In fast moving beverage distribution and third-party logistics (3PLs) operations, dependable lift trucks are needed to minimise downtime and maximise efficiency. The right choice of Hyster® lift trucks in these operations can help businesses to optimise productivity, overcome space challenges, and ultimately, deliver on time.

Within the beverage industry, 3PLs are often the essential link between manufacturers and retailers, and sometimes are also fulfilling e-commerce orders direct to consumers. Either way, the right material handling equipment is vital for making sure the goods can be received, transported within the warehouse, and loaded onto a lorry in time.

And timing is not the only challenge to overcome. Here are three other common challenges for beverage 3PLs and how matching the right Hyster® equipment to the application can help.

1. Space constraints

Warehouse space is increasingly at a premium in logistics and fulfilment applications, with cost per square metre growing. Many applications also have a need to store more product lines than ever but must accommodate this within the same warehouse footprint. This means stacks are getting higher and aisles are getting narrower, all while the same demanding operations continue.

To help overcome challenges around space, the range of Hyster® lift trucks and warehouse equipment delivers on manoeuvrability, with a compact yet dependable design. For instance, the Hyster® J2.2-3.5XN series of four wheel counterbalanced electric forklift trucks is a popular choice in beverage logistics operations. Through the dual drive AC motors, the drive axle provides a Zero Turning Radius axle, for faster and tighter manoeuvrability in narrow working aisles or around congested loading and unloading bays. The rear wheels turn more than 90° which helps the truck to turn within its own circle like a three-wheel truck.

Another intelligently designed solution ideal for applications where space is constrained is the Hyster® R1.0E, R1.2E and R1.4E Reach Truck models with a tilting mast. With a lift height of up to 7.5m, a small chassis and capacity of up to 1400kg they are ideally suited to manoeuvre in narrow aisles. The tilting mast assists drivers as they exit a pallet location meaning they don’t need to reverse so far to exit and turn, making it perfect for narrow aisles.

A special precision control tiller head option for Hyster® P1.6-2.2 Pedestrian Pallet Trucks is also a solution well suited to the needs of the beverage manufacturing and distribution industry. This option has been designed to provide the operator with full command of the truck’s functionality with the handle in the upright position, for compactness and manoeuvrability.

Operators have the high level of control that is critical for trucks operating in congested warehouse aisles, loading or unloading lorries, or working in the confined space of a trailer during last mile distribution. The intuitive and precision controls also offer ease of use, and ergonomic design for operator comfort.

2. Managing costs

Keeping costs under control can be a challenge, especially when managing a large fleet of equipment for a logistics warehouse. The Hyster Tracker wireless asset management system can help you optimise your fleet. For instance, Hyster Tracker can provide data on not only when and where trucks are used, but how long for. This highlights under- or over-utilisation issues that enable you to structure your fleet for maximum value.

In the past, many beverage distribution operations have used IC lift trucks but some are now finding that, when matched with their particular needs, Hyster® electric forklifts provide a more cost effective option.

Durable Hyster® J1.5-2.0XNT three-wheel electric lift trucks are well suited to tough logistics applications, delivering comparable IC productivity and performance alongside a low cost of operation. This is in part thanks to reliable and virtually maintenance free components that help to reduce service downtime, as well as energy efficient, zero-emissions operations.

Interest in lithium-ion batteries is also growing due to its many potential advantages in beverage handling applications, such as no acid spillage or gases, and the possibility of opportunity charging.

3. Unique requirements

Beverage loads can present unique challenges for the 3PLs handling them. For instance, when handling tall loads visibility for the driver may be reduced. However, the raised cab option for Hyster® electric lift trucks or Hyster® Fortens™ IC forklifts can help overcome this. Designed to give extra height to the driver, supporting visibility over loads, it also increases driver comfort and supports productivity.

A range of double pallet handler attachments is also available to help beverage logistics operations to load lorries more efficiently. Attachments that can handle 3 or 4 pallets at once are also available to reduce the number of lifts required to load a trailer even further, helping to reduce travel time, maintenance, and fuel costs even more.

Hyster® lift trucks for beverage applications

These are just a few examples of the ways in which Hyster® equipment can help overcome beverage logistics challenges. From Hyster® robotic lift trucks for repetitive handling tasks, to warehouse simulation software to assist planning for all eventualities, there are many more.

Visit our Industry Hub to learn more about Hyster® solutions for beverage logistics operations, or talk to your local Hyster® dealer for expert advice.

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