-service customised subscription agreements and also learn how Amber Industries Ltd – a company with over 40 years’ experience in the automated mechanical handling and conveyor industry - works to enhance the efficiency of its clients’ operations by providing innovative and expertly tailored conveyor solutions at a competitive price. Visitors can also check out the range of automated storage systems for pallets and bins developed by racking and storage solutions supplier, Stow. SUSTAINABILITY With environmental issues very much to the fore, IMHX 2022 ››


August | Exhibitor Highlights




Exhibitor Highlights | August

“Sustainability is the new frontier on which companies must compete and it is going to have a significant impact” HARRY WATTS Managing Director SEC Storage

›› will also be the place to examine the advanced lift truck power sources, such as lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, that are remodeling the way that many companies operate their intralogistics processes.

Manager at Intelligent Energy

Rob Fisher says: “With heightened environmental concerns, the market for low – or zero – emission fuel technologies is growing significantly and many of the companies at the forefront of the low emission lift truck revolution will be highlighting their latest models at IMHX 2022.”

Intelligent Energy is among the sponsors of a brand new feature of IMHX 2022 – the Sustainability Zone. Combining physical displays, augmented reality, and virtual reality demonstrations, the IMHX Sustainability Zone will give visitors a ‘deep dive’ into the many steps that companies operating in the supply chain space can take to make sure they perform as sustainably as possible.

For example, Intelligent Energy, a leading fuel cell development and manufacturing business, will showcase the new “H2 E-Pack” – a plug-and-play battery replacement that uses the company’s IE-LIFT™ MHE fuel cell module at its core.”

“This makes it a great power source for large forklift fleets operating within busy distribution and manufacturing centres, providing significant OEE improvements,” he adds.

With the H2 E-Pack, when a hydrogen, powered piece of equipment is running low on hydrogen the tank is simply refilled at a unit similar to a forecourt petrol pump. The refilling process typically takes just a couple of minutes, which is much faster than the several hours it can require to recharge a traditional lead-acid battery.

Prominently located within the main IMHX exhibition hall, the ground-breaking zone, which is being delivered in partnership with SEC Storage, will provide visitors with an insight into an array of adoptable sustainable initiatives. Set across 300 square metres, it will allow visitors to take away everything they need to develop an effective sustainability policy or benchmark their existing strategy against examples from some of the most successful companies in the industry.

“Unlike batteries, which create power from the energy they have stored inside, fuel cells make electricity from fuel delivered via an external tank. So, while a battery will require lengthy recharging, a fuel cell will keep generating electricity as long as fuel is supplied,” explains Adam Keenan, Business Development

Harry Watts, Managing Director of SEC Storage, says: “Sustainability is the new frontier on which companies must compete and it is going to have a significant impact on every business’s long-term viability. Increasingly, we will see that a positive approach to social and environmental issues brings ››



›› financial reward, so ‘doing good’ will have a direct impact on a company’s ability to ‘do well.’ “It is no longer enough to ‘green wash’ your company’s environmental performance or treat issues such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace as another ‘box-ticking exercise’.” Of course, embracing sustainability is not just a corporate social responsibility issue – it can be the catalyst for driving operational and financial efficiency and optimising supply chain performance. For example, logistics companies are among the biggest users of cardboard packaging material and the internet shopping boom has resulted in a substantial and sustained hike in the amount of cardboard required to construct the boxes that protect e-commerce orders in transit. Indeed, the industry uses an estimated 5 billion corrugated boxes in the UK alone each year. But a simple way to slash the volume of cardboard used across the sector is to ensure that, when goods are being packed prior to leaving the warehouse, they are put into an appropriately sized cardboard box. Sparck Technologies (formerly Packaging by Quadient) will use IMHX to demonstrate its eco-conscious packaging technology that creates fit-to-size boxes for every consignment quickly and efficiently. For example, Sparck’s CVP Impack automated packaging solution can pack up to 500 parcels per hour and requires only one operator while the CVP Everest model packs up to 1,100 parcels per hour with two operators. Sparck’s fit-to-size box maker is among a plethora of systems and solutions specifically developed to meet the distinct needs of online retailers and their fulfillment operations will be under the spotlight at IMHX 2022. Narrow Aisle Ltd, for example, will demonstrate the benefits of the Easi-Pick, a compact ride-on electric-powered vertical order picker designed specifically with e-fulfillment operations in mind. The Easi-Pick delivers hugely improved productivity and increased safety for warehouse staff as they carry out a range of picking duties at both lower levels and at height within warehouse aisles. Its ability to work in very narrow aisles (VNA) means 30% more pallet and shelving locations can be designed into storage systems compared to traditional wide aisle operations. Meanwhile, a range of storage and picking technology ideal for equipping ‘dark stores’ – the new breed of micro-fulfillment centres that are widely regarded as one of the most exciting online retail developments to emerge from the pandemic, will be highlighted by Bito Storage Systems. Of course, with global energy prices soaring, the commercial incentive for operating in an environmentally-conscious way has never been greater. With many of the world’s leading MHE manufacturers highlighting the latest developments in power sources and fuel cell technology, IMHX 2022 will be the perfect opportunity to see the latest carbon-reducing offerings from many of the world’s leading forklift brands. For instance, environmental benefits have long been at the forefront of Crown Lift Trucks’ product development plans and IMHX 2022 will see the company highlight its family of reach ››



Exhibitor Highlights | August

›› truck models that deliver industry-leading energy savings.

Warehousing Association (UKWA).


Dave Berridge, Secretary of AMHSA, comments: “As the world realigns post-pandemic, vibrant business events like IMHX 2022 will provide vital meeting places for logistics professionals to reconnect and discover new ways of improving their businesses.”

In addition to the full exhibition floor, IMHX 2022 will host a multi-track series of educational seminars, talks and workshops, with each covering key industry themes and trends. The full agenda, which is supported by Cranfield University as the official Academic Partner, will feature some of the industry’s most influential, innovative and pioneering minds as conference speakers. Rob Fisher comments: “The main conference at IMHX 2022 will focus specifically on sustainability, while the Logistics Solutions agenda will dive into how advancements in technology and product design are driving key efficiency gains.” “As new supply chain challenges continue to emerge amidst the demands of an ever-growing population, both the conference and exhibition at IMHX will provide the ultimate opportunity for this important industry to prepare and protect their operations,” he adds. INDUSTRY SUPPORT IMHX 2022 enjoys cross-industry support from the UK’s leading logistics industry associations and trade bodies, including: Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA), the UK Materials Handling Association (UKMHA); and the UK

Clare Bottle, CEO of the UK Warehousing Association, says: “IMHX is a melting pot for all elements of the third party logistics, supply chain planning and materials handling industries. It is the perfect place to connect manufacturers and suppliers of a host of products and services with the organisations that have the most to gain from them.” UK Materials Handling Association CEO, Tim Waples, says: “A visit to IMHX is always a great chance to see the complete range of materials handling equipment, from conventional fork lift trucks and pallet movers to state-of-the-art intralogistics solutions, all under one roof. This is a wonderful opportunity to understand how modern technology can integrate with conventional handling solutions to deliver the operational benefits supply chain bosses are looking for.” Rob Fisher adds: “After Covid it will be great to be back at the NEC and I look forward to welcoming visitors and exhibitors alike to an event where it is certain that a lot of business will be done. Every aspect of IMHX 2022 will be relevant for the challenges and opportunities presenting themselves to companies in the logistics and supply chain sectors today.” 

IMHX 2022 will take place from 6 – 8 September at the NEC, Birmingham and admission is free-of-charge. To register for your free exhibition entry pass please visit



August | Exhibitor Highlights

Seeing is believing Marcel Kars, Vice President, Warehouse Automation Zebra Technologies writes on how the cloud is making AMRs accessible and valuable to logistics managers. Many logistics managers assume that autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are hard to integrate and manage, that there is a long-term cost burden and commitment, and that worker safety could be compromised. This couldn’t be further from the truth. SAFETY FIRST My colleague, world-renowned roboticist Melonee Wise, has been working with Zebra’s engineering team to ensure Fetch AMRs are fully compliant with the ANSI/RIA R15.08 standard for industrial mobile robots (IMRs) – a standard she helped define. Our engineers also work with integrators to help ensure modified AMRs or scaled AMR systems can still operate safely in your environment. In addition, Zebra automation engineers have been using machine learning, convolutional neural nets and other cloudbased technologies to empower AMRs to adapt to the world around them, so you don’t have to be afraid of collisions. These AMRs can detect and delineate between different semantic objects like people, forklifts, and pallets thanks to what they’ve been taught via the cloud. They also know how to successfully navigate around – or away from – a person in close proximity based on encoded behaviours as well as current sensory inputs. Furthermore, with AMRs managed via the cloud, it’s easy to record data that helps engineers understand and make refinements to each robot’s performance. In fact, we have measured as much as a 54% improvement in robot velocity as it moves through a customer facility by monitoring and expanding its social behaviours.


COST CONTROLS Feeling comfortable with AMRs’ physical presence is one thing; feeling comfortable managing the robots without an on-premise IT team presence is another. Of course, I know that you must also be comfortable with how AMR-related expenses are managed during the lifecycle before you can buy in. So, let me clear up one common misperception: though AMRs have a hardware component, you do not need to commit CapEx. Thanks to the cloud-based, robot-as-a-service (RaaS) model we offer, you can deploy as many robots as you need today without having to account for what your needs may be tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes, you can scale the system without having to rip and replace what you did today. Both the hardware – the AMR itself – and the cloud-based FetchCore software can be acquired and managed fully via subscription. Better yet, the AMRs can be rolled out in a matter of hours or days by a team that may or may not be on site. An IT or operations manager can login to the dashboard from any internet-connected device to integrate the AMRs with information systems, map facilities for navigation, monitor robot performance, and build or adjust workflows. Everything from optimised picking to automated material transport to inventory tracking can be securely configured and managed remotely. Stop by booth 5B90 at IMHX 2022. We will have our full line-up of Fetch AMRs online so you can see first-hand how easy it is to automate your workflows and augment your workforce via the cloud. 


Exhibitor Highlights | August

‘A host of innovations’ Combilift’s presence at this year’s IMHX will be hard to overlook. Around 16 models will be exhibited across a number of stands, which offer a snapshot of the increasingly diverse range of products that the company now offers.

Exhibits range from small pedestrian stacker trucks to the Combi-SC Straddle Carrier which can lift loads of over 100t. So, whether you need to move a 1t pallet around the warehouse, or handle long and bulky modular buildings in and out of production facilities, Combilift will have a suitable model. All Combilift’s solutions are also designed and engineered to adhere to the company’s ethos of safe, space-saving and productive handling. The majority of models at IMHX are electric powered, which reflects the move towards more sustainable and emission-free materials handling across many industry sectors. Combilift CEO and Co-Founder Martin McVicar: “Over 60% of the trucks we manufacture are now electric, with availability in almost all models across our range, and we are seeing more and more of our customers switching to electric power.” Some of the exhibits were launched virtually when Covid restrictions made it impossible for live events, but visitors will now have the first chance to have a close-up view of the new models such as the extraordinary manouevrability of the new Combi-MR4. This 4-wheel electric powered multidirectional reach truck features Combilift’s new Dynamic 360° steering, enabling seamless directional change while on the move, and allowing


forward sideward and crab steer mode for speedy operation. For maximum use of low-level space in racking systems, the configuration of two drive wheels at the rear and two sets of smaller dual front wheels provides a platform height as low as 380mm. The new Combi-FSE 4-wheeled, two directional sideloader also incorporates innovative technology in the form of the patented Electronic Traction Control, Combilift’s most advanced steering system on its four wheeled trucks to date. This ensures optimum performance in all weather conditions, improved steering control for the operator, better truck turning radius and reduced tyre wear. As to be expected from Combilift there will be plenty of action on the stands, with live demos throughout the three days, as well as in the dedicated demo area. Martin McVicar: “After the enforced break due to the pandemic, we are really looking forward to finally being able to catch up with our dealers and customers as well as making new contacts. And as our designers have been very busy since the last IMHX we have a host of new models and innovations to show them.” 


August | Sponsored Content

Sustainability drive Crendon Timber, specialists in the design and manufacture of engineered timber products, has taken delivery of electric Combilift-CBE Multi Directional Forklifts from Briggs Equipment. The new machines signal the start of a sustainability drive for Crendon to help meet their own sustainability targets and reduce environmental impact through investment in green technology and processes. These machines are already having a positive impact on-site and have fitted seamlessly into Crendon’s operations. Ed Kirk, Crendon Timber’s Operations, Innovation and Sustainability Director, commented: “As two leading firms in their respective fields, Crendon Timber and Briggs have worked in partnership for several years, Briggs manage our fleet of sideloaders, multi-directional and forklift trucks. “As part of our cleaner environment sustainability programme to reduce emissions and lower running costs, Crendon Timber are introducing electric trucks. We have already taken delivery of electric multi directional forklifts in East Harling and Glastonbury, whist we are trialling electric sideloaders and multidirectional trucks on two of our sites. There is an ongoing programme to replace our existing fleet of trucks over the next few years and make the switch to an all-electric fleet.” Chris Tustain, Briggs Equipment’s Key Account Manager, commented: “We have established a fantastic partnership with Crendon Timber and we are delighted to support their move towards electric equipment. Given the diversity of our fuelefficient and environmentally friendly product range, we have been able to propose a phased implementation programme that fits their budget and requirements. “We look forward to continuing the roll-out of this new electric equipment and ensuring Crendon can continue to get the most out of their machines.” 



#NextGen | August

The logistics leaders of tomorrow Thirty of the brightest and most talented young people working in today’s logistics industry will be recognised at a special presentation and networking reception during this year’s IMHX to mark the inauguration of The Supply Chain #NextGen. The Supply Chain #NextGen has been launched to shine a light on thirty logistics professionals aged thirty years old or under who are considered to have made an impressive start to their supply chain careers and who look set to go on to play a key role in the sector’s future. IMHX event director, Rob Fisher, comments: “The purpose of The Supply Chain #NextGen is to give the young leaders of tomorrow the chance to gain recognition through an official industry seal of approval that acknowledges both their early success and long-term potential. We intend for it to be a platform that will allow the best young talent to develop, grow and enhance their logistics careers.” The Supply Chain #NextGen is open to all logistics professionals aged thirty or under*. There is no restriction on the area of the supply chain in which they work, their experience or the ››



August | #NextGen

›› position or level of seniority within an organisation that they have reached. Rob Fisher says: “The Supply Chain #NextGen is very much open to all. We are as keen to hear from school-leavers who have made a positive impression among their colleagues as well as graduates who may have entered the industry in a managerial capacity.” Candidates can nominate themselves or be put forward by a colleague. Nominations close on Friday 22 July, at which point a judging panel will evaluate and score each entry. The top 30 will be revealed during IMHX 2022 and all finalists will be invited to take part in a number of exciting opportunities including roundtables, speaker panels, podcast episodes and more that will ensure that they maintain a high profile in the months ahead. To find out more about Supply Chain #NextGen or to make a nomination, visit  *Nominees not to have reached their 31st birthday as of December 31st, 2022.

“The Supply Chain #NextGen is very much open to all. We are as keen to hear from school-leavers who have made a positive impression among their colleagues as well as graduates” ROB FISHER IMHX Event Director Informa



xx | August