29 March 2021: A major contract to supply close to 50 forklifts to a leading beer producer in South Africa is cementing Shumani Industrial Equipment’s presence in the food and beverage industry. The 3.5 t units are capable of handling two pallets at a time for stacking and offloading purposes, assisting in boosting productivity at the customer’s main site, which supplies the whole of South Africa.

Shumani clinched the order late last year, with final delivery anticipated by end April, explains National Sales Manager Matthew Goby. He adds that the beer producer is also in the process of switching from lead acid to lithium ion batteries on its entire forklift fleet, which has necessitated driver familiarisation on the new units as they require opportunity charging. All the units being supplied are brand new, imported directly from the manufacturer, while Shumani has also secured a service and maintenance contract for the fleet.

The beer producer is one of a range of major beverage producers that Shumani deals with, ensuring it has a formidable footprint in this growing sector. Designated an essential service provider during the Covid-19 lockdown, it has played a vital role in ensuring that the food and beverage supply remains fully operational during this unprecedented time.

Apart from warehousing solutions, Shumani also supplies cleaning equipment such as floor scrubbers, and even generators and compressors. This allows it to supply its customers with end-to-end solutions for all their materials-handling and ancillary requirements. Major brands include Doosan, Crown and Bendi.

Whereas traditionally internal combustion engine units running on either gas or diesel were the preferred option, Goby reveals that two of Shumani’s major beverage clients are now standardising on electric units for the sustainability and efficiency benefits this offers.

“Food and beverage is one of those industries always showing exponential growth, especially as new competitors are constantly entering the market with lower-priced products. This means that the demand for quality materials-handling equipment is critical,” adds Goby. What continues to give Shumani the leading edge in this sector is its focus on offering unparalleled customer service.

“If any of our forklifts are not running, it means downtime and lost productivity for our client. It is our main aim to ensure that all of our units are fully operational and optimised at all times.” One of the ways that Shumani ensures such a proactive response to any maintenance or service issues is via remote monitoring, which can red-flag any issues that need attending to, and also provide critical information on both machine performance and driver behaviour.

Shumani Industrial Equipment National Sales Manager Matthew Goby.