Material handling and the Covid-19 pandemic

It is no surprise that the global pandemic has changed a lot of things across the world, in both our personal and professional lives. We have all been spending more time indoors, and those of us who go out to work have found new pressures and demands.

The impact has been felt especially strongly in certain sectors of the business world, with one of these being the material handling industry.

One may wonder why exactly the pandemic has caused such a sea change in the material handling industry. With skyrocketing needs that must be met, the sudden pressure has seen the industry struggling to meet demand.

Pandemic shopping habits

A leading reason for this spike in pressure is the increased demand for online shopping. Online shopping has been growing increasingly over the past twenty years, but this is the first time it has been widely essential for the general public.

Usually, most people will have split their shopping between the high street and buying online. However, since March 2020, this has become, at times, impossible. With the high street closing up during lockdowns and many unable to leave their houses due to shielding, pandemic online shopping has peaked, especially with sites like Amazon.

Increased online presence

As well as people ordering from established giants such as Amazon, many other shops that were perhaps not as prevalent in the online sphere have had to make the leap. This means hiring and training new workers in material handling so that demand can be met and smaller businesses can keep their doors open – if only virtually for the time being.

Shops that perhaps did not require warehouses before are now branching out and increasing the need for material handling. This industry has become a vital component of the “new normal” as we turn more and more to online solutions.

Warehousing requirements

People have been spending a lot more time ordering online, with Amazon warehouses busier than ever before. Warehousing demand has grown and grown over the past 12 months – which means more workers are needed in order to meet the needs placed on the eCommerce sector.

The material handling industry ensures that warehouses can get stock moved safely and keep the areas orderly for a quicker, cleaner turnaround. Ensuring that warehouses can meet the demands placed on them, fully trained and experienced material handling professionals are essential workers as they help warehouses to meet the demands which seem to only be growing as time goes by.

Hygiene and compliance

Covid-19 has not only caused a spike in online shopping trends, it has also led to the need for a larger focus on hygiene and a reduction of staff in certain areas. This has also impacted the staff in warehouses and those in the material handling industry.

Because of social distancing regulations, there is often a need for fewer staff to be working at any time, so those who are working are required to be fully trained and able to put in as much work as possible.

Having the correct equipment is also of vital importance – if a warehouse does not have enough heavy lifting equipment, this makes it harder to reach the higher targets set by changing consumer trends. For example, warehouses may need to increase the amount of forklift trucks that they have onsite, either temporarily as the pandemic goes on, or permanently if these customer trends continue in the future.

Meeting rising demand

As demand continues to rise, the material handling industry is integral to warehouses in a plethora of ways. With the eCommerce industry seeking more flexibility in supply chains and requiring more highly customised (and customisable) equipment and services.

Material handling offers essential support when it comes to the transportation of supplies and finished goods, the storage of stock, and even the distribution of both materials and goods across the country and beyond. With online shopping looking set to grow, material handling is becoming more and more innovative in order to meet the unique needs of each company.

How Radnes can help

With over forty years of experience, Radnes is a family run business which offers innovative and reliable solutions for those who need to hire, buy or repair forklift trucks.

With the increased usage of forklifting equipment, you may find that your trucks require more maintenance than usual, or that you simply need to hire more for busy periods. We will even advise you on the best forklift trucks to buy so that your purchase suits your business needs. If you are hiring new staff, we can supply you with training for the forklift trucks, and carry out safety inspections for your peace of mind.

Based near Croydon, Radnes is ready to meet the forklifting needs in the South East of England, all at a very competitive price for our reliable, friendly services.

If you have found your business struggling with Covid and handling, get in touch with Radnes to find out how we can help you to rise up and meet the new pressures that have come along with this far from average year.