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Boots distribution on a roll

High street giant Boots is replacing* the metal roll cages traditionally used to deliver bulky goods in to its stores with a bespoke version of LINPAC Materials Handling's versatile Maxi-Pac fold-down transit system.

The system, which is being used to move large and bulky products such as nappies, drinks bottles and boxes of crisps, is allowing the leading health & beauty retailer to achieve vehicle fill improvements of between 10% and 20%. It is also providing its colleagues in stores and distribution centres with an ergonomic delivery system which requires much less energy and effort to manoeuvre.

The new unit is similar in size to its metal predecessor, but has a larger usable internal capacity. It can also accommodate four large or eight small product trays on top during transit, to give better in-vehicle space utilisation.

Tests conducted by Boots' Health & Safety team have also found it to be easier to manoeuvre and handle as Boots' Supply Chain Planning & Development
Manager Lyn Murphy explains:

“We estimate that the effort needed to move the Maxi-Pac unit is about half that required to shift the metal roll cage, which obviously gives us massive ergonomic and health and safety benefits.

He adds: “Picking times are also improved as the units can accommodate more stock.

This impacts onto vehicle fill and improves distribution efficiency, as where 72 metal roll cages were once used to fill a typical Boots lorry, we now only need 64 Maxi-Pacs. Plus, when used in conjunction with the trays, the Maxi-Pacs carry the equivalent stock of 84 metal roll cages, so the savings are clear to see.”

Handling is improved by ergonomic features such as non-sequential folding, hand holes and high performance catches. The system also includes an inertia-reel strap to secure the trays whilst in transit and brakes when stationary.

Maxi–Pac can be used within automated packing systems, offering further potential for time and cost savings, and has been designed with smooth walls for safe use in the retail environment.

Since its launch 12 months ago, Maxi-Pac has proved a major hit with retail sector customers, many of whom are enjoying the benefit of moving products in a customer-friendly merchandising unit, direct from supplier to sales floor, without the need for intermediate handling.

As Adrian Dale, UK Director of Sales for LINPAC Materials Handling's Retail division explains: “Initial take-up of Maxi-Pac was mainly in the fresh produce sector, but as Boots has demonstrated, the unit has just as big a part to play in the safe and efficient supply and delivery of bulky or ambient goods in any environment.”

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