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Clothing brand grows operations with 40 truck fleet

14 July 2020

Helly Hansen recently upgraded a large part of the internal transport fleet at its European distribution centre with forklifts from Unicarriers.

With a whopping 20,000 sq m distribution centre and 60,000 pallet locations, a material handling solution that could cope with this high capacity was needed. This new solution was developed closely with UniCarriers, and Helly Hansen now benefits from 40 new forklifts, which come with service agreements and battery management solutions.

Norwegian clothing manufacturer Helly Hansen operates most of its company fleet at its European distribution centre in the Dutch town of Born. The fleet has been upgraded in close cooperation with UniCarriers, its main forklift truck supplier.

Spread over 20,000 m2, the European distribution centre (EDC) boasts 60,000 storage spaces and houses 24,000 stock-keeping units. The centre holds a total of 2.5 million items in stock. Helly Hansen ships around 320,000 packages and 17,000 pallets to customers throughout Europe and Russia from its EDC every year.

The fleet comprises 5 reach trucks, 9 high-level order pickers, 27 low- and medium-level order pickers & 2 electric forklifts. The fleet has been leased for six years and Helly Hansen and UniCarriers have also agreed to hold a six-monthly review, during which they talk about the use of the forklifts and any damage.

“We took a close look at our in-house fleet when we replaced our forklifts,“ says Denis Rutten, supervisor at the EDC. “We worked together with UniCarriers to study aspects such as how we could make our employees‘ workstations as ergonomic as possible. This not only involves control systems, but also things like having enough storage space.“ 

Helly Hansen attaches great importance to sufficient space in the vehicle not only for a wide variety of tools and resources, but also for empty packaging.

A great deal of packaging from incoming goods is reused for both reasons of cost and, of course, environmental concerns.

“The extremely large storage compartments and flat vehicle body parts in trucks are ideal for us,“ adds Rutten.

The new vehicles are significantly quieter and more comfortable than those deployed before, reports the brand. 

They are equipped with all the necessary scanners plus the Blue Spot optical warning system, which projects LED light spots onto the warehouse floor to warn employees of approaching vehicles.