Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  30 Jan 2011

MATERIALS HANDLING: Bendi Gives 33% More Capacity


Recent Western Cape Business News

WHEN Stobel Warehousing and Distribution moved into their new, larger warehousing facility in Parow Industria in the latter part of last year, their first priority was to make optimum use of the extra space.

One of the ways of achieving this was to acquire from Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) Bendi lift trucks, which specialise in working in narrow aisles. “They have helped us achieve 33% more capacity,” says Stobel’s Martin Oliver.

But why the Bendi? What is so special about it? Well, as John Petrie, Goscor’s operations director in the Western Cape, explains, the Bendi has been designed to work in narrow aisles, but unlike all other forklifts, doesn’t need a flat floor. The front axle not only steers but articulates to give suspension, and this, for the technically minded, has the effect of reversing the triangle of stability. With the counterbalance at the rear of the truck, the centre of gravity is at the broadest point of the triangle, providing an excellent platform for stability.

The Bendi can thus work in 1.8m aisles - as compared to 3m-4 m aisles required by counterbalance forklifts - and can stack loads up to 12m high and more. With the Bendi’s ability to work in narrower aisles and this impressive ‘reach’, it can provide users with up to 50% more pallet positions without increasing the storage area. This increased storage density is of enormous benefit to the warehousing company, in terms of efficiency and bottom line savings.

Stobel was formed over 15 years ago by Ken Beckwith and Martin Oliver - both of whom with backgrounds in the chemical industry - who realised there was a need for the specialised handling and distribution of chemicals, which is the main focus of their business. They also developed a client base of companies within the plastics, food and pharmaceutical industries. They are specialists in the transport and storage of hazardous and dangerous goods, and are one of the leading logistics companies in the chemical industry.

Oliver says that apart from its ability to work in narrow aisles another advantage of the Bendi is the speed it can transfer from aisle to aisle. “Obviously very narrow aisles (VNA) machines make efficient use of narrow aisle space, but they need large areas and longer times to transfer between aisles. However the Bendi behaves like a VNA but moves like a conventional forklift,” he says. Goscor has been in business for over 20 years, and has been represented in the Cape throughout that period. It operates mainly in the specialist niche market of warehousing, and in some retail areas, for example in all of the Makro stores countrywide.

Recently Imperial Holdings, through its subsidiary AMH, acquired a majority shareholding in Goscor, which, according to AMH CEO Manny de Canha, is ‘a perfect fit with Imperial’s core competences and extensive experience in the fields of transport, distribution and servicing.’


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