Masashi Nishio with Fork Force managing director Steve Cunliffe
Fork Force Australia has officially opened its new headquarters in Larapinta, Brisbane, with Masashi Nishio, president of the new 80% owner, Nishio Rent All, on hand to mark the occasion.
The partnership agreement settled last month, providing the world's ninth-largest equipment rental company with its second operation in Australia, following a similar deal with Skyreach last year.
For Nishio, the Fork Force partnership is not just a step towards growing marketshare, but also has significant strategic implications.
The president tells Forkliftaction News
that one benefit is improving capital utilisation because Australian fleets generally only keep equipment for 10 years, while rental businesses in other markets retain their inventory for 15 years or more, so Fork Force's machinery will get a second life in another region.
The partnership has also opened a new supply channel for Nishio's 400 branches, with Fork Force's Chinese-built, Australian-specified Enforcer forklifts, reach trucks and pallet trucks to be adopted in other markets. "We want to expand this brand in South East Asia," he says, indicating it will be used to expand the forklift fleet.
The new ownership will also improve Fork Force's access to Japanese equipment, taking advantage of Nishio's buying power.
Nishio remains on the lookout for additional acquisitions in Australia in its aim to double the forklift rental fleet in the next one or two years. The preferred approach is a major stake purchase, with the current owners remaining involved and incentivised to grow the business.
Nishio Rent All does not believe in bringing in Japanese management, he stresses, because they don't understand the local market. "We have to work together," he says.
Fork Force, founded in 1999, has a fleet of around 1,000 machines. Besides its new facility in Brisbane, there are branches in Melbourne and Toowoomba.