Manufacturing, industrial and logistics industries throughout much of Southeast Asia are experiencing a period of unprecedented growth. The establishment of major transport hubs and new ports in countries such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia have created a demand for new warehousing and distribution centres.
By taking advantage of the latest in warehouse design and material handling equipment technology, companies looking at expansion can gain significant cost and operational efficiencies. According to David Sultana, marketing manager, Crown Equipment, Southeast Asia, there are many factors that have in recent years impacted warehouse and distribution centre design and operation; the two most common factors being the cost of land and the availability of new technologies.
Cost of Land
As the cost of commercial and industrial land around the world has risen, the focus first shifted to making optimal use of space via the development of very narrow aisle (VNA) racking and specialised trucks to operate efficiently in these tighter spaces. The push to VNA environments occurred initially in Europe, where the cost of land had risen steeply.
“The racking was the simple part, but it was the development of VNA vehicles that made it all happen. This was not as challenging for Crown as it was for many other companies, given that we have manufacturing plants that work closely with designers and racking companies,” said Sultana.
The result is a range of Crown lift trucks capable of manoeuvring and operating in tight environments. The next answer to the ever-rising cost of land and the ever-increasing need for more storage space came in the form of higher buildings. Designers realised that while the cost of a square metre of land may be fixed, the cost of a cubic metre was not. All they had to do was go up.
However, just as the world could not construct high-rise central business districts until the invention of the elevator, taller warehouses were reliant on the development of forklifts capable of safely and quickly lifting to greater heights. Once again, Crown was at the forefront of this development.
“The Crown TSP 7000 is the leading example of the industry’s quest for height, speed and safety in forklifts,” said Sultana.
The Crown TSP 7000 Series turret truck can reach a lift height of 17.1m, or six storeys, and deliver most loads to full height. The Crown TSP also utilises some of the largest batteries available to provide up to 50 percent more power for truck performance and battery life. One of the key mechanical elements that allows the TSP series to reach new heights is the Crown MonoLift™ mast. This exclusive closed-section mast minimises deflection for the entire length of the mast, creating load stability and operator confidence at height.