As 2023 draws to a close, Logistics Manager takes a look back at the past 12 months in the logistics and supply chain industry.
The most-read stories on the Logistics Manager website in 2023:
2023 saw the end of an era as Tuffnells went into administration in June. Later in the month, Shift bought the company shortly after 2,000 Tuffnells employees were made redundant. Since then, DX Group has bought 15 former Tuffnells sites, many of which it has reopened.
In September, Amazon announced that it was expanding its logistics network to allow its selling partners to move their products in bulk from the company’s Amazon Warehousing Distribution wing to ‘any sales channel’, including physical stores. The new service was launched at Accelerate, Amazon’s annual seller conference in Seattle.
Logistics Manager spoke with Martin Atkinson, Managing Director of Grocery at GXO, in September after it was announced that a partnership between the pure-play contract logistics provider and Datasparq had seen the implementation of AI technology within Iceland’s supply chain, delivering environmental and efficiency gains.
In a document outlining its financial results for the year to 1 April 2023, Marks and Spencer (M&S) Group identified the modernisation of its supply chain as a key part of its strategy to deliver long-term growth. The company is investing in technology to ‘increase retail efficiency and reduce energy costs’. It described the process as a ‘multi-year programme’, part of which involves investment in automation at its warehouse in Bradford.
Akabo Media, the publisher of Logistics Manager and sister magazines Robotics & Automation and CiTTi, has organised a plethora of fantastic events in the past year. Here are some highlights of Logistics Manager’s coverage of Akabo Media events in 2023:
On 28-29 March 2023, over 5,500 attendees came to the NEC, Birmingham to meet nearly 200 industry-leading exhibitors and discover how the latest technology can be applied to their operations to provide massive improvements in productivity and accuracy.
When the doors officially opened, the crowds began to gather and Logistics Manager got speaking to the exhibitors about the innovative technology, solutions and services they had to show off to visitors. At the show, Sealed Air launched its new AUTOBAG bagging solution and iCart Logistics launched its new 3-in-1 logistics solution. Meanwhile others including Exotec, Dexory, Geek+, AutoStore, KNAPP, and Locus Robotics told Logistics Manager about the technology that they were showcasing.
Click here for the highlights from Day One.
Click here for the highlights from Day Two.
IntraLogisteX will be once again be co-located with Robotics and Automation in 2024, as well as the brand-new Sustainable Supply Chain Exhibition. The event is taking place on 19-20 March 2024 at the NEC, Birmingham. To find out more about any of the three exhibitions, click here!
Logistics Manager hosted two in-person conferences in 2023: the Sustainable Supply Chain Conference and the ESG Industrial & Logistics Conference. Check out the morning and afternoon highlights from the Sustainable Supply Chain Conference and the morning and afternoon highlights from the ESG Industrial & Logistics Conference!
The 27th Supply Chain Excellence Awards rewarded winners in 26 different categories. Over 750 guests attended the sold-out event for a night of entertainment and excitement. Special guest host Zoe Lyons announced the winners from over 300 entries, submitted by over 150 companies. It was a great achievement to be shortlisted for an award, so all those in attendance, winner or not, should be proud of their success in the past year.
In 2024, the Supply Chain Excellence Awards are moving to Grosvenor House! Based on the size and success of the Awards in the last couple of years, the decision to move to one of Europe’s biggest ballrooms was a no-brainer. Click here to learn more about next year’s event.
Before the year was out, there was one more big event to look forward to: Logistics Manager’s ‘Top 50 Logistics Service Providers‘. The ‘Top 50 Logistics Service Providers’ is a trusted reference guide for supply chain decision-makers looking to take their business forward. It is the definitive ranking of the UK’s top performing 3PLs and 4PLs in 2023. Click here to watch Logistics Manager’s webinar counting down this year’s top 50 and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a PDF copy of this year’s edition of the ‘Top 50 Logistics Service Providers’ supplement.
To find more about the events that Akabo Media is putting on in 2024, read all about it in the December issue of Logistics Manager!
Some personal favourites from this year’s stories, chosen by Logistics Manager:
On 27 April, then parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport, Richard Holden MP visited Wincanton’s site in Corby. Logistics Manager went along to see the site and speak to the minister about the challenges that face supply chains, government schemes to improve the industry and the future of logistics.
In September, stow Robotics, part of the stow Group, announced a significant rebrand and the launch of a new product to add to its portfolio. Under the new name ‘Movu Robotics’, the company wasted no time in revealing its Movu eligo robot picking arm. Logistics Manager visited its new headquarters in Lokeren, Belgium to find out more.
At the end of September, Logistics Manager attended the launch of Hai Robotics’ latest addition to its product portfolio – the HaiPick A42T-E2. As the world’s first telescopic grapple hook autonomous case-handling robot (ACR), the HaiPick A42T-E2 is an integral component of Hai Robotics’ new solution – the HaiPick System 3.
Christmas and New Year is an exciting time of year for all, but a busy time of year for those working in the supply chain. With the rising popularity of e-commerce showing no signs of slowing down, the pressure on the logistics industry to fulfil orders and delivery targets is high. Ahead of this year’s peak season, Logistics Manager spoke with Wouter Roels, senior vice president of marketing & customer experience at FedEx Express, about what the company is doing to prepare.
Three of the biggest stories of the year from Logistics Manager’s dedicated Property section:
In January, Amazon announced that it was to close seven of its last mile delivery stations. This followed its earlier announcement that it would be shutting three fulfilment centres and opening two new ‘mega distribution centres’. The closure of Amazon’s three fulfilment centres affected 1,200 jobs, with the company emphasising that the new sites would create an estimated 2,500 jobs.
In September, supermarket chain Lidl opened its new regional distribution centre (RDC) in Houghton Regis, Luton. At 1.2 million ft², the facility is now the company’s largest warehouse in the world. The project, costing £300 million, saw the construction of a facility which the retailer says “could fit three of Lidl’s existing warehouses inside”.
In October, Logistics Manager went along to a press conference in which Bis Henderson Group, previously representing the company’s Recruitment, Space, and Consultancy businesses, announced that it was to split into two, with Bis Henderson Recruitment continuing as an independent company and Visku launching as a combination of the Space and Consultancy businesses. Logistics Manager spoke to Visku CEO Andy Kaye about the change.
The three most-read stories from our Corporate Insights section in 2023:
The UK is facing a warehouse space shortage of unprecedented proportions, with significant ramifications for businesses, supply chains, and the broader economy. The vacancy rate for logistics properties in the UK has been stuck below 2% for the last five years, according to CBRE. The company estimates that only two months of ready-to-occupy space is available and expects shortages to continue indefinitely.
The most important warehouse projects this year are enabling the future, not immediately delivering it. A structured approach to improving your warehouse operations starts with understanding what the business is trying to achieve.
BSW Timber, the UK’s largest timber company, manufactures and supplies a wide range of sawn products for an array of industries, such as pallet manufacturing, fencing, construction, landscaping, and decking. With a third-party fleet size of well over 200 trucks, seven sawmills and multiple distribution centres, BSW has a complex operation.