Taking lessons learned from COVID-19 to further improve the loading environment:
The changing commercial landscape of 2020 has taught us many valuable lessons surrounding working safely in challenging times. At Thorworld we’ve been looking at ways to take our practical Covid-19 experiences and use them to strengthen our own ever-evolving business, as well as the enterprises of others.
Lesson 4 – Ready to take the load
Over recent months the Thorworld team has become an invaluable support to frontline delivery teams nationwide.
With online ordering and associated delivery pressures increasing at pace, logistics companies have relied upon their couriers to work above and beyond normal operating practice, but have also held the responsibility to keep employees and contractors safe at all times.
The progression from ‘in shop’ to ‘delivery drop’ has required Thorworld to install safe, appropriate, and enabling loading solutions in warehouses across the country, often at short notice.
Keeping more operatives safe
Naturally, we have been working within all safe social distancing guidelines as we perform our installation tasks. As we’ve worked, we have observed that often, the reason why we are putting additional equipment in place is to keep the country’s growing numbers of loading and delivery personnel as safe as possible.
All signs point to the delivery sector’s further expansion. In September, the Financial Times reported that Amazon is set to increase its UK workforce by a third this year, with the ecommerce group planning to add 7,000 more engineers, pickers and packers by year-end in response to rising online demand.
Supermarkets also continue to ramp-up online operations to serve millions more shoppers at home under the Covid-19 pandemic. Back in May, Tesco more than doubled its number of delivery slots, including click and collect, to 1.2m in six weeks and Sainsbury’s was on course to increase its number of slots by more than 75 percent.
Loading solutions for challenging times
We’ve been helping to support warehouse management teams’ duty of care by providing effective equipment to safely facilitate extra loading areas.
Our Rent-a-Ramp service is an example of one such solution; quick to position, safe to use, and highly enabling with the capacity to convert previously unused or outdoor spaces into instant loading facilities.
In the right circumstances, the equipment can help operatives to socially distance, heighten efficiencies and keep increased delivery schedules on track.
Flexible rental options
The equipment can be rented for as few or as many weeks as required, and includes options to purchase outright at a future point with a proportion of the previous rental payments deducted from the balance.
What we’ve learned from providing the ramps to logistics operations during the Pandemic is that moving forward, planning for unforeseen challenges will become a routine part of everyday business practice; whether that’s through devising operational safety programmes, creating space to continue working using socially distanced guidelines, or being ready to bring more operatives on-board at short notice.
By understanding what equipment is available to enable best loading practice and creating the right environment to support it, logistics teams will be better prepared to address the unexpected, today, tomorrow, and well into the future.