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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #272 - 10 August 2006 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“Coming soon: Toyota 8 Series.”
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Combilift, Hangzhou new to US top 20
Two of China’s biggest forklift manufacturers are in the newly released Modern Materials Handling (MMH) magazine’s list of top 20 global forklift suppliers.
The list ranks forklift suppliers according to global sales revenue for 2005. Companies must make and sell forklifts in at least one of the Industrial Truck Association’s seven forklift classes to be included in the annual list.
Anhui Heli, China’s top selling forklift producer, rose to 13th position from 20th position in last year’s list. The Hefei province-based supplier made worldwide sales revenue of USD288 million for its Heli brand forklifts in 2005.
China’s second highest selling forklift producer, Hangzhou, was a newcomer to the list, making it to the 16th spot with 2005 worldwide sales revenue of USD165 million.
As in 2004, Toyota (USD5.07 billion) and Linde (USD4.50 billion) topped the 2005 list with first and second positions. Nacco Industries (USD2.40 billion), placed third, and Jungheinrich (USD1.95 billion), fourth, swapped positions from last year (Forkliftaction.com News #224).
Mitsubishi-Caterpillar (USD1.49 billion), Crown (USD1.46 billion), Komatsu (USD1.06 billion), TCM (USD800 million), Nissan (USD760 million) and Doosan (USD423 million) completed the top 10.
As with dhf-intralogistik magazine’s world ranking list, Hangzhou and Combilift were first-timers to the MMH list (Forkliftaction.com News #253).
MMH associate editor Corinne Kator said next year’s list could be affected by the changes in Linde Material Handling’s future.
“As the fiscal year progresses, the industry will keep an eye on Linde, whose parent company is seeking a buyer for its forklift business,” she wrote.
Jungheinrich’s Nordestedt plant plays catch up
Global demand for materials handling equipment grew “substantially” in the first half of 2006, with Eastern Europe’s 44 per cent growth the largest, Jungheinrich AG said in an August 2 statement.
The overall world market grew 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2006 and 17 per cent in the second quarter. Eastern Europe’s growth exceeded western Europe (eight per cent). Asia grew 17 per cent and North America 13 per cent. China was Asia’s growth engine, posting market growth of 34 per cent.
Orders for new Jungheinrich forklifts grew about 15 per cent from EUR236 million (USD304 million) (2005 corresponding period) to EUR271 (USD349 million) million in the six months to June 30.
Forklift production could not keep up with incoming orders, partly because Jungheinrich’s Nordestedt plant was reorganising its manufacturing processes, the statement said.
“Since the beginning of the year, the value of orders on hand increased 60 per cent. However, due to realignment of the Nordestedt site’s manufacturing processes, plant output increased only marginally year on year.”
Reorganisation at the Nordestedt plant included production sequence changes, new production machines installation and a new test and development centre, Jungheinrich spokesperson Markus Piazza said.
“The reorganisation will allow a higher plant output and substantial cost savings,” Piazza said. “It will be completed in the first half of 2007.”
The Norderstedt plant produces battery-powered pedestrian trucks, reach trucks, horizontal order pickers and vertical order pickers.
New Toyota series reaches the market
After months of rumours, Forkliftaction.com News understands Toyota will be introducing its 8 Series forklift this month.
A Toyota Industries Corp (TICO) spokesperson told Forkliftaction.com News the forklift was slated for domestic release on August 28 and early September for non-Japanese markets.
North American and European markets were not included in the September release. He said the date for their release could not yet be disclosed.
The 8 Series manufactured at Toyota’s Takahama plant in Aichi prefecture, surpassed the 7 Series on four points, the spokesperson said.
“It has enhanced safety technology, better ergonomics, reduced total life cycle cost and is of better quality.”
Following on from the 7 Series, the 8 Series had “the system of active stability and enhanced safety technology through “electric hydraulic control”.
Operators would find wider footspace, a smaller steering wheel diameter and easier cabin accessibility.
He said the new forklift series was more durable because it had less plastic parts than the 7 Series.
Ballard targets forklifts for fuel cells
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
Fuel-cell-stack developer Ballard Power Systems Inc is focusing on forklifts while it waits “seven or eight years” for the automotive world to broadly implement its technology.
The forklift, residential cogeneration and backup power segments may become “very large markets,” John Sheridan, Vancouver-based Ballard CEO, said during a July 26 conference call with security analysts. “We are focused very sharply on positive margin revenue growth as we go forward. We see significant potential” in the non-automotive market.
During the second quarter ended June 30, Ballard shipped 36 of its liquid-cooled hydrogen-fueled Mark 9 SSL to the forklift market and booked new orders for two units. The Mark 9 SSL is a direct derivative of an automotive fuel cell product. Ballard shipped 102 of its hydrogen-rich reformate-fuel-based Mark 1030 for forklift, residential cogeneration and back-up power applications, and it booked 94 new orders for the product.
Ballard lead customers General Hydrogen Corp and Cellex Power Products Inc “are currently active in field trials and demonstration programs with five major forklift end users including Bridgestone and Wal-Mart,” Sheridan said. “The operational feedback continues to be positive on a number of key parameters” such as product life, time between failures and refueling efficiencies.
Ballard develops, manufactures and markets zero-emission proton exchange membrane fuel cell stacks, and lead customers such as General Hydrogen and Cellex Power handle systems integration, fueling and sales with end users.
Upon conclusion of the forklift trials, “we anticipate additional shipments and follow-on orders,” Sheridan said.
Across the global industrial truck market, Ballard estimated there could be sales of about 400 fuel-cell units for forklifts this year, 1,000-2,000 units per year in 2007 and 2008 and 6,000-12,000 units per year in 2009 and 2010.
Patented Forklift Attachment- Seeking Manufacturer
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Clark ex-exec gets community service
WASHINGTON, DC, United States
A former Clark executive who pleaded guilty to lying to US federal agents investigating a trade embargo violation with Iran last year has been fined USD5,000.
David S C Tatum, a retired Clark Material Handling Co vice president, also was sentenced to probation and community service, the Lexington Herald Leader reported.
US District Court Judge John D Bates called Tatum’s offence “serious” and said his conduct impeded justice.
Tatum, 70, who retired last year, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to agents investigating whether Clark employees had violated the US trade embargo to Iran in 2003 and 2004 (Forkliftaction.com News #259).
Tatum told Bates in court last Friday that he regretted his false statement and wanted to apologise to the court and his family and friends.
Bates said he would transfer the one-year probation to the eastern district of Kentucky, in Lexington, where Tatum lived. Tatum must perform 50 hours of community service, pay for a USD100 special assessment and submit to DNA testing.
This year, Clark vice president Robert E Quinn was sentenced to 39 months’ jail after a jury found him guilty of five counts of making illegal exports to Iran (Forkliftaction.com News #249).
Quinn is appealing against his conviction. Another employee, Michael Holland, was acquitted after the eight-day trial.
Airtrax delivers Sidewinders, copes with FiLCO
BLACKWOOD, NJ, United States
by US correspondent Roger Renstrom
Airtrax Inc has delivered about 50 of its ATX-3000 Sidewinder forklifts and is exploring other applications possibly involving tow motors, scissor lifts and cranes. Also, Airtrax is dealing with issues related to the January 20 insolvency filing of FiLCO GmbH in Germany.
Airtrax had loaned FiLCO USD6.3 million through Dec 31, using FiLCO’s equipment, other plant property and intellectual property as security, according to an Airtrax quarterly report to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).
On February 7 Airtrax terminated a 2004 agreement to acquire FiLCO (Forkliftaction.com News #187). Subsequently in May, FiLCO’s assets were auctioned off. “We will seek to recover on our secured loans through appropriate legal channels,” Airtrax said in the SEC report.
FiLCO was formed in April 2003 and included assets of the bankrupt former Clark operation in Mulheim, Germany.
Airtrax began assembling the ATX-3000 Sidewinders in its Blackwood plant in September 2005 and 14 units had been partially assembled in the Mulheim plant prior to the insolvency filing, the Airtrax SEC report said.
In the US, Airtrax disclosed new distributor agreements with Western Rail & Dock Inc, California; Quality Penn Products Inc, Pennsylvania; Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp, Wisconsin; Hugg & Hall Equipment Co, Arkansas; and Affordable Equipment Inc of Florida.
The company said June 22 it had an exclusive distributor agreement in the UK with Airtrax (UK) Ltd with branches in the English counties of Yorkshire, Merseyside and Cheshire.
But Airtrax seeks more dealers for certain open regions, Peter Greenwood, Airtrax vice president of sales, said by telephone.
Another distributor, Fallsway Equipment Co of Ohio, USA, arranged for a demonstration of the Sidewinder’s capabilities at a July 28 open house, and Airtrax is exploring upcoming trade expositions as a way to showcase the equipment and its custom designed wheels, motors and frames.
The publicly traded firm is marketing the Sidewinder forklift and, in the near future, the Cobra aerial work platform as the world’s first commercially produced material handling vehicles using omnidirectional technology and the patented Airtrax wheel.
Australian attitude mixed on RFID
by Daphne Haneman
Australian businesses are trialling RFID technology, but there are mixed opinions on the benefits for the Australian forklift industry.
Several RFID trials involving forklifts are being conducted in Australia.
In Sydney this week 11 forklift operators at Bush’s Pet Food, a division of Bush’s International, scanned barcode labels on pallets by hand, as the first step in going live with RFID technology.
Two weeks ago 11 companies, including Chep Australia, Linfox, Gillette, Visy Industries, Capilano Honey, Proctor & Gamble, Metcash, and Sun Microsystems, completed a year-long trial of RFID technology in Australia.
Australasian Production & Inventory Control Society (APICS) representative Darren Haymes said the forklift industry needed to stay informed on RFID.
“There’s a lot of market hype about RFID – the Australian market is not yet RFID ready – so it’s fair enough to be sceptical, but it’s better to be engaged, proactive and have an informed, independent perspective,” he said.
“The forklift industry should look at the business case, such as the Wal-Mart model. Wal-Mart may soon mandate antennas on forklifts and Coles is following the Wal-Mart model closely.”
Haymes said RFID inquiries from the public had compelled APICS to arrange short courses on RFID technology.
“Our 3.5-hour RFID course has been a huge success.” He said course participants were from the food, pharmaceutical, materials handling and forklift sectors, including logistics managers.
Forklift attachment specialist Cascade Australia Queensland’s product manager Graham Ede said there was still much work to be done in enabling forklift attachments with RFID technology.
“Forklift attachments with sensor reading devices on twin pallet handlers are currently bar-coded but to have them RFID-enabled means sorting through many issues.
“The technology is fine, but issues like the impact of dirt and rough treatment on readers, costs and communication issues have suspended development programs in Australia.”
Ede said research and development in RFID-enabled forklift attachments would be driven by well-resourced overseas parent companies.
First created in World War II to differentiate between friendly and enemy aircraft, RFID has existed for more than 60 years but has not been widely adopted, due to a lack of global standards and cost. RFID technology uses radio waves to automatically identify objects. An RFID tag is a microchip attached to an antenna. The antenna enables transmission of digital information that can be transferred to a computer.
RFID has an advantage over bar-code systems as tags can be read simultaneously, instead of singularly. RFID tags are attached to pallets, products and forklifts and can be scanned as a unit load moves through a dock. When the information is transmitted to a computer, companies can share information with customers and suppliers about the location of individual products anywhere in the supply chain.
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Former Crown CEO relieved after wife's killer gets life
Former long-serving Crown Australasia CEO Bernard Whelan this week expressed some relief after the New South Wales Supreme court sentenced a man to life imprisonment for the death of Mr Whelan’s wife, Kerry Whelan (Forkliftaction.com News #229).
Mrs Whelan disappeared in Sydney in 1997 and her body was never found.
Bruce Burrell, 53, was this week sentenced to life imprisonment for extortion and murder.
Although satisfied with the outcome, Mr Whelan said his family would continue to suffer.
Mr Whelan started working for Crown in 1965 in Smithfield, Sydney. He worked for Crown Australasia for 30 years and retired in 2004.
Crown Equipment Pty Ltd general manager marketing Craig Kenchington said Mr Whelan played a pivotal role in the growth of the company in the Asia Pacific region.
Mr Whelan has remarried and has three children.
Amsterdam north-western Europe’s fastest growing port
Total cargo throughput in the Amsterdam Port Area grew faster than in any other north-western Europe port in the first half of 2006, the Port of Amsterdam said in a statement.
For the six months ended June 30, 2006, the Amsterdam Port Area, comprising the Ports of Amsterdam, Beverwijk, Velsen/IJmuiden and Zaanstad, handled 43 million metric tonnes of cargo, up 17 per cent on the same period in 2005.
The statement attributed the growth mainly to “increased transhipment of oil products, coal and shipping containers”.
The Amsterdam Port Area handled a cargo increase of more than 6.4 million metric tonnes than it did the same period last year. Oil products constituted the biggest share, 2.8 million tonnes. Containers were runner up with about 1.4 million tonnes while coal occupied third place with 0.6 million tonnes.
The Port of Amsterdam grew most, with total cargo throughput hiking 20 per cent to 30 million tonnes for the first half of the year. Container traffic reached more than 134,000 TEUs, a 460 per cent jump from the same period in 2005.
In late 2005 and early 2006, three intercontinental container services that sail to and from China, Japan and South America, added Amsterdam to their sailing schedules, contributing to the phenomenal container traffic growth.
Port of Amsterdam CEO Hans Gerson said Amsterdam benefited from the growing energy market. Gasoline players, like Oiltanking and Europoint, expanded local storage capacity and multinational tank terminal operator Koninklijke Vopak NV intended to build a new oil terminal in Amsterdam.
“The construction of this new oil terminal and expansions of storage capacity will further strengthen Amsterdam’s strong hub function in the gasoline market,” Gerson said.
Movers & Shakers
Mikael Wegmϋller has been appointed KCI Konecranes Group director of marketing & communications and a member of the executive board, starting on September 18. Wegmϋller is currently CEO of Publicis Helsinki. Before joining Publicis, he was part of Sek & Grey’s management team.
Paul Lönnfors starts his new post as KCI Konecranes Group investor relations manager on September 1. He replaces Franciska Janzon. Lönnfors was communications and investor relations manager of KONE Corp. Janzon starts as KCI Konecranes’ manager of corporate branding & communications on September 18.
Linde (China) CEO Chingpong Quek has been appointed vice chairman of the Xiamen Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment. Quek said Linde (China) would support the association’s and Xiamen city’s economic activities.
Dr Helmut Limberg joins the Jungheinrich AG board of management on February 1, 2007. He has been managing director of Liebherr Group since 2001. As a Jungheinrich board member, he will be responsible for marketing & sales.
NTP Australia spends millions on expansion
NTP Forklifts Australia, a major distributor of six forklift brands, has spent AUD7 million to move to new, larger Sydney premises.
NTP Sydney general manager Richard DiMatteo said NTP purchased 8,700 square metres of office and warehouse space at Granville, in Sydney’s west, to display new products.
“The ample grounds present opportunities to display new products and allow customers to view the range in a spacious, conducive environment,” DiMatteo said.
An NTP spokesperson said the expansion accommodated NTP’s growing relationship with TCM and Manitou.
NTP Forklifts Australia represents Manitou, Manilec, TCM, Taylor-Dunn, Hytsu and Fantuzzi brands.
Teen arrested for forklift theft
EDGEWATER, FL, United States
A US teenager is facing grand theft charges after police caught him driving a forklift away from a rental shop.
Daytona Beach News-Journal reported a police officer saw 15-year-old Berny Cordero Junior drive the forklift out of a rental shop parking lot just after midnight on Friday.
When pulled over and questioned, Cordero said his father had asked him to get the forklift to a hotel.
Police checked with the rental shop and found no one had requested the USD130,000 forklift be removed.
Cordero was charged with grand larceny by Edgewater police and taken to the Division of Juvenile Justice detention centre in Daytona Beach.
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BS Forklifts International BV from The Netherlands - doubles its size!
One of Europe’s biggest wholesalers of used forklifts and container handling equipment is now expanding their warehouse capacity to twice their current size. Their goal is to have more than 1,000 units in stock, in order to serve their customers even better than they have for the past 25 years. This Euro top 3 company plans to expand their business from 3,000 units per year to 5,000 units.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
Meclift Variable Reach Truck ML 3012RC
Oy Meclift Ltd, a Finnish manufacturer of Variable Reach Trucks and Side Reach Stackers, introduces its Variable Reach Truck ML 3012RC for container stuffing and other heavy lift applications. Over 20 tonnes into the middle of 20 ft container is possible. The Variable Reach Truck ML 3012RC has a lifting capacity of 30 tonnes at a load center of 1.2 meters. It is characterized by a reach feature which enables it to handle heavy loads from locations impossible for the straight-masted trucks.
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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