Jan 25, 2023

Electric Material Handling Equipment: A Step Towards Greener Logistics

  • logistics
  • supply chain management
  • sustainability

With a global climate crisis looming, discussions and action on driving sustainable practices have moved from boardrooms to factory floors, manufacturing sites and warehouses where green corporate pledges are being translated into everyday actions. Companies with global mandates and ambitions are switching to cleaner set-ups and processes to stay relevant in an increasingly environment conscious world. Depending on the ESG scope, this extends from sourcing and transportation to storing, retrieving, and using raw materials to eventually transform them into finished goods. These are areas where companies are looking at efficiencies with a critical eye towards conservation and future planetary preservation.

The significant growth of logistics and supply chain activities over the last decade or more, due to rising demand in retail, ecommerce and other consumer-related industries ballooning in growth and size, has resulted in the need for more urgent mitigation of adverse environmental impacts. The National Logistics Policy introduced by the Indian government last year is testament to the fact that logistics efficiency and efficacy is as much a priority for the government as it is for manufacturers. In this context, for intralogistics, the demand for greener options, as well as innovations in making them viable alternatives, are indicative of a figurative shift in gear.

Efficient logistics depends on maximising space utilisation in a warehouse both horizontally and vertically and material handling equipment such as forklifts are critical in this mission. Over the last decade, the shift towards making electric forklifts as viable alternatives to be able to carry out heavy lifting has been steady and stable. Today, electric forklifts come with twin motor AC technology and wet disc brakes; have an 80V system that improves efficiency and operator comfort, and therefore productivity. Smart charging solutions further ensure higher availability and additional life of the battery used in the equipment compared to traditional chargers.

Further contributing to the demand for electric forklifts are an increase in exports which warrants that manufacturers meet global standards; government guidelines for specific industries such as food and beverages and adoption of green manufacturing targets by companies.

As leaders and innovators in the space with a market share of ~24 percent, Godrej & Boyce has been at its innovative best to make cleaner and greener material handling equipment available to customers, regardless of warehouse layouts and operational cycles. Our electric product line spans the range and includes counterbalance forklifts trucks from 1.5 tonne to 5 tonnes, reach trucks with capacities of 1 to 2 tonnes and lift heights up to 12 metres, battery-operated pallet trucks and narrow aisle trucks.

As the only Indian manufacturer to offer twin motor AC technology and wet disc brakes in counterbalance forklift trucks and reach trucks, our innovations are focused on partnering with customers on their journey to adopt greener practices. We are extremely optimistic about the increasingly crucial role that electric material handling equipment will play in making warehouses and factory floors efficient, cost-effective, safer and greener. We are geared to be enablers of this conscious transition towards viable greener alternatives as manufacturers and factories move towards responsible sourcing, production, and distribution.