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UK materials handling manufacturer Sovex supplies machinery to pioneering Indian skill development centre

UK materials handling manufacturer Sovex is supplying machinery to a pioneering new centre in India which is embarking on a bold initiative to revolutionise vocational skills for the nation’s logistics sector.

The Merseyside based materials handling specialist, and the fastest growing company on Merseyside, is throwing its weight behind the Praguna initiative which launched a training base in April this year, in Dharuhera, near the Indian capital New Delhi in the state of Haryana.

The initiative is being led by ThinkLink which is India’s sole provider of skills development for the supply chain, logistics and transport sector.

Sovex business development manager Rachel Price said the Praguna centre is being based on the renowned UK Logistics Research and Innovation Centre (LRIC) in Middleton, Manchester – run by Mantra Learning and housing equipment from the Warehouse Technology Group (WTG).

The Warehouse Technology Group (WTG) is a unique collaboration of 20 companies involved in the manufacture and supply of specialist equipment to the warehousing and logistics industry. The LRIC is fitted out with the partners’ equipment allowing visitors to see the technology in a working environment.

The news comes as Sovex prepares to exhibit at the International Federation of Warehousing and Logistics Association (IFWLA) annual convention in Liverpool, running between June 1 to 4. The event is expected to attract 150 international delegates.

“Industry partners from across the world have supported the Praguna initiative and now Sovex is thrilled to join this team,” said Mrs Price. "This exciting international project will help create high performance supply chains across India’s logistics sector. It will deliver training in a 25,000 square foot facility in specialist roles that drive higher productivity, increased service levels and safety, better product quality, cost reduction and lower maintenance and lifecycle cost for machinery.

“The idea for the Praguna centre has been building up for the past year and was further developed during a recent visit to the UK by ThinkLink representatives, who also act as our distributors in India. They learnt about Sovex’s broader operation, the WTG and its logistics training site where Sovex also supplies products. We are now delighted to be supporting ThinkLink and its ambitious plans to help build high performance supply chains in India.”

Sovex will be supplying a compact version of its award-winning Bendy Boom conveyor. It will be installed permanently at the Praguna site and will provide a world-class product to support various forms of training.

The Bendy Boom is one of Sovex’s flagship products offering extreme flexibility. The front extending section can bend to -25 degrees offering height adjustment, with an extendable length of 12 metres, making it suitable for loading vans, lorries and containers up to 45 foot. It also retracts into its casing saving space and time.

ThinkLink managing director Saurabh Goyal said: “We are excited to be working with Sovex in building up the Praguna initiative as a cross industry platform for supply chain development. Sovex is a great partner and the Bendy Boom is an excellent innovation in the Logistics industry, especially given the growth of parcel handling on the back of e-commerce. We hope to continue to build Praguna into a destination for vocational skills in logistics as also an experience centre for logistics, material handling design and innovation.”

Mrs Price said the Indian and South Asia territory presents significant opportunities for growth for Sovex due to rapidly expanding economies, infrastructure and industry. However, it is vital that rigorous, high-impact training is provided to support the rocketing development.

“Sovex is passionate about promoting education and awareness of the logistics, transport and supply chain sectors,” she said. “In this instance we are keen to help ThinkLink improve training in roles where supply chains are being affected by lack of appropriate skills.

"This news comes as we prepare to exhibit at the International Federation of Warehousing and Logistics Association (IFWLA) annual convention in Liverpool. The IFWLA is essentially a networking organisation for the global logistics sector. It’s a high calibre event which will attract an international audience to the region. Last year the event was held in Chicago, so it will be terrific to capitalise on this opportunity on our doorstep.

“Sovex will be taking part a number of events over the four-day convention which takes place in Liverpool Town Hall. We will be attending conference days on June 2 and 3, as well as the Gala Reception on June 4. In addition we will be exhibiting at the opening ceremony.

“Liverpool makes a first-class destination for this year’s IFWLA convention with numerous shipping lines, a thriving port, and a bustling hinterland packed with logistics companies, warehousing, distribution centres and manufacturing plants. It presents a golden opportunity for Sovex to network with delegates from across the globe and domestic companies, representing a broad range of industries and sectors which we specialise in serving.”

Sovex is developing a significant international footprint with sales offices and distributors in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Portugal, India, Australia and New Zealand. The firm launched a manufacturing operation in Kluang, Malaysia, in 2013, which currently employs more than 70 people.

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