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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

A Safe Platform


Pharmaceutical manufacturers invest a great deal of time and money creating logistics systems that function safely and effi ciently, but poorly chosen pallets could be a weak link in their planning from shipping products to moving goods internally, pallets are an essential component in every logistics operation. In Europe there are approximately half a billion pallets in circulation every year, with 70 million of those in the UK alone. Manufacturers rely on pallets to store and transport their goods, yet it is surprising how little thought goes into selecting the type of pallets they use.

Taking a look at how a modern logistics system operates, and the high-value investment in creating a system that works safely and efficiently, suggests more consideration should be given to the pallet.

What about the Humble Pallet?

Letís start with racking systems. Racking systems are widely used in warehouses as they offer considerable space advantages over fl oor storage and allow easy access for the retrieval of goods. Ensuring a racking system is of good mechanical construction, sound material and adequate strength, and is installed and maintained correctly, requires not just time and financial investment but manpower too.

Modern racking systems are becoming ever more complex. There are experts in this field that can work out how to get the maximum number of pallets in the smallest amount of space to achieve the most efficient storage with the help of advanced computer systems. Technology in warehouses today is not only able to store pallets in random locations, but can instruct an operative or an automated guided vehicle (AGV) to locate and retrieve a particular pallet when itís required. These systems can track the movement of each pallet and are able to cope with the most complicated stock rotation requirements.

Materials handling equipment is another key component of modern logistics systems. With the ever increasing variety of handling equipment on offer, a great deal of thought is given to their selection process. There are automated varieties, narrow aisle trucks, bendy trucks, or trucks that require drivers Ė all of whom are given extensive training to ensure they operate the vehicles safely.

Great care and consideration also go into choosing suitable protective clothing for staff Ė high visibility jackets, helmets, steel-capped boots. In fact, failure to do so could leave companies vulnerable to prosecution. Despite the time and huge financial investment that go into selecting the best racking systems, computer systems and handling equipment to get a logistics system up and running, some companies are compromising all this hard work and effort by using second-hand wooden pallets.

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Jim Hardisty is the founder and Managing Director of Goplasticpallets.com. After 18 years of working in the logistics sector and six years in the pallet industry, Jim set up Goplasticpallets.com in 2001 to facilitate the supply of plastic pallets to businesses in the UK. Ten years on, Jim has signed exclusive partnership agreements with a number of pallet manufacturers across Europe, including IPS and SmartFlow in Belgium and Q-Pall in the Netherlands.
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