Customs delay fears driving demand for short-term rental forklifts

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Companies stockpiling goods ahead of any possible disruption to supply when the UK leaves the EU this spring are helping to boost business for materials handling specialist Narrow Aisle.

Narrow Aisle, which manufactures the Flexi range of articulated forklift truck-based intralogistics solutions, said it was experiencing unprecedented levels of demand for its range of short-term rental (STR) trucks.

John Maguire (pictured), Commercial Manager, Narrow Aisle Ltd, said: “Customers who operate warehouses feel they need to bolster their material handling fleets with extra vehicles to cope with the additional goods they are storing on behalf of companies that are stockpiling products to ensure their business is not affected by possible future customs or port delays.

“With companies seeking to minimise the risk of supply chain disruption in March by holding increased inventory, warehouse operators across the UK are under intense pressure to increase storage capacity and maintain handling efficiency at their facilities.”

He said anecdotal evidence suggested that businesses were seeking to hire additional storage space for periods of between six to 12 months to tide them over any disruption.

In theory, he said, this was just enough time to ensure that their various supply chains did not suffer as a result of Britain leaving the EU.

Given the scenario, short-term rental Flexi trucks were proving to be the obvious choice for third-party logistics (3PL) companies, he added.

“We are receiving significant enquiries for short term rental products from 3PLs whose needs are being driven by their clients’ contingency planning every day. In comparison to 12 months ago, the number of machines we have in the market on short-term contracts is up 25 per cent,” said Mr Maguire.

The full Flexi range is available to rent and all the products are offered for next day dispatch and installation anywhere in the UK. Trucks are maintained to a very high standard through Narrow Aisle’s product support network.

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