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Bespoke Thorworld design provides Hella with customised loading at new facility

Hella, the globally renowned manufacturer of automotive lighting and electronics is using a bespoke loading and unloading solution from Thorworld Industries at its new UK premises.

Having acquired new premises for its UK based operation, Hella needed to adapt the building’s facilities for the cost effective and timely loading and unloading of its world class products and sought an appropriate supplier.

The building was previously used by a different distribution business, which meant that suitable alterations had to be made to accommodate Hella – as almost 90% of its products need to be delivered via class 1 HGV.

Loading equipment capable of achieving this was considered critical to the success of taking over the new distribution site, as Hella’s Director of Operations and Product Management, Lee Cowley, explains.

“We knew changes needed to be made at the site and I saw three options with the potential to give us the solution we needed: excavation work, designed to allow vehicles access at the correct level against the building; external loading equipment, such as automated pods; or alternatively, an internal loading platform.”

Lee carefully researched each option, and the loading bay solution soon became the preferred choice.

“We didn’t take our investigations lightly, however it became apparent that the right loading bay solution would not only prove to be a cost effective option, but also one which could be manufactured and installed within an ideal timeframe.”

Lee used Internet research, informative literature and documented evidence of recent installation projects as groundwork in selecting Thorworld Industries as the right supplier:

“Thorworld’s approach highlighted the need for us to find a competent partner who would ensure that HSE guidelines and current legislation were being considered.

“They were able to quickly understand my requirements and create an initial quotation and design which was the basis for all our ongoing discussions.”

Lee goes on to explain how Thorworld provided detailed installation drawings and technical specifications, which aided the smooth continuation of other building works that were taking place on site, as well as enabling Hella to make informed choices when purchasing appropriate materials handling equipment.

He also says how impressed he was with the bespoke style of the equipment proposed, and Thorworld’s ability to ‘design out’ some of Hella’s existing loading and unloading issues to create a concept that would deliver a smoother operation, while saving both time and money.

The finished loading bay was fully installed on time and included dock bay doors and pods. Importantly for Hella, the equipment conformed to all current regulations regarding MHE vehicles, barrier & personnel protection as well as "driver on bay" protection, with the inclusion of a traffic light system.

“Having had some experience in the bespoke steel fabrication business I was able to see that the quality and durability of the product designed and manufactured by Thorworld was superior to others on the market. Their ability to tailor the design without considerably increasing the cost was ideal.

“Without doubt, Thorworld has provided an end-to-end service from design to installation and training – importantly on time!

And while it may be early days for the equipment, Thorworld’s loading bay has already helped us to optimise our new facility’s layout both internally and externally, which means I’m expecting faster load and unload times in a safer and more structured way.”

Thorworld Industries Ltd,
Tel: 01246 260981,

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