An estimated 3.4 million square metres of new warehousing space is in the construction pipeline across the UK as increasing demand for eCommerce shows no sign of slowing down. However, Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality manual handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, is urging those looking to take up these new spaces to consider the skills shortage prior to taking over new premises and the need for staff training on materials handling equipment to ensure safety is put ahead of productivity.
Logistics networks are facing a big challenge with a shortage of HGV, forklift drivers and experienced warehouse operatives that have either left to return to other parts of the EU post-Brexit or have moved on to new careers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although the UK is now catching up with new logistics hubs and warehousing space construction plans, retailers looking to take up these spaces are being urged to consider their future needs. Forward planning will need to cover both staff and equipment as the demand for both is set to soar with new facilities coming online in quick succession.
“The warehousing and logistics industry has been crying out for good quality warehousing space for many months, but now that it is underway, a series of new challenges are facing the industry with skill shortages already becoming apparent in the form of empty supermarket shelves,” said Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks.
“To help get the industry back on its feet after a challenging 18 months, those looking to take up this space need to plan now to ensure that they have the staff and equipment in place so that training can begin before they take ownership of their new warehousing space.
“With more and more recruitment drives aimed at attracting new warehousing and driver staff to the industry, having the right equipment and training in place now is imperative to maximise productivity as soon as these venues become operational, so act immediately to secure your materials handling equipment while stock levels are favourable.”