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The Business Magazine March 2024
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Palletline invests £2m in cloud-based freight tracking tech

18 March 2024
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Palletline has launched a new scanning system across its forklift truck fleet to better track pallets at its Birmingham and Coventry distribution hubs.

‘Palleteyes’ enables forklift drivers to scan a barcode on a pallet from two metres away, bringing up key delivery information.

At the same time, two HD CCTV cameras are activated to record both close-up and wide-angle footage of the pallet’s complete journey from unload to bay to reload, which customers can track through a cloud-based portal.

The system can also integrate with the forklift’s onboard systems to monitor driver performance and operational activity, and will sound an alarm if the driver attempts to lift a pallet heavier than 400kg above a height of 1.2m – in line with regulations.

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This £2 million investment is expected to deliver better quality control by eliminating inaccurate scans, while speeding up the company’s freight sorting process by 15 per cent or more.

Marcus Newport, head of IT at Palletline, said: “This system is the culmination of several years of development in collaboration with network members and a number of IT and hardware partners.

“The result is a powerful, bespoke solution that ticks all pallet tracking requirements and more.

“Prominent IT systems should not only improve the process it was designed for, but also solve the problems you didn’t know you had.

“The introduction of Palleteyes has delivered a more streamlined operation in addition to the significant enhancements in freight visibility.”

The company worked with its forklift truck partner, Linde Material Handling, to manufacture custom structures for the CCTV, PCs, monitors and scanning equipment involved in Palleteyes.

This system was then tested over a 12-month period at Palletline’s Coventry hub, and is now fully operational at its main hub in Birmingham.

Graham Leitch, group managing director at Palletline, added: “This seven-figure investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to operational innovation and the highest standards of visibility, accountability and security for customers’ goods.

“The video footage captured by Palleteyes is already proving significantly more beneficial than the static photo-based systems currently in use across our sector.

“The system also brings additional opportunities for training, performance monitoring and data analysis that will enable us to maximise the sustainability, health and safety and energy efficiency of our operation now, and for the future.

“The launch of Palleteyes makes us unique in our sector, providing members with higher levels of freight visibility than ever before.”

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Born and raised in Berkshire, Dan fell into journalism after completing his bachelor’s degree in English at UCL.

Writing for The Business Magazine and local Biz News sites has given him the opportunity to chat with all manner of small business owners and share their success stories with a wider audience.

Outside of work, Dan enjoys live music, board games and quiz shows, and is making a slow but persistent effort to learn Spanish.

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