Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Aisle-Master’s special delivery for Eddie Stobart

One of the best known and most iconic names in the transport and distribution sector, Eddie Stobart, has placed a substantial order with Irish articulated forklift manufacturer Aisle-Master to provide a large fleet for its Contract Logistics and Warehousing Division.

Stobart-2This arm of Stobart’s operations offers over 6 million square feet of storage facilities for major names in the UK retail and manufacturing sectors. Twenty-five Aisle-Masters have so far been delivered to various sites, another ten are due to be operational over the next twelve months and as new opportunities for sites and contracts are identified the number looks set to increase even further.

The Aisle-Masters were selected following a tendering process for a new fleet that was necessary due to certain changes in the business model coupled with an increase in customer demand and throughput volume. As Stobart’s ageing articulated trucks were coming to the end of their operational life the company decided to investigate alternative brands as it was keen to stick to the articulated system which ensures optimum pallet density in narrow aisle configurations.

The build quality and reputation for extreme reliability of the Aisle-Masters were two factors which won over Operations Director Graeme Undy and MHE Manager Brian Smith. Equally important in securing this significant contract however was the accommodating and “can do” attitude of Aisle-Master personnel as well as Carrylift Group who supplied and service the fleet. Graeme explains: “Just as we engage with our workforce and take note of their issues, we like to forge amicable relationships with suppliers who are open to suggestions from our side. This helps to drive innovation, is beneficial for all concerned and accords with Aisle-Master’s ethos of providing customer led solutions.”

Feedback from initial trials led to certain modifications for some or all of the fleet: to the design of the overhead guard and steering column for example. The electric powered 20WHE models with 2000kg capacity that are now working in around 70% of Stobart’s warehousing network are bespoke units and some of suggestions made by the Stobart team will be incorporated in the Aisle-Master design going forward.


The trucks are mainly used for inside operation to place and pick pallets that have been deposited in the goods-in bay by other forklifts or power pallet trucks, but their versatile indoor/outdoor capability means that at sites with external pallet banks they can also be used for offloading and yard work. Existing narrow aisle widths vary from 1660mm to 2400mm depending on the location and racking heights are typically from 9m to 11m.

One crucial issue in the initial tender was the provision of continual battery power for minimum disruption when batteries need to be changed. The solution from Aisle-Master was to supply three batteries for each unit, so that at any one time one is in use, the other is charging and the third is standing ready. This means that streamlined operation is guaranteed whatever shift system is in operation. The quick and easy battery changeover using a pallet truck takes just a minute or so according to Graeme and results in permanent availability of equipment.

AMlogo-newCMYK“We have seen a marked increase in productivity levels at every site where the Aisle-Masters have been introduced,” says Graeme, “which is good for our operators, good for us and therefore beneficial to our customers. The investment in this new fleet has certainly paid off.”

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