Kalmar's RTCH in action.
Kalmar RT Center LLC (KRTC) has received another US defence contract for rough-terrain container handlers (RTCHs) and is moving production to Texas from Lidhult, Sweden.
Initial delivery orders have a value of more than USD125 million. Kalmar expects the remaining orders in the following four US budget years. The five-year value is estimated to be worth USD385 million.
The Defence Department's Tank-Automotive Armament Command in Warren, Michigan made the RTCH award for the program, which Kalmar RT has always managed from Texas.
The new contract follows from Kalmar RT deliveries of more than 700 RTCHs to US and coalition military forces since an initial pact was signed in April 2000. Deliveries from Lidhult started in 2001. The last Swedish-built RTCH will be assembled in Lidhult in mid-2009.
"We are excited to be bringing a new manufacturing facility and over 200 new jobs to Texas and proud to continue to be an important partner with the Department of Defence," says Stan Simpson, president and chief executive officer of Kalmar RT Center. Simpson is also president of the Washington, DC-based Industrial Truck Association trade group.
"The new additions are adding more than 150,000 square feet (13,500sqm) to the plant in Cibolo," Simpson observes. "We have invested close to USD20 million in facilities and property" since starting the expansion. The current and ongoing Cibolo site occupies 35,000 square feet (3,150sqm), where more than 100 people work.
Parent firm Cargotec Corp of Helsinki, Finland regards the RTCH as a key part of its special products portfolio.
"The increased manufacturing capacity in Texas is part of Cargotec's worldwide efforts to move closer to its customers, solidify the supply chain and increase efficiencies," says Mikael Mäkinen, Cargotec president and CEO, in a statement. "KRTC will continue to concentrate on product support, logistics and training for these container handlers and other Cargotec products supplied to the United States military and coalition forces."
The RTCH can load and unload ISO 20- and 40-foot (6m and 12m) containers in adverse field operating conditions.
The Kalmar RTCH design is based on a 1998 US patent. In addition to the original order in 2000, Kalmar RT received an interim RTCH contract in 2006.
Kalmar RT has delivered more than 100 of the current model to the US Marines. Each unit has a value of more than USD500.
The new facility in Cibolo supports US initiatives such as the Buy American Act and Small Business Plans.
Cargotec acquired control of Kalmar Industries AB in 1997. Kalmar built its first forklift in 1948.