January is often the time where people look back on the previous year to evaluate progress. 2013 has seen big changes in the materials handling industry coupled with the excellent news that the economy is making a timely recovery. There were concerns early in 2013 that we would be facing a double-dip recession but after significant growth in various sectors (especially manufacturing and automotive), that’s no longer on the cards.
More good news from 2013 includes it being the most successful year ever for IMHX (International Materials Handling Exhibition). As you may know already, IMHX 2013 (the largest materials handling exhibition in the UK) had the highest ever footfall for an IMHX event, the number of visitors and exhibitors was so high in fact that the organisers had to open another hall just to accommodate everyone. The event, which is known to showcase the latest and greatest innovations in the industry, featured products from every range including manual and electric stackers, high lifters, lift tables and of course the humble pallet truck!
In more recent logistics news, the ‘World London Gateway’ deep-sea port (said to be able to handle 3.5 million containers a year) welcomed its first scheduled vessel in November. The ‘MOL Caledon’ from South Africa (a 58,000-tonne container ship) was laden with fruit and wine. Recent studies suggest the port will create around 36,000 jobs and will increase the logistic sectors contribution to the UK economy by £3.2 billion annually. Good news indeed as we all have very high hopes for 2014.