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|Could we have turned the corner? Well, the American peak industry association, Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), seems to think so. In the build-up to its next event, NA 2010, the association is talking up market conditions and advising suppliers to get ready for a post-recession boom when all that pent-up demand hits the market. Clearly, MHIA has a vested interest in positive market sentiment, but there seem to be quite a few signs that activity is picking up in most sectors, so maybe we should be getting ready for growth.|
|MCFA, Jungheinrich spell out new course |
Houston, TX, United States
|There has been some criticism of the alliance between Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc (MCFA) and Jungheinrich AG reported last week (Forkliftaction.com News #423).|
Currently, Jungheinrich AG direct-sales subsidiary Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp has 57 North American dealers for Jungheinrich class 1, 2 and 3 electric-powered forklifts, but, once new arrangements take effect in January, “Jungheinrich will no longer distribute products through facilities in the North American market”, says John Sneddon, subsidiary president. “MCFA will be the exclusive distributor of Jungheinrich products in North America, including all sales and service activities.”
Some industry observers and participants believe the distribution agreement poses an efficacious challenge to, and constitutes abuse of, Jungheinrich’s existing North American dealerships—particularly those lacking MCFA connections. Views are posted on the Forkliftaction.com Discussion Forum.
The distribution changes should boost awareness in North America of the Jungheinrich brand and result in the Jungheinrich products reaching the market more efficiently through MCFA’s strong dealer network, but, simultaneously, the upcoming MCFA-Jungheinrich arrangements raise questions about whether any cast-aside Jungheinrich dealers might file legal challenges, objecting to termination of contracts under relevant state franchise laws.
“MCFA and Jungheinrich will continue to operate as two separate entities,” Sneddon says. “Jungheinrich will establish a design centre on MCFA’s Houston campus (under a lease). The centre will focus on the development of a new range of warehouse products designed for, and manufactured in, North America. The centre will also be staffed with Jungheinrich personnel, with plans to add engineering jobs in late 2009.”
Under a production agreement, MCFA’s Houston facility will manufacture new lines of Jungheinrich-branded products developed through the Jungheinrich design centre for the North American market.
Until now, Jungheinrich Lift Truck imported forklifts from Europe and, in the marketplace, suffered the financial disadvantages of a long-distance supply chain. During 2008, Jungheinrich sold about 1,900 forklifts in North America - or about 1.2% of the market.
In Richmond, Virginia, Jungheinrich established the subsidiary’s North American headquarters in 2000 and, during 2006, took occupancy under a fixed-term lease of a 17,000 sqft (1,530 sm) facility for both the headquarters and a parts distribution center.
Sneddon notes that the Jungheinrich staff in Richmond consists of 57 employees including many on assignment from Europe. “Those persons are expected to return to Europe to take on other positions with Jungheinrich’s global operations,” he says. “MCFA has extended offers to Jungheinrich employees to take new positions in Houston. That is all the information available to share at this time, but further details may be provided through the initial transition phase.”
Jungheinrich has discontinued the operation of previously existing North American stock holding sites in Richmond; Cincinnati, Ohio; Elk Grove Village, Illinois; and Fresno, California.
Following the closure of the Richmond facility on 31 December, Sneddon expects to assume a new position within the Hamburg, German Jungheinrich AG organisation.
Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Group’s industrial manufacturing and trading units and an industrial subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc of Peoria, Illinois pooled their technological and financial resources and established MCFA in 1992. The joint venture’s plant manufactures Mitsubishi and Caterpillar forklifts in Houston and distributes equipment using a “Two Brands. One Promise” marketing strategy. In 2008, MCFA accounted for about 10% of sales in the North American forklift market.
MCFA says the Cat forklift product line will focus now on sit-down class 1, 4 and 5 counterbalance products and the Jungheinrich line on narrow-aisle class 2 and 3 products, and some class 1 models typically used in warehousing and distribution applications in North America. MCFA says no change is contemplated for the Mitsubishi-brand forklift line offered through North American dealers.
|World forklift market continues decline in second quarter |
|The Asian materials handling market shrank the least in the second quarter of 2009, compared to other world markets.|
According to Jungheinrich AG’s market intelligence, the world economy continued to decline in the second quarter of 2009 although its momentum was “losing some speed”.
Global demand for materials handling equipment was 49% lower year–on-year for the second quarter, compared to 50% for the first quarter of 2009.
Asia contributed the smallest decrease to the global decline, contracting by 40%, with China posting a below-average drop of 26%. Europe’s market shrank by 53%. Eastern Europe recorded a 78% decline in demand while Western Europe saw a 46% decrease. The North American market reported a drop of 47%.
In the second quarter of 2009, Jungheinrich AG’s net sales dropped by 24% to EUR417 million (USD591 million) compared to the previous year’s EUR547 million (USD775 million). New truck business accounted for the single largest decrease, dropping 31%, followed by short-term hire and used equipment business, which recorded a 7% fall.
The company adjusted its incoming order forecast to EUR1.6 billion (USD2.3 billion) instead of the previous forecast of EUR1.7 billion (USD2.4 billion). Its net sales forecast remains the same at EUR1.7 billion (USD2.4 billion).
“We will significantly step up the measures we have taken so far to counter the effects of the crisis. This will dampen our earnings by a high double-digit million euro figure,” says Jungheinrich board chairman Hans-Georg Frey.
Frey adds that the company is confident of “generating profits commensurate to the economic situation” from 2010.
|Cargotec merges Hiab and Kalmar |
|Cargotec has merged its Hiab and Kalmar business areas and subsequently formed two business areas.|
The “Marine” business area comprises the existing MacGregor business area and “Industrial and Terminal” comprises the Hiab and Kalmar business areas.
MacGregor president Olli Isatola continues to head the renamed “Marine” business area, while Kalmar president Pekka Vauramo now heads the “Industrial and Terminal” business.
Last month, Cargotec announced a new branding strategy. Its truck-mounted Moffett forklifts will be promoted under the Hiab brand and a new logo, a black elephant, will be displayed along the three main brands of Hiab, Kalmar and MacGregor (Forkliftaction.com News #419).
|ARB extends okay on retrofit emission systems |
Sacramento, CA, United States
|The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has extended verification of BlueCAT 200 and 300 retrofit emission control systems from Nett Technologies Inc.|
On its website, ARB posted updated executive orders 11, 12 and 13, extending the agency’s approval of Nett’s large-spark-ignition (LSI) engine retrofit kits back to the 1980 model year.
The action allows a range of large fleet operators in California to retrofit with the proprietary Nett-made closed-loop catalyst systems for equipment with older engines and follows on earlier verifications (Forkliftaction.com News #411).
Nett Technologies of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada says its BlueCAT systems “are the first and only off-road [mobile sources] LSI-2 Level 3a devises verified by the California ARB for engines manufactured between 1980 and 1989”.
The BlueCat 300 system is verified at 1.0 gram per brake horsepower-hour (1.3 grams per kilowatt hour) of emissions of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide for engines above 3.0 litres. The BlueCAT 200 is verified at 1.5 g/bhp-hr (2.0 g/kW-hr) of emissions for engines below 2.5 litres.
Sacramento-based ARB’s off-road LSI measures primarily target forklifts but also include other LSI engine-powered equipment such as floor care machinery, aerial lifts and ground support devices.
Engines in most of these applications are similar to, or derived from, early 1980s automobile engines. Their emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and hydrocarbons (HC) are considerably higher than those from engines in today’s automobiles and contribute to the formation of smog that is often visible in urban centres. Smog can inflame breathing passages and can cause eye and nose irritation, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
Three-way catalytic converters, such as used in Nett’s BlueCAT systems, convert NOX, HC and carbon monoxide emissions (CO) into carbon dioxide and water. For such a converter to achieve maximum reductions, the relative amounts of NOX, HC and CO emissions must balance. These emissions are balanced when the engine operates at a specific air/fuel mixture called the stoichiometric air-fuel ratio.
Modern automobiles use fuel injection and on-board computers to keep the engine at the stoichiometric ratio, but off-road LSI engines in use today are less sophisticated.
Nett’s systems use digital air-fuel ratio controllers that incorporate oxygen sensors, solenoids and electronic controllers to maintain off-road LSI engines at an optimal stoichiometric ratio. Pairing an engine and a high-performance catalytic converter used in a BlueCAT system can maximise emissions reductions.
Emissions reduction has a torturous history. In the late 1990s, ARB staff proposed emission control regulations for new engines to be phased-in beginning in 2001. In 2003, ARB adopted a state and federal strategy that identified new commitments designed to reduce criteria pollutant emissions and achieve the next increment of progress toward meeting current federal health-based air quality standards by 2010.
The three executive orders were dated 22 July and were the subject of an ARB notification on 6 August.
Nett focuses on emission control products for engines, vehicles, and machinery used in the materials handling, construction, and mining industries and supplies catalytic converters for diesel, natural gas, liquid propane gas and gasoline engines; diesel particulate filters; selective-catalytic-reduction systems; and fume diluters.
Versions of the TermiNOx-brand closed-loop emission control system from Engine Control Systems Ltd of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada are verified under other ARB executive orders.
|Grocer installing 59 fuel cell-powered Crown units |
Pottsville, PA, United States
|Wegmans Food Markets Inc is acquiring fuel cell-powered Crown Equipment Corp-manufactured materials handling units for use in the grocer’s Pottsville retail service centre.|
The equipment will replace lead-acid battery-powered units that Wegmans has leased primarily from Crown since opening the centre in 2004.
The Lancaster, Pennsylvania site of Crown-authorised dealership Lift Inc is supplying Wegmans with 50 Crown pallet trucks and nine Crown stand-up forklifts along with GenDrive fuel cell systems from Plug Power Inc of Latham, New York.
Phase One of the project targets the centre’s produce handling facility, is scheduled to be operational in November and, for the forklifts and fuel cells, is budgeted to cost USD1.5 million.
Wegmans is weighing two hydrogen gas supply proposals and anticipates soon securing the services of one of those firms.
Wegmans plans to expand the centre’s use of hydrogen fuel cell technology throughout 2011 and 2012 and anticipates eventually operating 150 fuel cell-powered vehicles there, according to an announcement from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The state agency awarded a grant of USD1,009,176 to Wegmans to partially offset the costs for installation of the on-site hydrogen infrastructure, including an outdoor hydrogen storage tank, underground piping and indoor dispensers for fueling the vehicles. PEDA says the project calls for private matching funds of USD6,213,691 from Wegmans and its suppliers.
PEDA says the project, through its third phase, will offset 4,064,445 kilowatts of energy over its lifetime, retain eight full-time positions and create 23 temporary, full-time jobs.
“This investment in fuel cell technology will help our employees, our business and our community,” says Mike Cullen, Wegmans vice president of distribution planning. “It also underscores our growth and investment in our Pennsylvania operations.” In addition to the centre, Wegmans operates 12 stores in Pennsylvania and has plans for three more.
Wegmans anticipates employees will benefit from better equipment performance. Now, the batteries start out with a full charge, but that dissipates over the course of a shift and reduces equipment efficiency. “Enabling employees to refuel quickly as needed gives them more control of their time and will improve their work environment,” says David DeMascole, general manager of the Wegmans retail service centre in Pottsville.
Two existing buildings at the centre occupy 450,000 sqft (40,500 sqm) for produce and grocery warehousing. “In the next two years, the material handling in the grocery building will be evaluated for fuel cells,” says DeMascole.
Wegmans contemplates constructing an adjacent multi-temperature warehouse of an undetermined size for refrigerated and frozen food storage. Currently, Wegmans brings refrigerated and frozen products to its Pennsylvania stores from its original warehouse in Rochester, New York.
DeMascole notes that the Pottsville service centre employs 320 now and, once the physical expansion is completed, may have 500 on staff.
PEDA, a state-created independent public financing authority, encourages and funds clean advanced-energy projects in Pennsylvania. In the current funding cycle, PEDA received a record 389 applications seeking more than USD400 million.
The award to Wegmans was among grants totaling USD20.7 million for 25 projects to reduce carbon emissions. Funding from the US American Recovery and Reinvestment Act accounts for USD10 million of the total. The public funding leverages another USD120 million in private matching funds, according to PEDA.
Family-owned Rochester-based Wegmans is a high-end 73-store supermarket chain with locations in New York State, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. The firm employs more than 37,000 staff and had 2008 sales of USD4.8 billion.
|Scandinavian fuel cell system to cut emissions|
|Four Scandinavian industrial companies are working with Norwegian-headquartered research organisation SINTEF on a fuel cell system that could cut CO2 emissions drastically.|
The “mini-power station”, being developed by Volvo Technology AB, StatoilHydro ASA, H2 Logic AS, Powercell Sweden AB and SINTEF, is initially targeted at heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and forklift applications.
According to SINTEF, an intensively used diesel forklift can produce CO2 emissions equivalent to that produced by eight cars. Meanwhile, 600,000 of the 2.3 million HGVs on the road in the US alone are fitted with sleeping alcoves. The diesel engines in these vehicles are kept in neutral to supply power for heating, air-conditioning, lighting, fridges and TVs. The HGVs are estimated to run in neutral for 1,800 hours a year, thus collectively generating more CO2 than the total emissions by all Norwegian road transport in a year.
According to Svein Tønseth from SINTEF corporate communications, one of SINTEF’s partners, Powercell Sweden AB, has started developing a “mini-power station” for HGVs using the Scandinavian fuel cell. The system aims to eliminate a very large proportion of HGVs’ CO2 emissions when they run in neutral.
“This was the background for AB Volvo and its Scandinavian partners starting to develop the new fuel cell system. The Scandinavian energy research sector found that this was a very interesting concept, and have invested NOK 4.4 million (USD719,781) in the project,” Tønseth explains.
“Fuel cells of this type will also find other applications. At first, the Scandinavian fuel cell will be adapted for use in pleasure boats,” he adds.
The new Scandinavian fuel cell system will be specially developed for operation at sub-zero temperatures. Forklifts powered by it can be operated outdoors in the cold Scandinavian winter, and in cold stores.
Meanwhile, US companies Airgas Inc and Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc have announced a five-year marketing, sales and service agreement to provide PowerTap hydrogen generators and stations to the North American materials handling market.
Nuvera will manufacture the PowerTap systems and Airgas will provide distribution, installation, monitoring and maintenance of the equipment, and back-up hydrogen at customer sites.
Power Tap is a hydrogen generator and station that is a part of the “Nuvera Total Power Solution” that includes the PowerEdge fuel cell hybrid system replacing standard lead acid batteries in materials handling equipment. The PowerTap generator uses steam reformation technology to produce hydrogen from natural gas.
|PD Ports accommodates growing volumes |
London, United Kingdom
|PD Ports has completed the GBP2 million (USD3.3 million) expansion of its container terminal handling facilities at Teesport on the north-east coast of England.|
The development is the first phase of its latest expansion program. It involves relocating the port’s Vauxhall cars import compound behind the TCT2 container terminal facilities to free up 10 acres of land for rising container volumes.
The port will use the freed-up area to hold empty container stocks for its major customers like CMA CGM, Containerships and MSC. About GBP600,000 (USD994,895) has been invested in two new empty container handlers, four terminal tractors and five trailers to handle the growing numbers of containers stored in the dock area.
David Robinson, PD Ports’ group CEO, says the increase in container volume at Teesport is a result of “general growth” of existing customer activity and increasing “port-centric logistic traffic” from its clients, Asda WalMart and Tesco, whose 1.2 million sqft (111,484 sqm) import centre opens at Teesport this week.
“Further expectation of growth in our container volume comes through trans-shipment volumes. Containership recently announced Teesport as its strategic freight hub for Northern Europe, bringing an increase of 20,000 TEUs through the Port each year,” Robinson adds.
PD Ports’ annual container handling capacity at Teesport has increased from 206,000 TEUs to 236,000 TEUs since the expansion.
PD Ports Ltd was established after the successful takeover of PD Ports plc by Babcock and Brown Infrastructure in February 2006. It employs over 1,350 staff and generates over GBP130 million (USD215.6 million) in annual turnover from 30 UK locations.
|Logitrans introduces stacker for coffins |
|Logitrans A/S, the Danish materials handling equipment maker, is introducing a solution that lessens the strain on those who deal with death for a living.|
Working closely with a crematorium, Logitrans has developed a stacker that “ensures a precise and gentle handling” of coffins.
“Our specially designed stacker is a unique solution for funeral directors, crematoriums, mortuaries and manufacturers of coffins,” says Logitrans president Erling Pederson.
The stacker can turn a coffin horizontally and relieve employees of “inappropriate and twisted lifting” when handling and transporting coffins. Logitrans says the stacker is very manoeuvrable and can operate in confined areas and narrow aisles.
Another new product from the company is the Logiflex Maxi. The fully powered stacker has AC technology, infinitely variable speed control and “soft acceleration”.
The operator can set the stacker’s speed, acceleration and deceleration to a specific job. The vehicle’s control functions are integrated in its ergonomic handle.
|Sample of used equipment for sale:||Search 5064 listings in the Marketplace|
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Click here to include your used forklifts, stackers, telehandlers, container handlers, attachments etc.
|New Products |
|Yale continues NexGen program|
Fleet, United Kingdom
Yale has introduced the VG cushion-tyred counterbalance forklift series that is a continuation of its NexGen product introduction program.
The forklifts, available in 2,200-3,500kg (4,850-7,716lb) lifting capacities, have all the new features that were introduced on the VT and VF electric forklifts.
NMHG product development manager Daniel Heap says Yale’s NexGen forklift series have undergone “the most extensive product development and reliability growth testing ever undertaken” by the company.
The VG series is suitable for engineering and industrial manufacturing; print facilities; paper and packaging manufacturers and distributors; and cross-docking in warehouse and distribution applications.
Still launches new man-down truck
Still GmbH has launched a new series of “man-down” forklifts, the GX series, with load capacities of up to 1,350kg (2,976lbs) and a maximum lift height of 8,595mm (28.2 feet).
Available with a turret head (GX-X) or telescopic forks (GX-Q), the new series is designed for storage and retrieval in narrow aisle warehouses.
The GX range uses an innovative modular design concept and can be customised to individual needs.
According to Still, the new series is an “economical alternative” to a man-up order picker, like its own Still MX-X, because of its lower investment costs.
Nissan introduces warehouse trucks
Nissan Forklift has introduced the Nissan UH reach truck and Nissan PLE pallet transporter.
The Nissan UH reach truck has a load capacity of 1,250kg (2,756lbs) at a maximum lift height of 12.1 metres (39.7 feet). As an option, the reach truck can be supplied with 360-degree steering.
Nissan claims its PLE pallet transporter offers “optimal traction and stability” on every floor type. It is also suited for picking orders from low levels and an extra load can be picked up with its low-lifting straddle legs.
New battery charging system available
Fremont, CA, United States
Oorja Protonics has launched the Model H OorjaPac on-board battery charging system that can be refueled in less than a minute.
Model H is 25% smaller than Oorja Protonics’ pervious models, making it easier to be retrofitted on a wider range of materials handling vehicles.
It has been evaluated by several of the company’s customers and is now being shipped to customers in the food and beverage, and automotive industry.
|MHIA expands on NA 2010 preparations |
Charlotte, NC, United States
|Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) wants companies to get aggressive despite the sour economy and participate in the NA 2010 Material Handling and Logistics Show.|
The biennial event takes place 26-29 April, again in the international exposition and convention IX Center in Cleveland, Ohio under the auspices of Charlotte-based MHIA.
The organizer has created an audience-building pre-show partnership program for which all NA 2010 exhibitors are eligible, says Tom Carbott, MHIA vice president of sales and events. MHIA will feature participants in four pre-show e-newsletters beginning in October, and those firms will have full access to the pre-show database.
Carbott reports that NA 2010 has a waiting list for 70 speaking sponsorships for NA 2010. “We have never had an earlier sell out of those sponsorships,” he notes.
Carbott observes that many forecasts indicate an economic recovery occurring next year making NA 2010 an ideal venue for companies to communicate with prospective customers.
MHIA held a 23 June webcast with more than 100 exhibitors participating. Jefferson Davis with marketing firm Competitive Edge Inc in Charlotte presented a program entitled “Surviving and Thriving through the Recession with Smart Marketing.”
Davis suggests that business opportunities for innovation and expansion exist following a recession, in part to meet pent-up demand in the marketplace.
Davis draws some conclusions, noting that “trade shows are a critical part of the sales and marketing mix, especially during recessions” and firms should “continue exhibiting at the right shows for the right reasons.” Davis suggests that companies “pick the low-lying fruit at the show but focus on the long term by effectively managing show leads”.
|Movers and Shakers |
Cargotec has appointed three new members to its executive board. Unto Ahtola, 54, has been appointed executive vice president, product solutions. Ahtola joins Cargotec from Sandvik Mining and Construction where he has had a career in product development, product management, sales and marketing, and general management roles since 1982. He is currently vice president, R&D and engineering, at Sandvik.
Stefan Gleuel, 43, has been appointed executive vice president, service solutions, starting on 1 October. Gleuel has worked for Cargotec for over 10 years, currently as senior vice president, MacGregor service division.
Ken Loh, 45, has been appointed executive vice president, Asia Pacific, starting 1 October. Loh has worked for Cargotec since 1989, currently as president, Kalmar APAC region.
Lowestoft, United Kingdom
The Nexen Group has appointed Richard Tanner as business development and marketing director. Tanner was a business development manager for Power Solutions Inc of Chicago where he was responsible for establishing a European distribution network for the GM engine program.
Robert Gross has been appointed as the new Victorian state manager for NTP Forklifts’ Melbourne operation. He replaces previous manager Bronte Mincham who retired last month after more than 15 years of dedicated service.
|Wholesaler doesn’t mind stock on his shelves |
Camden, NJ, United States
|Jim Morrison has a fleet of around 2,000 forklifts and pieces of construction equipment. They are all extremely low mileage and use no fuel, but they're going to stay just where they are at his Camden, New Jersey wholesale dealership.|
The forklifts are models – part of what’s thought to be one of the biggest private collections in the world.
“I have about 1,000 of what I call ‘replicas’ (models with a forklift manufacturer’s name on the model),” he says, adding that the entire collection, including other models, toy forklifts, trucks and some construction equipment, takes the stock to around 2,000 pieces.
Morrison began collecting in late 2001, starting off with a Hyster lumber carrier he had since childhood.
“As most people in our business, you have a few that are given to you over the years,” he notes. His collection began in earnest with a Hyster H800 container handler, a Hyster E40 and a Clark ECA.
Collecting co-incided with the death of his wife, and initially, Morrison used the activity “as a way to stay busy”.
Like children, it’s hard to single out a favourite piece. “I have many favourites. The rarer models and one-of-a-kind custom-built models are at the top of the list,” he says.
Morrison keeps most of his models in his office “where I can show them off to any visitor who shows interest”.
“I welcome anyone to come and look,” he says, adding that collecting is really about showing others.
While the collection may have started with hand-outs from forklift companies, demand far exceeds supply, and Morrison now actively shops for models, scouring the Internet, eBay, toy dealers, OEM dealers and other collectors.
The hobby has also opened a new line for his dealership, with duplicates now offered for sale on the Morrison Equipment Company website.
Morrison is reluctant to reveal the value of his collection, but it is not unusual for models to sell for hundreds of dollars.
This can clearly become an expensive pastime, and Morrison advises any would-be collectors to limit their collections by focusing on certain areas. “When I first started, I collected anything and everything related to forklifts,” he recalls.
His strongest advice is to work with other collectors. “They can become good friends,” he says. “I have one in Germany that I know will be a lifetime friend.”
When he’s not playing with his toys, Morrison buys and sells full-size forklifts and attachments through his J.W. Morrison Equipment business. Founded in 1990, the firm operates in the wholesale industry, buying and selling from other dealers in the US.
|Lencrow reconnects with Nissan |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|The Lencrow Group, still owned by the Grassick family which established it in 1976, has been appointed as a sub-dealer of Nissan forklifts by Powerlift Nissan.|
“It’s a step back in time for us,” says owner Ross Grassick, explaining that the company had been the Nissan dealer in New South Wales almost 10 years previously.
Currently a dealer for Carer specialised electrical forklifts, Sany reach stackers, Ausa rough-terrain forklifts and the EP range of warehouse equipment, Grassick says the addition of Nissan units will help the company provide customers with an even greater range of materials handling options to suit their needs.
“With over 33 years’ experience, we can offer customers the right advice and equipment for every application.”
He tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company has the right to sell Nissan equipment throughout Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
|Fonterra streamlines supply chain |
Auckland, New Zealand
|New Zealand dairy giant co-operative Fonterra will focus on fewer ports to improve its supply chain efficiency.|
The company has decided to channel greater export volumes of product out of the ports of Auckland, Tauranga, Lyttleton and Napier while reducing the volume of product moving through the ports of Taranaki and Timaru by 65% and 80%, respectively.
According to Nigel Jones, Fonterra’s GM Supply Chain Strategy, the changes were about improving service to global customers and reducing costs by moving containerised product away from indirect (feeder) services to direct export services.
Efficient access to the ports is fundamental to Fonterra’s supply chain strategy, and rail will play an important part, he adds.
“Our increasing use of rail sits behind this move and reflects the greater level of confidence users have in the network (after) the recent ownership changes and creation of KiwiRail.”
“As a country exporting 95% of our dairy production, New Zealand’s ongoing international competitiveness is dependent on its ability to connect directly with the major east-west trade flows to the large consumption markets in the US and Europe through Asia.
“In addition to the expected efficiency gains, we need a supply chain that is flexible and supports our strategy of providing the very best service to our customers globally, enabling us to grow with them.
“New Zealand can’t afford to find itself in a position where we don’t have a sustainable, cost effective ocean freight network, supported by highly efficient domestic transport infrastructure,” he notes.
|New chief executive for ALC|
Canberra, ACT, Australia
|Michael Kilgariff has been appointed as chief executive of the Australian Logistics Council, effective from mid-September.|
Announcing the appointment last week, chairman Ivan Backman said Kilgariff will be based in Canberra in the council’s recently acquired offices.
Kilgariff replaces Hal Morris who has successfully led the organisation for the past four years. Morris is taking up a position as CEO of the Chartered Institute of Logistics Transport in Australia (CILTA), based in Queensland.
|Fined for fatal crane incident |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Roller door manufacturer B&D Australia was fined AUD300,000 last week by the Melbourne County Court after pleading guilty to two OHS Act charges as a result of an incident which occurred in November 2006.|
A husband and father of two young children, Mervyn Jacobs, was lifting a seven-metre tube when it fell and killed him at Kilsyth in Melbourne’s outer east.
The 350kg steel tube was to form the core of a roller door.
The incident triggered a safety improvement program at B&D Australia Pty Ltd’s Kilsyth plant, with employees re-trained in the safe use of cranes.
However, WorkSafe Victoria’s executive director, John Merritt, challenges employers not to wait for tragedy to strike before meeting safety obligations.
WorkSafe’s investigation of the incident found the load was suspended by webbing slings hooked over the ends of an axle protruding from each end of the 7.5 metre long tube.
This meant the slings connecting it to the crane’s hook were able to ride up and come off, possibly after hitting an object on a cupboard over which it was being moved.
“When these things happen, it’s not just ‘bad luck’ or a ‘freak accident’. In most cases, the problem has always been there, but the trap hasn’t been sprung.
“The good news is that taking a practical and consistent approach to safety, reviewing every stage of the work process and the potential hazards, consulting the workforce and acting on identified problems makes a difference.
“This is an ongoing process. It’s not something to do once and say ‘job done’,” says Merritt.
WorkSafe has produced a range of resources on safety with bridge and gantry cranes, including a guide and a poster covering lifting accessories.
|Cash flow still critical to survival |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Australian firms have improved payment terms with a drop of 2.6 days since the previous quarter, reducing terms to an average of 54.8 days. |
However, according to Dun & Bradstreet, business-to-business payments still remain significantly above the standard 30-day term and there are warnings that a further blow-out in terms could be on the horizon.
The company’s latest quarterly trade payment analysis reveals that payment terms have improved across the board; however, big business, public firms, companies in the electric, gas and sanitary services sector and those based in New South Wales are the worst payers.
In a separate study, D&B has rated more than 25,000 Australian firms a higher risk of paying their trade accounts in a severely delinquent manner since April 1, 2009, signalling that despite the improvement in payment terms in the June quarter, there could be more cash-flow pain to come for many businesses.
Christine Christian, D&B's CEO, says the improvement in terms is a positive sign, but she warns that sustained and significant improvement is required to put Australia firmly on the path to recovery.
"In the current climate, cash flow and liquidity are absolutely critical to the ongoing viability of firms," says Christian.
"The latest trade payments data shows an improvement in payment terms which will undoubtedly assist business cash flow. However, to reverse the negative impact of long-term lagging payments and provide a significant boost to business, funds will require a sustained period of significant and continual improvement.
"Consequently, we believe pressure on payment terms and cash flow will persist at least through until the end of 2009. The flow-on effect of this trend is a reduced focus on business development and investment, and this means Australia's economic growth will continue to come under pressure."
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|In the Discussion Forums|
"I have a problem on one old LINDE electric truck, model E14, year 1996,. It's a one drive pedal 3 wheel truck. When I depress the accelerator pedal very, very slowly, I can measure the voltage going from 7,5 in neutral to 8,2 V when the directrion contactor closes (forward or reverse) and the wheels just jump in high speed but then in half a second i have normal traction and normal regulation of speed.
"It would seem new equipment is more efficient, ergonomic and cost effective..and don't forget green, we had to update our local fleet of 35 pnumatics because our '02 models didn't have the catalytic converters. We transferred the '02s to another state.
"TradeShowDave, United States
"I personally find forkliftaction to be the best "social media site" for forklift end-users and those who support them, but it appears there is only a few dealers principals or sales managers who feel comfortable with "social media sites".
If you have any ideas about why that might be I would like to hear them too.
"edward_t, United States