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|If you were impressed at the oratory of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, then I’d urge you to look to this week’s Discussion Forum contribution from Road Rat in North Carolina. In a thread about what lies ahead, he writes that we can get through the current challenges. “Companies will be keeping their equipment longer and they will need repairs. Forklift dealers who are privately owned will have to tighten their belts and streamline their operations. This is a good time .. to build a good, productive team that is willing to look after the company they work for and forget this ‘New Age’ attitude of ‘What can the company do for me?’". Good sentiments, Road Rat, and in the words of the President, “Yes, we can!”. Check out the thread.|
|Global materials handling companies face uncertain times |
|The impact of the current financial crisis is being felt worldwide with manufacturers increasing prices of their products due to steady increases in raw material costs and businesses facing downturns in sales and orders.|
Forkliftaction.com News spoke with materials handling companies and industry sources in Europe, South Africa, the US, Canada and Australia to see how they were fairing in the current economic climate.
According to the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), its members have noticed a decline in orders. David Ellison, chief executive of the UK association, says the decline applies across the board, but particularly to new forklifts. “It is a bit early to start stressing any particular products or markets, other than perhaps the construction industry.”
Dan Pettersson, president of counterbalance products for Kalmar, says his company’s forklift business is being affected by “the current turbulence in worldwide economics”.
“The effects have not impacted our forklift business as much as it has in other related businesses like road trucks or construction equipment,” he says. “Some of our customer segments in the wood, paper and car industries show a clear downturn.”
Jan Coemans, marketing engineer for Hyundai Heavy Industries Europe, comments the company has experienced a general demand decline in the materials handling markets. “This is thanks to a decline in logistics activities in Western Europe.”
Canadian Forklift Distributors Limited is experiencing a 25% reduction in overall sales. Jim Chesla, general manager, says manufacturing industries related to the automotive industry are down, but general negativity in the market has all sectors holding onto their orders until signs of a turnaround.
Rocla reports its market statistics for Europe at the end of August show a decline in demand for warehouse trucks by 2% compared with the same period last year. Tapio Rummukainen, Rocla’s CEO, says sales demand has continued to weaken over the past four months. “The uncertainty related to market developments has reflected on order bookings from Western Europe, with targets falling short in the third quarter of the year.”
Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Konecranes, says the company has received some order cancellations and requests for delayed delivery times, but the effect so far on Konecrane’s business outlook is very small.
“However, should the credit market not stabilise in the near future, this situation could change,” he adds. “On the other hand, advance payments received represent approximately one-fourth of our order book. This reduces the financial impact of order cancellations. The fact that we are almost debt-free is another valuable asset right now.”
SA French has not been hit as hard as other economies. Warwick van Breda, operations director, explains this is because of South Africa’s continued exchange control policy and the banking sector being more regulated. “Due to the government targeting headline inflation, our interest rates have as yet not been lowered and the legislature had already (mid-2007) enacted a ‘credit agreements act’ that regulates the provision of finance to all citizens in order to protect the poor or uninitiated from micro-lenders or unscrupulous credit providers.”
However, SA French is finding its clients are hesitant to make capital purchases in anticipation of winning contracts. van Breda says in many cases once the firm won the contract, it would immediately start building. “We have seen a new trend that has negated this behaviour and due to cancellations, the contractors are now waiting for guarantees and planning their jobs in a phased manner.” This, he adds, means a tendency toward rental and not purchase of equipment.
Adrian Burgess, market intelligence analyst for NMHG Europe, says the market for forklifts over recent months has been decreasing steadily, except for Benelux, Germany, and Austria which are showing resilience. “This decrease would be mainly due to the impact of the credit crunch and companies ‘tightening purses’ and holding on to capital equipment like industrial trucks, as they cannot raise capital on credit to replace them.
“Many competitors are competing fiercely on price, firstly because of the heightened price elasticity in the more economically hit markets and industries but also due to price pressure between the larger competitors willing to lose profit on (the) initial sale to try and maintain economies of scale back in their production line.”
Burgess expects the lower-price Chinese and Korean manufacturers to capitalise on this potentially widening market segment.
“With these economic factors in mind, we are not just competing against other forklift providers, but also other goods that businesses require capital and credit to buy as customers prioritise their purchases,” he explains. “This is why we see the growing importance of financial services, and the ability to offer customers greater flexibility and value in the financial service packages being offered.”
In Australia, Todd Brennan, founder of Forkpro Australia, sees the economy as “patchy but not alarming.”
He believes the key to surviving the current economic climate is to maintain high standards. “From our training and licensing perspective, we have diversified to handle other equipment and offer a wider range of courses,” Brennan says. “Nevertheless, we still maintain a keen focus on high-quality forklift operator training and refuse to participate in the low-end discount forklift licence market. To some degree, this policy does harm us (because when) things tighten up, cheaper providers are often sought.”
In order to survive this period of decline and financial instability, many of the companies Forkliftaction.com News spoke to have prepared and implemented plans and strategies.
FLTA’s Ellison says there are certain strategies companies can use to see them through this period: “The aim will be to not let income reduction be too significant. Margins on new trucks have been very poor for a number of years now. Dealers would sell trucks with a view to gaining their profit from repairs and maintenance.
“Many lost sales of new trucks will be because companies are deferring the decision to buy (as part of their strategy). This means there will be older trucks around needing more maintenance and more repairs. This will help offset other losses. We are encouraging members to maintain high levels of customer service as dealer/customer relationships will be more important than ever.”
Chesla says Canadian Forklift Distributors Limited will continue to position itself as one of the largest material handling dealer networks in Canada. “Our (wholesale) division continues to develop, grow and prosper and we continue to sign new dealers for all products throughout Canada.
“When things do turn around, we will be well positioned to increase our marketshare throughout Canada. We hope to erase the 25% downturn in 2009 and return to the record sales of 2007.”
Forkpro will continue to maintain good relationships with key clients to carry it through any economic downturn. “Diligent companies maintain their training and safety regime regardless of economic conditions and we try to support them by providing an efficient service 24 hours a day,” Brennan says.
Kalmar’s Pettersson says the company will continue to seek new opportunities despite the economic downturn. “In times of uncertainty, many customers are looking for a strong and stable partner that will be around to support them in the future. We see opportunities to grow our market shares right now.
“As a global company, we are also spreading our risks so we are not over dependent on a few big markets. We are selling our products in 167 countries and this helps to balance downturns in demand. We are constantly working with adjusting to the prevailing market conditions.”
Rocla expects to continue its strong growth, based on recent demand for its products in Finland, Denmark and Russia. Rummukainen comments growth in order bookings and business volume in Russia and Denmark has been significant. “Rocla's automated truck concept has gained the attraction of markets and the bidding volume for automated solutions based on the Rocla business concept is now significant and is expected to grow also in the coming months.”
Konecrane’s Lundmark admits that even though the company is not immune to a general slowdown in the world economy, it has several ways to seek continued growth - even when times get tougher. “Many customers are interested in large-scale maintenance service outsourcing deals when times are bad, simply to improve productivity and reduce costs,” he says. “Several infrastructure-related customer segments such as power generation, transportation and waste handling, are also likely to continue investments in a downturn.
“There are still several geographical markets in the world where we do not have sufficient coverage. We intend to continue to increase our market share organically, but a weak economy typically also opens up attractive opportunities for acquisitions at reasonable prices.”
SA French has increased its rental fleet of rough-terrain forklifts, telescopic handlers and tower cranes to cater for the ongoing uncertainty as more companies choose to rent equipment rather than purchase it. The company has also invested in stock like truck mixers and mobile cranes for the infrastructure market, van Breda says.
|Manitowoc expands Italian operations |
Niella Tanaro, Italy
|Manitowoc recently opened its newly expanded factory at Niella Tanaro in Italy. The new 2,500 sqm facility will manufacture the company’s two- and three-axle Grove rough-terrain cranes. |
The plant now manufactures all the company's all-terrains, after production was transferred from the Wilhelmshaven factory in Germany. Niella Tanaro also builds Potain self-erecting and top-slewing tower cranes.
Eric Etchart, president and general manager of Manitowoc, says the new factory will extend capability in Italy and create additional capacity at other Manitowoc factories. "The expansion here is important because it gives us greater capacity to build more cranes, but equally important is the capacity that is freed up at our other facilities.
“Building rough-terrain cranes here for the Italian market gives us greater flexibility at our factory in Shady Grove, Pennsylvania," Etchart says.
|Cincinnati-Lexington dealership adds Clark equipment |
Cincinnati, OH, United States
|An Equipment Depot dealership has added the equipment of Clark Material Handling Co to its product mix for the market serving greater Cincinnati and Lexington, Kentucky.|
Effective 7 November, “the appointment provides Clark with continuous coverage from south of Lexington to north of Cincinnati along the important Interstate-75 business corridor,” says Scott Johnson, director of dealer services for Lexington-based Clark.
Because the dealership’s region overlaps Clark’s home base, “we are planning a number of sales and marketing elements for central Kentucky that combine the strengths of our companies,” Johnson notes. “For example, Equipment Depot will be a part of Clark’s Lexington Christmas parade presentation.”
The dealership has talked with Clark representatives periodically, and they began meaningful discussions in mid-2008, observes Ed Neyer, dealership president and chief executive officer.
The dealership is adding a separate dedicated sales force of three persons to market “the Clark brand to customers we do not have” at this time, Neyer notes. His existing full-service forklift organisation will support Clark forklifts along with the dealership’s service for the Caterpillar, Linde and Mitsubishi brands in its three Cincinnati area sites and one Lexington location. A fourth Cincinnati facility handles only aerial telehandlers.
In July, prompted by business growth, Neyer’s organisation opened a 9,100-square-foot (819sqm) Dayton, Ohio facility representing Nissan and Linde forklifts. Dave Kelly, who has been with the organisation since 1989, heads the new location. The dealership had served the Dayton market from previously existing locations since 2004.
Also, the dealership represents Caterpillar through facilities in Nitro and Vienna, West Virginia. That business was acquired from Walker Machinery in April 2001.
For all locations, the dealership employs 375, including 208 technicians, and has a rental fleet inventory of about 2,500 units, including forklifts and aerial telehandlers.
Neyer’s organisation is among three regional forklift operations currently adopting the common brand name Equipment Depot within the Pon North America (PNA) materials handling group. The Cincinnati-Lexington business was founded in 1960 and, prior to 1 October, operated as Portman Equipment Co (Forkliftaction.com News #384). PNA acquired Portman in January 2004.
“We have already changed the building signs (to Equipment Depot), and we have changed (identity on) half of our services vehicles” so far, Neyer says. The remaining vehicles will display the Equipment Depot logo before the end of 2008.
The PNA group oversees five US regional forklift dealerships and is a unit of trading company Pon Holdings BV, of Nijkerk, the Netherlands. Don Moes is president of the Waco, Texas-based PNA group.
Equipment Depot regional dealerships also represent Clark in Houston, Dallas and Waco, Texas; Peoria, Illinois; and Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
|Manitou rough-terrain orders drop |
|Manitou has temporarily shut production units in the wake of a fall in orders for rough-terrain handling equipment due to the downturn of the European construction market. It forecasts a 20% fall in sales during the final quarter of the year.|
Despite this downturn, the company’s sales increased by 6.6% for the nine months to 30 September to just over EUR1 billion (USD1.25 billion) and a 3% increase in the most recent quarter.
Manitou reported strong sales growth in France (up by 15%) with other EU countries up 36%. However, both Spain and the United Kingdom experienced sharp declines in sales – 71% and 33% respectively. Manitou attributes this decline to the countries’ exposure to the property crisis.
Sales of rough-terrain forklifts increased by 6.7% to EUR682 million (USD855 million) and industrial equipment increased by 23.7% to EUR77 million (USD96 million).
However, the company says there have been a large number of requests from distributors and dealers to delay deliveries because of declining financial circumstances. It also reports one-off orders have been temporarily cancelled in Russia and Central Europe.
Manitou anticipates group sales for the rest of 2008 will decline 15% to 20% because of the effects of the economic situation in Europe.
Since the middle of the year, the company has been implementing a cost saving plan to reduce external charges and reduce its temporary staff.
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|Cargotec expands operations into Italy |
|Cargotec’s recent acquisition of two Italian service companies will allow it to focus on developing its services in Italy.|
Cargotec’s Kalmar business unit has acquired 80% of CVS Technoports and CVS Service. The remaining 20% of the two companies’ shares will remain in the ownership of the CVS Ferrari Group.
Mark Williamson, president of Kalmar EMEA, explains Kalmar was not able to buy 100% of the two companies because of rules set out by the Monopoly Commission.
Kalmar originally agreed to purchase CVS Ferrari in January 2007 (Forkliftaction.com News #293), however the acquisition was put on hold after German competition authorities raised concerns (Forkliftaction.com News #320).
The companies will work under the name Officine Cargotec Ferrari and will focus on developing services to container and materials handling customers in Italy. The acquisition will enable the companies to offer a wide range of services related to CVS and Kalmar equipment.
Williamson says the main reason for buying the two businesses was that Kalmar did not have a service organisation in Italy. “If the market was big enough and there was enough equipment in the market place, we could have had our own service organisation,” he says. “However, the best way to go forward was to buy one (existing service business) rather than start a new one.”
Italy has been in Kalmar’s sights for some time as part of its overall strategic plan, he notes. “There are some big customers in Italy and we sell quite a bit of equipment in (the) country. It is also a decent size market with some important ports.”
|Fuel cell integrator presents at Yale meeting |
Latham, NY, United States
|Fuel cell technology integrator Plug Power Inc shows its wares to Yale Materials Handling dealers next week as part of a pursuit of multiple leads from forklift users and manufacturers. Plug Power’s line of GenDrive fuel cell power units targets materias handling applications and its GenCore fuel cell power units focus on backup-power scenarios.|
The Latham-based firm’s sales force will “work closely with lift truck OEM national account personnel to prospect and develop new opportunities,” says Andy Marsh, president and chief executive officer. “In addition to the interest we received directly from customers, we have received many leads from the lift truck OEMs, whose customers have expressed interest in our fuel cells.”
As an example, he cites the request to participate in the national Yale meeting. “On Nov 17th, (we will) introduce both our class 1 and class 3 products to the Yale (dealer) principals. This is significant (in part) because Nacco is one of the top two manufacturers of class 1 lift trucks with deep ties to some very large and well-known companies that have been testing fuel cell applications, such as John Deere, Federal Express, General Motors and others.”
Plug Power has other materials handling initiatives.
“We also expect (to move) deep in our distribution and product development relationships with Crown Equipment and Toyota Raymond throughout 2008/9 and beyond,” Marsh notes. “They are the dominant suppliers of class 3 lift trucks with a high throughput distribution market and have been forthcoming with new sales leads.”
Plug Power will exhibit at next year’s largest North American materials handling trade event. “In January of 2009, we will be participating in the ProMat show in Chicago,” Marsh says. “Based on our experience of previous trade shows, we expect this show will also generate many new sales opportunities for our GenDrive product.”
Plug Power has increased the size of its GenDrive sales team. “We have added four individuals, and we have placed them regionally across the country,” Marsh notes. “And most of them have come onboard over the past month.”
Tom Hoying, vice president of GenDrive sales, joined Plug Power as part of its April 2007 USD46.1 million acquisition of Cellex Power Products Inc.
Earlier, Hoying “was an executive at Crown, a leading forklift truck manufacturer,” Marsh says. “We have another seasoned individual in Tennessee, Tony Troutt, and four additional sales folk we’ve added to the team in the last three months.” Troutt, vice president of business development, joined Plug Power as part of the May 2007 USD12.4 million acquisition of General Hydrogen Corp.
Marsh, who spoke by telephone from Mumbai, India, highlights the recent eight-year extension of the US investment tax credit for fuel cell technology.
“A long-term extension of the ITC has been a top priority for the (fuel cell) industry,” Marsh says, “and it is expected to help accelerate full-scale commercialization of fuel cell technology. Beginning Oct 3rd, our business customers will be able to take advantage of the 30% credit with a cap at USD3,000 per kilowatt, an increase from USD1,000 per kilowatt.”
Marsh joined Plug Power on April 8 and has 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. As CEO, he succeeded Roger Saillant, who retired.
For the third quarter ended 30 Sept, Plug Power lost USD13.8 million on total revenue of USD4.1 million versus a loss of USD15.2 million on revenue of USD4.5 million in the comparable 2007 period.
|Quinn placed on probation for 18 months |
Washington, DC, United States
|US Judge John D Bates sentenced Robert E Quinn on 6 November to 18 months’ probation and 70 hours of community service and imposed a special assessment of USD100 for making false statements to federal agents in a trade embargo case on shipment of forklift parts to Iran.|
Quinn pleaded guilty on 26 August under a plea agreement with the government (Forkliftaction.com News #375).
(Forkliftaction.com News #375). The judge accepted the prosecutors’ move to dismiss a conspiracy count and five counts of violating US economic sanctions that stemmed from trans-shipment of replacement parts through the United Arab Emirates to Iran from Clark Material Handling Co of Lexington, Kentucky, where Quinn was employed as a vice president. Quinn’s 2005 jury conviction was overturned in March 2008 because the government withheld an email beneficial to his defense. The government attorneys opted to negotiate a plea agreement rather than seek a new trial.
Aitan Dror Goelman, a Washington attorney representing Quinn, filed testimonial letters with the US District Court in Washington from seven family members, several neighbours and friends including Chicago childhood acquaintances, a former co-worker and recent clients of Lexington-based Quinn and Associates including a regional US distributor of material handling equipment and a California forklift dealer.
The judge ordered the District of Columbia pre-trial services agency to return Quinn’s US passport to him.
|Forklift eTool targets gaps in safety |
Washington, DC, United States
|Educating neophytes to forklift operating challenges and dangers is a goal of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s powered industrial truck (PIT) eTool.|
Washington-based OSHA launched the free PIT eTool on 30 September and, by 22 October, recorded more than 17,000 visits to the page. No such program existed earlier.
“I see the eTool as a good introduction to powered industrial trucks and the principal safety issues they pose as well as a good reference to the federal regulatory requirements applicable to them,” says Gary Cross, a partner with the law firm of Dunaway & Cross and legal counsel for the Washington-based Industrial Truck Association (ITA). “I think it’s important to note that the eTool is not a substitute for employee training.”
An industry representative on the PIT eTool technical editorial board expresses pride in the collaborative effort, which started in 2006 and involved comment periods in the spring of 2008.
Consortium representatives included forklift manufacturers, equipment end-users and regulators from the OSHA research and training centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, says the representative, Gerald A. Edgar. He is safety team leader in the Ames, Iowa propel-segment facility of Sauer-Danfoss Inc. The firm’s manufacturing, distribution and cleaning functions in Ames operate 25 forklifts and produce hydrostatic transmissions and related products to convey power from an engine to the wheel to propel a vehicle.
OSHA points out that tens of thousands of forklift-related injuries occur yearly in US workplaces.
Violations of PIT standard 29 CFR 1910.178 are among the most frequently cited in the agency’s inspections. The standard is also one of the most often raised topics in calls to OSHA’s 800 number and in email inquiries.
These participants in OSHA's Alliance Program provided eTool feedback: ITA, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the American Forest & Paper Association of Washington and the Pulp and Paper Safety Association Inc of Perry, Florida. In particular, ITA members provided forklift industry expertise during eTool development and supplied numerous photographs that demonstrate key safety points discussed in the text.
The eTool has details about basic forklift types, requirements and practices for operating forklifts, relevant forklift-related workplace conditions and operator training.
OSHA wants the PIT eTool to help employers comply with the standard and train forklift operators in safe procedures.
|Kraft cleans up at rodeo |
Springfield, OH, United States
|Reigning champions Kraft Foods from Groveport, Ohio proved too hard to unseat, wining the two-person title at the 2008 US Open Forklift Safety Rodeo in Springfield, Ohio.|
The Kraft team, made up of Bill Wilkes and Steve Younger, won the KMH Systems, Inc. Championship Team Trophy, ahead of KTH Team “B” (Larry Lawrence and Eric Zunbrum), with DSW Team “A” (Stacy Lane and Brian Burton) coming in third.
Each of those teams was also represented on the podium in the individual master’s division, with Kraft’s Wilkes taking top spot. DSW’s Burton came second, followed by KTH’s Zumbrum.
Locals M&M Restaurant Supply Springfield dominated the Championship Division, which was won by Alan Massie, followed by Chris Johnson and Mike Baker, Jr in third place.
Event director Richard E Higgins also named M&M’s Johnson the event Top Gun.
Date have been selected for next year’s event - October 30 and 31 – and detailed planning, co-ordinated by Forkliftaction.com, will take place during ProMat 2009, from 12-15 January at the McCormick Center in Chicago.
|Movers and Shakers |
|London, United Kingdom|
Harald Wozniak has been appointed as the new head of international service for Linde Material Handling. Wozniak has worked for Linde for 25 years in a number of managerial roles at the company’s headquarters in Germany and in Scandinavia. Wozniak succeeds Friedhelm Schömann, who will now be focusing on project implementation.
Linde Material Handling has also appointed Dr. Ralf Dingeldein as the head of the recently formed New Trucks sales division at Linde Material Handling. Dingeldein will be responsible for central product marketing, sales support and order processing in the new trucks business. Since August 2007, he has been responsible for the strategic marketing of the KION Group in the area of service strategies and competitor intelligence. He previously worked for the Frankfurt office of the consultancy firm McKinsey.
Redmond, WA, USA
David Brotherton has been appointed as a product manager for Genie’s articulating boom lift range. Brotherton will be working on developing strategic globalisation plans, identifying and developing new products, and managing the articulating boom product line globally. Prior to joining Genie Industries, he was an associate brand manager for the Kleenex brand at Kimberly-Clark and was performance improvement consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
|Greening the supply chain |
WIRI, South Auckland, New Zealand
|Ports of Auckland plans to move more freight by rail now that the government has confirmed funding for a rail exchange at its inland port at Wiri, South Auckland. The funding is conditional on POA reaching agreement with ONTRACK.|
The service, which should be operational by mid-2009, is forecast to save up to 2.5 million truck kilometres a year once up to speed.
“A large portion of Ports of Auckland’s import containers arriving from overseas at the CBD port can be moved by rail to Wiri, then taken by truck to local businesses,” says MD Jens Madsen.
He says the move was a logical one that would help “green” New Zealand’s supply chain.
“This is a great example of an integrated, multi-modal approach to transport planning – road, rail and sea transport all working together to create a leaner, more efficient and greener supply chain.”
The project involves an upgrade of the rail sidings and the construction of a hardstand adjacent to the Wiri Inland Port, which borders the North Island Main Trunk line.
Ports of Auckland plans to close its East Tamaki Inland Port before the end of 2008, transferring the volumes handled there to Wiri.
|Record results for Port of Brisbane |
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
|The Port of Brisbane has experienced 15 years of continuous growth in total trade, according to the corporation’s annual report released last week.|
Total trade reached a record 30.2 million tonnes, an increase of 7.7% for the year.
Chairman David Harrison says record world coal prices combined with strong infrastructure spending and rises in imported cement have led to the port’s highest increase in total trade in seven years.
“Queensland’s continued economic boom, and substantial population growth, has played a key role in this exceptional result.”
Total imports recorded a rise of 6.3%, or 1 million tonnes, to reach 17.1 million tonnes.
Overall, exports increased by 9.6%, or 1.2 million tonnes, to reach 13.2 million tonnes, with coal achieving a record increase of 30.2% to reach 5.5 million tonnes. Cereal exports also rebounded from a major low last year, to achieve an increase of 33.2% to reach 474,429 tonnes.
Container trade increased by 7.7% (up 67,647 teus), to reach an all-time high of 942,716 teus.
“During the year, container trade growth slowed below the last decade’s average of 11.5%; however, given last years’ impressive growth of 14.2%, this is still an extremely positive result,” says Harrison.
Both import and export container trade improved, with growth of 8.4% and 7.1%, respectively.
Growth in motor vehicle imports remained strong, increasing by 8.1% to reach 220,902 vehicles. This helped Brisbane to increase its share of the east-coast vehicle import market to 29.4%.
Chief executive officer Jeff Coleman says during 2007/2008, the port not only achieved strong trade results, but it also reached some important milestones on a number of major infrastructure projects, with a record capital expenditure programme of AUD179 million.
“We have now completed construction of our seventh dedicated container berth, Berth 10, and handed it over to Patrick Corporation for development of their AutoStrad terminal,” he said.
“When the facility is completed in early 2009, a berth reallocation will occur, providing both Patrick and DP World with 900m of quayline each.
“Construction of our new General Purpose Berth is also due for completion in early 2009, and this will accommodate growth in bulk and break-bulk cargoes.
“Completion of these key projects, along with the construction of Berths 11 and 12 for Hutchison Port Holdings, will ensure the Port of Brisbane is well positioned to handle future increases in trade.”
The corporation achieved record operating revenue of AUD330 million, plus revenue from the transfer of a 25% shareholding in Brisbane Airport Corporation Holdings (BACH) of AUD276 million, making total revenue of AUD606 million.
Operating earnings before interest and tax (excluding earnings from the transfer of shares in BACH) reached a record AUD232.2 million.
After-tax profit (including the profit from the transfer of shares in BACH) was AUD439 million, and dividends paid to shareholders totalled AUD205.7 million.
|Too little stevedore competition |
SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia
|More intense levels of competition are needed in the Australian stevedoring industry, according to a recent report issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.|
The report questions the future direction of container stevedoring.
"The report shows that the Australian community has benefited from the significant reforms that commenced 10 years ago," says ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel.
"During this time, demand for stevedoring services has doubled. The cost of using stevedoring services has fallen in real terms. In turn, the stevedoring businesses have become more productive and profitable, even during a period when significant expenditure on assets was made.
"However, as the ACCC has noted in previous reports, questions remain about the extent to which the stevedores actually compete to win each other's business. This is important when we look forward ten years and consider the high rates of demand that are forecast to continue.
"The ACCC urges state governments and port planners to ask themselves: What role can competition play in meeting Australia's future stevedoring needs? While some ports are well progressed in testing the market for new competitors, others seem to have settled for the convenience of the current duopoly.”
According to Samuel, while the ports of Sydney and Brisbane have forged ahead, Melbourne lags behind, with a third container terminal not due to commence operation until around 2017.
“This is several years after new terminals are expected to be operating in Sydney and Brisbane in around 2012. Any unnecessary delays in establishing additional container terminal facilities could result in lost opportunities for greater competition,” says Samuel.
He adds that the future challenge is in coping with growth while ensuring that the incentives for improving efficiency are maintained.
“More intense levels of competition can not only improve efficiency but may also result in a greater share of the benefits being passed on to users and the wider community that rely on the movement of goods into and out of Australian ports."
The report will be available on the ACCC's website at www.accc.gov.au
|Coming to Australia in November |
ADELAIDE, South Australia, Australia
|NTP Forklifts Australia, local distributor for battery-electric TCM Corporation forklifts, has announced the launch of the new 8-series reach truck this month.|
Tom Naffine, marketing manager of NTP, tells Forkliftaction.com News that while the new reach truck is typical of most stand-up reach truck designs, making it ideal for general warehousing, the company has also taken orders for the four-directional variant of the model which will be delivered to those customers who handle elongated materials such as steel, glass, pipes, etc.
Explains Damien Garvey, national sales manager, “This is where the front castors have separate motors and can pivot 90 degrees so the unit can move sideways down an aisle or through a doorway.”
The new forklift, launched in Japan in September, incorporates superior performance and economy, with an AC drive motor and regenerative braking system that delivers nine hours’ run time on a single battery charge, an improvement on the previous 7-series model of almost half an hour.
Manoeuvrability is provided via a newly designed auto suspension lock system and a slip control system. The new model has a redesigned operator compartment to improve on comfort, and safety has been enhanced with an interlock system on lifting, travelling and password entry.
The FRHB-8 series is available in 1.5, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 tonne capacities.
|Safety still priority in downturn|
Over 10,000 visitors attended The Safety Show Sydney last month, proving safety remains a priority for business despite the economic downturn.
Along with the Sydney Materials Handling trade show, the event included more than 350 occupational health, safety and materials handling specialists.
Among the active displays was ForkSafe, which had a boom lift in action, while huge green bags were lifted and shifted with ease by a VacuEasyLift from Kockums Bulk.
FreightLink hits the rails
Rail operator FreightLink has gone into voluntary receivership after a bid to purchase the heavily indebted company was thwarted.
KordaMentha has been appointed as receivers and managers, and will now pursue a sale process with business operations expected to continue as usual.
Matex in Melbourne
Matex 2009 aims to be Victoria’s most comprehensive professional trade exhibition for the supply chain and logistics industry.
It takes place 23-25 July 2009 at Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Southbank.
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|ShockWatch® ImpactManager® ||ShockWatch® ImpactManager® equipment monitors are designed to help businesses improve workplace safety and reduce damage-related costs.
The monitors mount directly onto forklifts and other equipment to reinforce safe operating procedures without the need for supervisory presence.
A global leader in damage prevention, ShockWatch has been helping businesses ensure safety and reduce damage-related costs since 1976.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
|Icem launches TPC-AR ||Icem has launched the TPC-AR, a pallet truck equipped with an operator’s folding platform.
The core of the TPC-AR truck is the new three-phase A/C inverter-motor system, which supplies smooth and gradual acceleration, as well as a powerful and a controllable regenerative braking system.
The pallet truck is supplied with different types of operator’s platform, side guards and/or fixed rear guards, configured according to the needs of the individual customer.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2009
Rough Terrain forklifts
Safety products in MH
Forklift Market in Canada
Forklift Market in the United Kingdom
Fleet & Asset management
Narrow Aisle forklifts
Forklift batteries and power solutions
Forklift Market in India