How Conveyors Help Companies Achieve Delivery Targets

Conveyors are automated systems that increase productivity and improve delivery times.  They have been around for hundreds of years and are increasingly more efficient. In the past conveyors were used in mining and farming to make it easier for workers to move large heavy items. The Ford car factories used conveyors to increase the rate of new car production.

Most recently conveyors are used in huge warehouses to prepare items for delivery. Amazon is renowned for its epic conveyor systems which are up to a mile long. Using conveyors to prepare goods for delivery results in more efficiency and the capacity to deliver thousands and even millions of items every day.

The delivery industry relies on speedy drivers who can deliver up to 200 items a day. It is therefore essential that the warehouses are able to stock up the vans with the correct consignments in order to meet delivery targets. 

We have become very reliant on next day delivery services and have abandoned high street stores so we can purchase a wide range of items which will arrive at our doors quickly.  This puts immense pressure on online companies to deliver on time or we will just order from other firms who do it much better.

Online Sales Facts

Selling products online is big business as people increasingly rely on technology in all areas of their lives.  People want to buy their good now and have them with them as soon as possible. Different shift patterns, long working days and extortionate parking costs make online shopping a very easy option.  High streets are becoming deserted because they are no longer able to stock the items we are looking for. This causes shops to close and increases our need to purchase online.  

We have created a vicious circle which is significantly changing the way we shop  Here are some online shopping facts that highlight our reliance on the internet to purchase goods.

  • Approximately 1.8 billion people (worldwide) bought online goods in 2018.
  • In 2021 e-commerce accounted for 17% of total global retail sales.
  • The most popular product purchased was clothing.
  • In 2016 32% of online sales were via a mobile device.
  • 46% of global retail sales were via an app in 2016. (Source:

E-commerce only holds 15% of the world sales market but is increasing in stature annually.  Many companies have a website for online retail as well as high street and out of town stores enabling them to cater to different types of shoppers. 

How Do Conveyors Help?

Conveyors are automated systems that transport goods around a warehouse preparing them for delivery quicker.  They are usually modular in nature with staff doing different jobs such as selecting the item, packing and addressing and loading on to the lorries.  If storage units did not use conveyors in this way each item would have to be manually moved around the warehouse. The result would be an extremely slow delivery process.  Companies would simply not be able to meet delivery targets resulting in angry customers and exhausted staff.

The prime example of a company who makes good use of vast conveyor systems is Amazon.  In some warehouses, the conveyors are a mile long and staff have to work against the clock to ensure you receive your product the next day.  Amazon is so successful at meeting targets that customers return again and again to the site to purchase a whole host of goods. Conveyor systems are certainly the way forward where increasing sales and delivery targets are concerned.

If you would like to find out more about conveyors contact us and we would be happy to discuss your options.

Safeguarding Your Conveyor Systems

Conveyor systems play a major role in the manufacturing and distribution industries.  They are cost-effective and efficient which results in increased production and greater profits.   Conveyor systems are relatively simple in design but are still capable of causing injury to workers if health and safety guidelines are not adhered to.  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that 30% of workplace injuries are caused by conveyor systems.

In 1998 it became a legal obligation for companies who use conveyor systems in their operations to conduct a PUWER Assessment.  This allows health and safety officers to identify sections of the system which may cause injury. Therefore prompting the installation of safety guards and other measures to maintain a safe system. There are a number of other pieces of legislation in place relating to the safeguarding of conveyor systems in the workplace.

Manufacturers design and build their conveyor systems in accordance to this legislation to ensure safety in the workplace.  Customers are able to increase the safety of their equipment by including extra safety equipment in their conveyor system. It is essential companies undertake regular monitoring and maintenance of their conveyor systems in order to prevent workplace injuries and accidents.

Conveyor Systems In Manufacturing And Distribution

Conveyor systems have been used in production and the collection of materials for hundreds of years.  We only really became aware of the stealthy nature of conveyor systems due to Ford’s car production plants.  Until then they just made transporting materials such as coal and wood easier and more efficient. These days we require conveyor systems to increase the speed at which we manufacture goods and prepare them for delivery.

Virtually all factories have followed in Ford’s footsteps by installing modular systems allowing a large number of products to be worked on at the same time.  Amazon is a huge example of the need to prepare millions of parcels for delivery in an almost inhuman amount of time. Without miles of conveyor systems we would not receive our order the next day.

PUWER Assessment

The 1998 PUWER Assessment requires companies who purchase generic conveyor systems to add relevant safety features to increase the safety of their system.  Companies who purchase bespoke machinery are expected to incorporate safety features at the point of design and construction. PUWER or Provision and User of Work Equipment Regulations, 1998 is one of a number of pieces of safety regulations that are to be adhered to when installing and using mechanical equipment.

Companies must also take the following pieces of legislation into consideration when installing machinery.  BS EN 620: 2002 which covers, ‘Continuous handling equipment and systems – Safety and EMC requirements for fixed belt conveyors for bulk materials’. BS 4531: 1986 covering, ‘ Specification for portable and mobile troughed belt conveyors’ and BS 7300: 1990, which is the code of practice, ‘for the safeguarding of the hazard points on troughed belt conveyors’. (Source: HSE).

Conveyor systems can also carry the CE Mark which is a certificate of conformity.  This is more difficult to apply to whole systems as certain components may hold the CE Mark but not the system as a whole.  It is therefore important to discuss the CE Mark with the manufacturer of your conveyor system. Checking to see if the system conforms to the aforementioned legislation is much more straightforward.

If you would like to find out more about our conveyor systems contact us and we would be happy to discuss your options.