Carlsberg meets on-trade demand with new forklift fleet

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Carlsberg has refined its UK logistics operations, which span 18 depots, with a new materials handling fleet from Jungheinrich.

The Carlsberg supply chain model comprises a national distribution centre in Northampton, which feeds four regional centres at Warrington, Leeds, Croydon and Birmingham. The regionals, in turn, deliver to 13 satellite depots which pick and dispatch orders for onward delivery to customers.

The satellite depots receive, on average, between ten and 12 wagons per day from Carlsberg’s regional centres. Trailers arrive at the sites between 8am and 2pm every day where they are unloaded by diesel-powered counterbalanced trucks from the Jungheinrich 4-Series range, and goods are put away either within a racked storage area or in a separate keg store.

The kegs come in a range of sizes – the smallest hold nine gallons, while the biggest take 36 gallons – 11-gallon versions being the most common size. They arrive on locator boards which allow up to 18 nine-gallon barrels to be unloaded by the forklifts at a time.

Four of the six counterbalanced trucks have been fitted with Kaup keg clamps with a stabiliser to help make barrel handling easier and safer.

Once incoming goods have been put away, pick lists are sent directly from Carlsberg’s national site and order picking staff at the satellite site are given paper-based instructions.

Within the racking store low-level order pickers are used to pick boxes of bottled and canned products from ground floor pallet positions onto pallets. Replenishment stocks are held within the first and second tier of the racking and are transferred to ground level using the counterbalanced trucks when picking stock falls below a certain level. Once an order has been picked it is shrink-wrapped and transferred by forklift to the assembly area.

In the adjoining keg store, where barrels are block-stacked, keg orders are collected by the forklifts using the locator boards or, when the order is smaller, individual barrels are hand-rolled manually to the assembly location.

Orders are collated on the floor in assembly lanes leading to the site’s six goods-out loading bay doors before they are loaded using a combination of lift trucks and manual handling techniques onto curtainsided trailers for delivery.

In a typical day some 18 trucks will leave a satellite site, distributing to customers on set routes as far as Brecon in the north, Swindon to the east or Glastonbury in the south.

Carlsberg customers can place an order as late as 4pm for delivery the following day from any of the 13 depots nationwide.

Carlsberg UK’s Steve Maunder says: “Whether our clients are a committee club, a traditional pub, Indian restaurant or hotel, we believe they need a supplier who can work in partnership with them to help them grow and develop their business. We try to understand our clients’ objectives and help them to achieve them and the smooth running of our forklift fleet is hugely influential on our ability to deliver these aims. It is key, therefore, that our forklift suppliers share our commitment to quality service.”

A range of Jungheinrich order pickers, reach, pallet, and counterbalanced trucks has now been rolled out to all Carsberg’s UK distribution sites, including the company’s national DC, the four regional depots and the 13 local satellite depots.

The DFG counterbalance trucks feature a Volkswagen engine that is designed to offer the lowest noise levels and emissions, and reduce fuel consumption. Test cycles have shown that over the course of 2,000 hours of typical operation the DFG can save some £2,000 in fuel costs in comparison with similar models on the market.

An ongoing maintenance contract has been agreed under which Jungheinrich engineers will support Carlsberg’s entire fleet, including forklift models from the company’s previous supplier until they are phased out completely.

 “If one of our forklifts goes down it could have a serious impact on our business, so it is important to us that the trucks are healthy. Jungheinrich’s forklifts have not only proved themselves to be extremely reliable, the company’s service engineer is on site very quickly if a truck does develop a fault and does a great job in keeping the fleet operating at optimum capacity,” says Maunder.

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