Shoreham Port has invested in a fleet of 35 new Yale forklift trucks to support its timber logistics operation that is estimated to handle up to 20% of all UK timber imports. The £2m contract is largest ever for supplier Solent Forklift Trucks, part of Forkway Group and one of the region’s leading materials handling specialists.
Shoreham Port is the largest timber handling port on the south coast of England with extensive experience and equipment for timber handling. Last year alone over 450,000m3 of timber was handled and stored in either the 47,000m2 of dedicated, modern dry warehousing or quayside paved open storage.
Most of the timber that comes through Shoreham’s lock gates is FSC and PEFC certified and has been shipped from the sawmills of Scandinavia and the Baltic countries of Latvia and Russia. Both these organisations are committed to providing a global certification system that enables customers to identify and purchase wood from well-managed forests, in keeping with Shoreham’s EcoPort status.
The Port’s unique Track-A-Pack stock control system allows customers to view ‘real time’ information about their stock, recording movements with 100% accuracy and tracking the pack of timber from the moment it lands at Shoreham to the moment it leaves on a vehicle.
The 35 new Yale Veracitor GDP55VX trucks provide up to 5.5 tonne lift capacity and replace a previous fleet of Yale trucks which were also supplied by Solent Forklift Trucks. The fleet will be used to load around 70 lorries each day, and are designed to withstand the variety of challenging weather conditions experienced in a port environment, from summer heat, gale force winds, driving rain, to sub-zero freezing temperatures.
Much like other operational equipment, the new forklift fleet will be fuelled with a low emission Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) fuel recently acquired by the Port, which is biodegradable and results in less odour, smoke and engine noise than conventional diesel fuel, creating a better working environment for the Shoreham Port team and the wider local community.
Tom Rawlins, Manager – Operations & Training at Shoreham Port commented “The forklift truck fleet is essential to ensure our Port Operatives can turn every ship around efficiently. Our Yale trucks pick up the timber packs as they are discharged, transport them to the barcode area and then onto storage across the 2.5km length of the Port.”
Ray Berry, General Manager at Solent Lift Trucks commented “The Stage V engine under the hood provides even greater fuel savings across the fleet compared to the previous model. For the drivers, the cloth seats with air suspension and HydraSmooth hydraulic accumulator help keep vibrations to a minimum. The full steel cab is a comfortable bubble for the operator with low noise levels.”
Safety is the highest priority at Shoreham Port, so the Port team conducted a full assessment of operations, reviewing all hazards and risks.
Tom commented “The Port’s processes were already at optimum levels, but there was more that could be done to the trucks thanks to a new generation of safety technologies available. Pedestrian segregation and the safety of colleagues is crucial, so every truck has left and right red perimeter lights, a rear blue spot light, two cab mounted work LED lights and mast mounted LEDs fitted along with a white noise reversing buzzer and an operating beacon.”
Tom continued “We are very proud of the part that Shoreham Port has to play in the UK timber supply chain and the Yale forklift trucks are an essential part of the journey providing efficiency, reliability and excellent environmental performance.”