A US subsidiary of Helsinki, Finland-based Cargotec Corp can proceed with a new military program worth USD160 million after a competitor's protest was denied.
Cargotec's Kalmar RT Centre LLC (KRTC), in Cibolo, near San Antonio, Texas, will supply a US Department of Defence command with about 1,890 light capability rough terrain forklifts (LCRTF) over five years. Cargotec says in a 7 October announcement that it anticipates receiving annual delivery orders for the units from the Army's Tank-Automotive and Armament Command, in Warren, Michigan.
The road to the award was difficult for Cargotec and KRTC.
The military's request for proposal (RFP) closed on 26 Aug 2010 with four offers, including those of JCB Inc and KRTC, found to be within the competitive range. JCB, of Pooler, Georgia, manages the North American business operations of JC Bamford Excavators Ltd.
Army discussions with bidders opened on 13 Oct 2010 and closed on 18 Jan 2011. The Army made an award to Kalmar on 17 March, but several other bidders, including JCB, filed protests.
In response, the Army agreed to reevaluate the proposals and make a new best-value decision. On 21 April, the US General Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed the initial protests. The independent, nonpartisan GAO works for Congress and investigates how the Federal Government spends taxpayer dollars.
Following the reevaluation, JCB learned on 19 May that Kalmar remained the awardee. JCB requested, and on 31 May received, a debriefing on the Army's reevaluation.
A new JCB protest followed, but GAO dismissed it on 16 September.
GAO says: "In its protest, JCB alleges the Army did not adequately evaluate Kalmar's eligibility for award and improperly awarded Kalmar extra credit for exceeding the RFP's minimum requirements in contravention of the RFP's stated evaluation scheme. In addition, JCB challenges several aspects of the terms of the RFP."
GAO says the JCB "evaluation challenges are without merit, and its solicitation challenges are untimely".
Bryan Stephens, president of KRTC, says about the program: "This forklift was designed from the ground up for specifically challenging operations in rough terrain. We are committed to providing the same rugged reliability and durability for these LCRTF machines as in our well-known rough terrain container handler (RTCH). Receiving this landmark contract clearly demonstrates the customer's trust in our employees and our ability to provide the best material handling solutions to their operations throughout the world."
KRTC will manufacture the LCRTFs in Cibolo.
KRTC is the sole manufacturer of RTCHs for the US military and has delivered more than 1,000 of them.
KRTC says the LCRTF is an interoperable companion to the RTCH and designed to give customers maximum savings in total ownership costs.