Schmitz goes down barcoding route

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Trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull is to introduce a barcoding system at its Harelaw, County Durham plant in the next 12 months for sourcing components. Dave Sidlow, operations director and deputy chairman of Schmitz Cargobull in the UK, says that a pilot study is currently being carried out at the company’s German parent.

The system used at present entails a card being put in a box when the amount of stock for a particular component gets down to a certain level. The information is then loaded onto a computer at the end of the day’s shift. Sidlow says that the company must ensure that the system is correct before moving towards barcoding.

The company is also turning its attention towards the UK curtainsider and dry freight markets because there is overcapacity in the refrigerated trailer sector, which it dominates. Also, Sidlow says that the refrigerated trailer market has also been under pressure from imports. As a result prices for refrigerated trailers have fallen 30-40% in the past few years.

Sidlow says Schmitz Cargobull has a 40% share of the UK refrigerated trailer market and 10% of the curtainsider sector. The manufacturer plans to build 500 dry freight trailers a year, giving it a 20% share of that sector in the UK, he adds.

l Schmitz Cargobull has received major orders from retailers Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer (M&S) for just over 200 refrigerated trailers in total. Tesco is taking 66 units, Sainsbury’s 87 and M&S 48. Dave Sidlow says that Schmitz Cargobull will have built more than 60 units for M&S this year when this latest order, which includes some rigids, is completed.

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