British-made forklifts take flight to meet deadline

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West Midlands-based articulated forklift truck manufacturer Flexi Narrow Aisle recently built trucks in record time to meet the urgent delivery timescale of an Indian food manufacturer.

ITC, one of India's largest food companies, needed the trucks for a new warehouse that was due to start receiving finished goods from its factory six weeks after the order had been placed, so Flexi Narrow Aisle sent part of the order by air freight. Two trucks left its Tipton factory – after a swift four-week build – on a Friday and were in use in the Indian factory by the following Tuesday. ITC needed to increase output at one of its food processing plants in the Pune region, but was restricted by the storage capacity of its onsite finished goods warehouse. The introduction of Flexi trucks and reconfigured racking layout around a very narrow aisle design allowed ITC to increase the pallet capacity of the Pune warehouse by 50%, allowing the increased output from the factory to be stored within the existing facility. "We are very active in the Indian market and trucks built at our UK production site destined for India are usually delivered by sea in container ships which can take five or six weeks," said John Maguire, Flexi Narrow Aisle's sales and marketing director. "ITC's needs were so urgent that it was agreed to ship the first two Flexis by air freight – which, of course, takes a fraction of the time that it takes a cargo ship to sail to India." In total, ITC ordered a fleet of 16 Flexis. The remainder of the order will be despatched by sea.