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New materials handling fleet of 32 Yale counterbalance forklift lift trucks for Condor Logistics

Condor Logistics has rolled out a new materials handling fleet of 32 Yale VL & VT four wheel and three wheel electric counterbalance lift trucks supplied by the Forkway Group to handle the off-loading of inbound vehicles and the loading of outbound freight vehicles.

Established as a RO/RO freight forwarding/logistics company to The Channel Islands for over 60 years, Condor operates freight forwarding services from its Portsmouth, West Midlands, Jersey and Guernsey Freight terminals. The company has a comprehensive fleet of ambient and temperature controlled, specialised and purpose built trailers and vehicles for distribution services to the Channel Islands.

When Condor Logistics was approaching the end of their materials handling contract with its previous fork lift truck supplier, Paul Charlton, the company’s general manager of operations, who was responsible for overseeing the replacement of the fleet, invited a number of manufacturers to tender for the business.

Before an agreement with a supplier was signed, a visit to the NMHG manufacturing plant in Craigavon, Ireland was organised so that Paul, who has an engineering background, could liaise directly with engineers and appraise at first-hand the fork lift truck build process.

Commenting, Paul said: "I found the visit to Craigavon to be really informative, especially the quality processes they have in place in the factory, and what really impressed me was the fact that Dave Portway, southern region sales manager from Forkway, spent time getting to know our business in order to gain a thorough understanding of what we actually needed from our materials handling fleet."

Although freight movement is planned to increase to the islands, the 32 VL & VT electric counterbalance trucks have replaced 35 existing trucks and have recently been deployed to four Condor sites in Portsmouth, Solihull, Jersey and Guernsey.

Condor supplies the Channel Islands with all essential and non-essential products which can include explosives, controlled pharmaceuticals and hazardous and dangerous substances, not to mention food and drink. Some of the most interesting recent shipments include an original Lowry painting, torches for this year’s major sporting event, replacement aircraft engines and temporary cabins for use at the airport at Guernsey whilst it is being updated. Indeed, the majority of goods needed by the population of the Channel Islands go through the Condor Group.

Paul said: "Yale was the only company whose products met all of our requirements and Forkway’s people shone through as a credible team who we knew would deliver an exceptional service, including on-going maintenance.

"In addition, having a product with high frequency inverter chargers which puts the optimum amount of charge into the batteries, also means that the trucks can be used for longer which commercially is hugely beneficial to us."

He added: "Around 98 per cent of everything consumed or used by residents in Jersey and Guernsey goes by sea and as we are responsible for the vast majority of shipping to the islands, it was vital that the trucks we specified could be relied upon.

"Ultimately, I would say that you don’t buy a flash presentation; what wins a contract is the quality of the product and the professionalism of the people who you’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis. Having seen the quality of build of the Yale models first-hand, the VL & VT really stood up to scrutiny and the Forkway team’s professionalism really shone through. We couldn’t be happier with our choice."

Dave Portway, from Forkway, concludes: "To be selected based on Yale’s engineering capabilities is great news. This is our first order with the Condor Group and knowing how the company prides itself on delivering exceptional customer service and working with partners who share the same beliefs is a huge coup for both Forkway and Yale."

Forkway works with Yale’s exclusive UK dealer Briggs.

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