With Christmas only a few days away, the streets of London are filled with panicked souls rushing around to ensure that their loved ones have that perfect gift to unwrap on Christmas morning. For shops – whether they operate online or on the high street – December is by far their busiest time, as they scramble to ensure that all of the last minute shoppers get their hands on the gifts they need.
In order to make sure that nobody is left empty handed on the big day (unless it’s their own fault, of course), retailers have to carry out an enormous logistical operation, making sure that gifts are in the right place at the right time. And, at various points, the work of a forklift operator will be vital to ensuring gifts get from A to B. So, here is the journey of a Christmas present, from manufacturer to tree.
Arrival in the UK
For sake of argument, let’s assume that our present is not manufactured in the UK. Many presents that will be gifted to loved ones across the UK this Christmas will have been manufactured abroad. The present arrives in the UK on a cargo plane or shipping freighter, and is then taken off for processing in a warehouse. It is possible that a forklift will be used at some point in this process, though there are various type of heavy lifting equipment that are used at airports and ports. Before long, a cargo truck will arrive to take the present to its destination.
After being collected from its point of entry into the UK, the present will be taken to the regional warehouse of the retailer that’s due to sell it. This could be an online retailer or a high street retailer. When the cargo arrives, forklifts move individual items to where they are to be stored until shipping. This is vital, especially during the busy Christmas period. Forklifts allow large amounts of cargo to be shifted in a short space of time, absolutely fundamental during the busiest trading time of the year. Without the help of forklifts and forklift operators, the logistics of moving gifts from A to B would be unthinkable.
Shop shelves and mail packages
Once the cargo has been loaded into a regional warehouse, it’s ready to get shipped! If the warehouse is opened by an online store, the present will be individually boxed by a warehouse worker and sent to the shipping department. From there, the boxes will be loaded onto a truck – most likely with the help of a forklift – and sent to the Royal Mail or a private courier like UPS. From there, the present will be sorted and sent out, ready to be wrapped for the big day.
If the warehouse belongs to a high street store, the cargo will be loaded by forklift into a truck which will then be taken to the store. Staff will then unload the cargo and stock the present onto the shelves, ready for someone to pick it out and purchase it for someone.
So, when you’re unwrapping your presents from under the tree, spare a thought for everyone who helped you get it there. Without the input of forklift operators across the country – and indeed, across the world – it’d be much more difficult to get your Christmas shopping done on time.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone from Hiremech!