Above: The new fleet of electric four-wheel forklift trucks at the Port of Hull
A fleet of new, electric four-wheel forklift trucks have arrived at the Port of Hull. The investment of nearly £200,000 is part of an ongoing effort to reduce emissions and make more use of renewable energy generated at the port.
Forklift trucks are a common sight across ABP ports on the Humber. Their work is vital for the efficient movement of cargo into the ports’ extensive storage facilities, and onto HGVs for its transportation to distributors.
Historically a great deal of this work has been undertaken by diesel powered forklift trucks, but as ABP continues to invest in providing modern and agile port operations, the shift to electric is key for reducing emissions and streamlining operations.
The six, new, electric Linde forklifts will be based at the retail warehouse, adjacent to the Humber Container Terminal, on the Port of Hull. The warehouse has the capacity to store 4,800 pallets of cargo, and it is this cargo the electric forklifts will be used to manoeuvre.
Simon Bird, Director of ABP Humber, said: “Investing in ABP infrastructure, equipment and skills here on the Humber enables us to service our customers effectively and help to grow their businesses. Investing in a range of hybridised and electric machinery available across the port will serve our port operations well, as we all work to reduce emissions.”
The vehicles rechargeable batteries are easy to remove and charge within a 12 hour period ensuring the vehicles are ready to go when required. ABP is currently installing a 6.8 million solar array at the Port of Hull, set to be completed by contractors Custom Solar later this year. Longer term the electric forklifts will be charged from the energy supplied by this solar array, helping to future proof the ports retail operation.
Training on the new forklifts has already commenced, with ABP’s operators commenting on the improved view of their cargo load and surroundings, manoeuvrability, and comfort.
Simon added: “Safety is ABP’s number one priority and these vehicles have enhanced features to keep operators working in the retail warehouse safe.
Beacons on the forklift will flash when it is in use, accompanied by red light perimeter technology, both of which indicate to those working in the vicinity of the vehicle not to get too close. Blue light technology, reversing beacons and reversing lights all assist the forklift operators to reverse with more precision, and ensure those nearby know the vehicle is reversing. The forklifts are also equipped with speed limiters that enable the vehicles maximum speed moving forward and reversing to be set accordingly for its warehouse operation.