Micro fulfilment centres

In recent years, consumer demand for same-day and next-day delivery options has rocketed. To help meet demand, some retailers – mostly those selling groceries – have opted to make use of micro fulfilment centres (MFCs), which are essentially small warehouses. However, Phil Chesworth, Managing Director at Midland Pallet Trucks says, says that warehouse managers must make smart space-saving choices for these spaces to run efficiently.

To optimise delivery times, MFCs are usually located in densely populated areas. As a result, they have to be small and therefore tend to range in size from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet. In addition, the fast-paced nature of these facilities’ operations – including the need for frequent stock replenishment – means aisles are often congested with forklift and foot traffic.

Phil says, “In environments such as MFCs, where space is a major constraint, smaller equipment is necessary to run operations smoothly. This means pallet trucks need to be compact in size and able to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Additionally, they should be lower in weight to reduce the potential for injury”.

Areas of consideration when choosing equipment include the width of spaces in which trucks will operate, how quickly the turnaround of products needs to be, and the height and depth of racks.

MFCs often use electric pallet trucks and high-lift pallet trucks. Phil adds, “Failing to use the correct equipment will slow operations as drivers’ jobs will take longer to complete. This can lead to an increase in delivery times and a subsequent decrease in profit potential for companies. Therefore, companies need to be smart about the equipment that they use, in order to reduce operating costs and improve the efficiency of MFCs”.

To find out more about the wide range of material handling equipment available from Midland Pallet Trucks,

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