BITA and FLTA announce merger plans

BITA and FLTA announce merger plans

Two of the the leading industry groups in the materials handling sector - the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) - are in talks to explore plans for a potential merger. 

Announcing the move at IMHX 2019 following a meeting of the boards of both organisations, James Clark, Secretary General of BITA, said: “Although we are still at the discussion stage, both associations are keen to ensure complete transparency,”

“We want to make certain that all stakeholders are kept fully informed of developments and have ample opportunity to contribute their views and suggestions.” 

The two trade bodies already have a proven track record of working successfully together. Joint ventures include the creation of CFTS, the accrediting body introduced to deliver the first national procedure for Thorough Examination that complies fully with HSE requirements. More recently, the two worked closely together in the formation of F-TEC: the UK’s centre for the training of apprentices and engineers. 

“Merging would allow us to play to our combined strengths” said Tim Waples, Chief Executive of the FLTA, Europe’s largest representative body for all aspects of lift trucks and associated equipment. “It will enable us to further enhance member benefits and facilitate networking and sharing of information between the different membership groups. It will also give even greater impetus to existing events such as IMHX, Thought Leadership, the Annual Awards for Excellence, the Forklift Safety Convention and Safety Month.” 

It is understood that no timelines have yet been set and both associations will make appropriate announcements as the merger process proceeds. 

James Clark added: “This has the potential to be a milestone development for the materials handling industry. A single, consolidated body would have the authority to speak with a single, strong voice when working with legislative bodies to shape policy.” 

“Harnessing the expertise that exists within both organisations into one exceptional resource will allow us to raise industry standards; to collect, collate and share statistics as well as delivering expert guidance on safety, employment legislation and a wide spectrum of technical issues.”