Malaysia's Cold Chain Industry Guide


Most Common Material Handling Equipments for Cold Room Warehouses

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Industrial material handling equipment includes various tools, vehicles, storage units, appliances, and accessories used in transporting, storing, controlling, enumerating, and protecting products at any stage of production, distribution, consumption, or disposal in a cold room warehouse.

Because cold chain stores temperature-sensitive goods, compared to a regular warehouse, the material handling in cold chains can be more complex with various utilities. There are several considerations when selecting material handling equipment, such costing, environmental, unit load and more.

Today, almost every industry uses various materials handling equipment, like food and beverage, automotive, hardware and construction, consumer goods, appliances, pharmaceuticals and hospitals, retail and e-commerce, and manufacturing to help its operations.

Let's take a look at some material handling equipment which is widely available in Malaysia. 

The Pallet Jack

Pallet jacks are the most basic type of forklift used for horizontal transportation. They transport material on wooden pallets across warehouses without putting any strain on the person lifting them up or down. Loads are commonly moved from the loading dock station to pallet racks or shelving areas to be stored away. There are two types: electric and manual. 

Manual and powered pallet jacks are commonly used for truck loading and unloading, while electric pallet jacks are for horizontal transport through warehouses. Pallet jacks are versatile, safe and reduce costs.

The Platform Truck

Platform trucks are low-cost, efficient, and versatile material handling vehicles. It compromises a horizontal platform supported by wheels that facilitates movement through the application of force by an operator. The mechanical advantage of the wheel allows operators to carry more weight than they could otherwise.

One benefit is that platform trucks are inexpensive. A platform truck and a forklift can transport the same load from one location to another. The main distinction is that a platform truck is cheaper than a forklift. Platform trucks have a low entry barrier, so even small businesses can afford to use them.

The Tow Tuck Train

Tow tuck trains are intralogistics transport vehicles used primarily in manufacturing companies. They are used for internal production equipment transport, moving inventory, materials, and finished and semi-finished products from the warehouse to the production or assembly site on horizontal levels, usually on a just-in-time basis, and then transporting them onwards.

Their benefits include transporting multiple load carriers per trip, unlike forklifts, and are the safest solution for comparable intralogistics material flows due to their fixed routes. Tugger trains can be fully or partially automated with loading and unloading.

The Truck Range (Reach Truck and Forklift)

A forklift is an industrial vehicle with a powered platform in the front. It has a fork that can be raised, lowered, and inserted underneath a cargo to help with lifting and moving. Forklifts can be powered by either internal combustion engines or by electrical batteries.

There are forklift models that allow drivers to sit while operating the vehicle, while others require the driver to stand. Forklifts work to transport goods and materials. Some known companies in Malaysia, such as UMW, Jungheinrich and Crown are big in the truck range industry.

The Unloading and Loading

A dock leveller is a piece of equipment used at the loading dock to service various trucks. A dock leveller promotes the safety of both goods and operators. It also makes loading and unloading operations more efficient. Dock levellers are essential in warehouse operations and a must-have item for any busy warehouse.

Examples of this material handling equipment are hydraulic levellers, dock seals, dock shelters and dock seal hoods. In Malaysia, the dock leveller industry is up and rising

In Summary

With various material handling equipment in cold room warehouses, you must identify and invest in the appropriate equipment for your operations. Each warehouse's operations are unique, so make sure you read through them before making a decision!