Monday 24th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

CN Seeds sows 25pc space saving

CN Seeds has created 25 per cent more space at its humidity-controlled warehouse in Ely by narrowing aisles and introducing Flexi articulated truck technology.

After reaching capacity at its 45,000 sq ft warehouse following consistent year-on-year sales growth, CN Seeds was faced with the prospect of building a new store and incurring significant construction and ongoing running costs.

Seeds are expensive and if they are not stored properly can easily perish. They readily absorb moisture from the air, which shortens their life, so the relative humidity within CN’s warehouse has to be carefully controlled.

The store had originally been divided by two aisles with single pallet runs on the outside of each and two further back to back runs in between.

While this provided high quality storage it did not utilise the available floor space effectively, so by reconfiguring the site with around 1.8 metre aisle widths CN has been able to add an extra 176 pallet locations – nearly 25 per cent more places – within the dehumidified warehouse.

The warehouse is now served by a rebuilt Flexi VNA G4 AC model.

The Flexi G4 AC is built on a standard platform and is designed to offer low maintenance costs and low rental costs. Its twin load wheel drive provides safe traction in all conditions especially when laden.

The electric truck is powered by a heavy duty battery for long shift working. No chains or slings are required during battery change over operations.

At CN incoming orders arrive in bulk bags and are unloaded from trailers using a counterbalance truck. The seed is cleaned and repackaged in 25kg bags which are put away in the humidity-controlled store on a CHEP-style pallet before they are picked for onward delivery to CN’s customers.

“The articulated truck option was more space efficient than using a reach truck, which we had considered,” says CN Seeds’ Dan Nye.

“Furthermore, the Flexi is easier to drive and faster in operation than reach trucks – which, given that each pallet load of cleaned and packaged seed can be worth as much as £40,000, was an important consideration too.”

The Flexi G4 AC rebuild programme offers the latest Flexi energy technology and safety features on a product that can save up to 30 per cent on the investment cost.