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|As the end of the year approaches rapidly, there’s no doubt that the forklift industry is in a better position than it was 12 months ago. Yes, there have been casualties. And there will probably be more. But for those businesses which have survived the worst economic crisis in living memory, the tough times have probably taught lessons that won’t be forgotten. The lessons include improved efficiency, lean operations and the need to be totally in tune with your market, and many organisations have come through with flying colours and great prospects for the year ahead. |
|Clark Europe in the red for first time|
Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany
|Young An Hat Company subsidiary Clark Europe GmbH has recorded a loss for the first time as a result of lowered demand for forklifts.|
Company CEO Egon Strehl told Logistiek.nl that although the company has recorded a pre-tax loss of over EUR200,000 (USD291,225), he predicts the forklift market will recover next year and the company can expect a 33% rise in sales and a EUR850,000 (USD1,238,182) profit in 2010.
Strehl added that despite 2009 being a loss-making year so far, Clark Europe had actually increased its marketshare “by a few percentage points”.
“We have achieved this by opening new sales channels in regions where we used to be less active,” he explained, referring to so-called 'white spots' (elsewhere known as 'black spots') in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Clark Europe aims to continue increasing its marketshare in 2010 by attracting new dealers and putting its sales representatives and dealers through a four-week training program at the Clark Academy.
In September, Forkliftaction.com News reported the opening of Clark Europe’s first dealer support centre in Lyon, France. At that time, Egon Strehl told Forkliftaction.com News that the company was considering hiring new employees to position itself for post-recession growth. He also said Clark Europe had been able to face the global economic downturn relatively well through internal measures and adjustments (Forkliftaction.com News #428).
|Recession cost UK forklift industry GBP344M |
Stockton, United Kingdom
|The recession has cost the UK forklift industry GBP344 million (USD559.5 million) in lost profit in the last year, according to market analyst Plimsoll.|
“The recession has hit the sector hard, with over half of the companies analysed making less profit than a year before,” says senior analyst David Pattison.
Pattison explains the reason for the collapse in the companies’ bottom line. “With demand so subdued and the resultant competition, many companies are unable to charge the price they need to make healthy profit margins.”
However, the burden of lost profit is not being shared equally. Plimsoll’s research shows that 257 companies have seen their profit margins decimated.
“Watch out for further job losses and closures as these companies look to claw themselves back to profit next year. If they fail to act quickly they could find themselves running out of cash,” Pattison warns.
For the 61 companies that have maintained or increased their profit margins last year, some have made cut backs to match lower sales expectations while other grew their business in the recession.
“Those companies prove that an efficient business selling the right product to the right market can still succeed in the UK forklift industry,” Pattison says.
|Rocla supplies automated VNA trucks |
|Rocla is supplying five automated very narrow aisle warehouse trucks to Bring Logistics’ newly built warehouse in Berger, Norway.|
“We operate five days a week in two shifts. Automating pallet handling was a more cost-efficient solution than using a manual solution,” explains Geir Neilsen, Bring Logistics’ logistics director.
Neilsen adds that the company chose Rocla for its “proven technology concept” that fits with Bring’s safety and function demands.
According to Rocla, the warehouse trucks’ modular design and use of standard components from its manual trucks shorten delivery time, compared to traditional automation projects. The vehicles will be equipped with triplex masts and sideways telescopic forks used on Rocla’s manual narrow aisle truck.
“Our automated solution can be implemented swiftly and without structural changes to the existing warehouse, making automation a very interesting option,” says Anselmi Immonen, the director of Rocla’s Solution business.
The Rocla automated warehouse truck has a capacity of 1,000kg (2,205lbs) and a maximum lift height of 10.65 metres (34.9 feet). It can work in an aisle width of 1.8 metres (5.9 feet) and is navigated by laser and inductive wiring inside the aisles.
The very narrow aisle racking area of the 32,000sqm (344,445sqft) Skedsmo Logistic Centre contains 81,200 pallet places. The warehouse will open in the northern hemisphere spring of 2010 and the warehouse trucks will be delivered in early 2010.
Bring Logistics claims to be the Nordic region’s leading supplier of cargo and parcel transport, warehousing and associated logistical services. It has an annual turnover of EUR1 billion (USD1.454 billion) and employs over 2,000 people.
|Crown boosts forklift fleet management system |
New Bremen, OH, United States
|A forklift fleet management system can make a difference to organise, prioritise and manage operating data, and Crown Equipment Corp understands the need.|
The firm’s Crown InfoLink 2.5 system introduces new features that may reduce false impact alarms, deliver real-time performance indicators and display critical measurements.
In addition, the New Bremen-based manufacturer has an intelligent impact sensing system – Crown Impulse Technology – that links an impact sensor and the forklift. Now, most impact recognisers treat every sensor-triggering event equally. Nuisance alarms may mask or misrepresent actual operating conditions.
“Crown InfoLink 2.5 enables our customers . . . to improve the productivity and efficiency of their fleet and their entire operation via an enhanced dashboard interface,” says Maria Schwieterman, product manager for the firm’s Insite productivity suite, which includes InfoLink.
Customers can establish benchmarks about key areas of information being generated at the forklift operating level and manage performance against those benchmarks, Schwieterman notes.
The InfoLink system restricts unauthorised access to equipment, ensures safety checklist compliance and detects and records impacts while delivering fleet operating data through the management interface.
In addition to InfoLink, the Insite productivity suite is a family of information management solutions. They include Crown FleetStats for tracking and analysing fleet service data; Crown Access 1 2 3 for collecting truck operating data and supporting InfoLink; and the forklift specification tool Crown SureSpec.
|Guide aids employers on operator training |
Toronto, ON, Canada
|Act First Safety, an occupational health and safety training provider, has come up with a free guide to help employers meet required re-evaluation intervals for forklift operators.|
“This guide meets the standards set out for the Canadian marketplace,” says Lauren McFarlane, president of Toronto-based Act First Safety. “It is eight pages and is available in PDF format”.
Entitled “Performing Lift Truck Practical Skills Evaluations”, the guide provides an overview of training requirements in the Canadian Standards Association B335-04 safety standard for lift trucks. As released in 2004, the standard requires a three-year theoretical and practical evaluation with an 18-month-interval practical evaluation. The previous standard called for a two-year theoretical and practical evaluation.
Between 2003 and 2007, Ontario incidents involving forklifts, reach trucks and tow motors resulted in 13 worker deaths according to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, 793 reported accidents per year according to the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Council and an average of 67 days of lost-time claims according to the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
McFarlane founded Act First Safety in 2003 following three years with a leading lift truck training company. The firm is the exclusive independent facilitator in Canada for the workplace violence prevention training program of the Crisis Prevention Institute Inc of Brookfield, Wisconsin.
The guide is available via this email address or by calling 1-416-283-7233.
|Genavco named Flexi supplier |
Tipton, United Kingdom
|Dubai-based Genavco has signed an agreement to be the exclusive supplier of Narrow Aisle articulated forklifts.|
Genavco, which claims to be the UAE’s largest independent materials handling group, has four sales centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Al Ain and over 50 mobile service engineers in the UAE. It is an agent for well-known equipment brands including Crown, JLG and John Deere.
“The high cost of each cubic metre of space in Dubai and the UAE make the Flexi a very attractive product for many customers,” says John Maguire, sales and marketing director of Narrow Aisle.
According to Narrow Aisle, sales of articulated forklifts have grown significantly in the UAE over the past few years.
Narrow Aisle’s Flexi articulated forklifts are designed and manufactured at the company’s UK manufacturing plant and distributed through a global distributor network. Narrow Aisle has also outsourced manufacturing to a technology partner in Taiwan for the supply of Flexi trucks to the Asia Pacific and American markets.
|TV series includes Raymond equipment |
Wixom, MI, United States
|A Michigan sales and service centre for Raymond Corp has provided a walkie reach truck, two walkie pallet trucks and two hand pallet trucks for an upcoming television series.|
The forklifts from Andersen & Associates Inc of Wixom will appear in episodes of a new Discovery Channel series entitled “Motor City Motors” in which brothers James and Dave Kaye engineer custom vehicles and use the Raymond forklifts to transport and place parts and heavy components.
“We are pleased that our lift trucks can play a part in a series designed to spotlight manufacturing ingenuity,” says Thomas Campau Jr, dealer-principal of Andersen & Associates.
Broadcasting of the show from New York-based Discovery Communications Inc begins on 28 December.
In addition to the Raymond line of electric and internal combustion forklifts, Andersen & Associates distributes vertical lift platforms from Oshkosh Corporation’s JLG Industries business unit.
Locally owned and managed Andersen & Associates was established in 1960, has been a dealer for Greene, New York-based forklift manufacturer Raymond since 1965 and employs about 190 persons including 75 service technicians. In addition to the Wixom site, Andersen & Associates has facilities in Grand Rapids and Traverse City, Michigan; Twinsburg and Toledo, Ohio; and Deerfield Beach, Florida.
|IMHX features special pavilion |
Birmingham, United Kingdom
|IMHX 2010 organiser Quartz and the Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA) have announced that the Birmingham trade show will feature a pavilion for automated handling system suppliers.|
“We’re delighted to have created this special zone for AMHSA and its members. It highlights the fact that IMHX is very well supported by the UK’s automated handling sector, as well as underlining the comprehensive nature of the exhibits at the show,” says event director Rob Fisher.
AMHSA president Mike Vernon adds: “This is great news for AMHSA and provides us with a highly visible platform for automated handling in the UK’s premier materials handling exhibition.”
Quartz says over 70% of exhibitor space has been sold. IMHX 2010, which is co-owned by the British Industrial Truck Association, takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 16-19 November.
The show will feature not only materials handling equipment but also health and safety systems; software solutions; racking and shelving; storage systems; pallets and palletising equipment; property; recruitment and training services; third party logistics; transport and distribution; flooring; packaging; handling system design; financial services and warehousing.
Toyota Material Handling UK is sponsoring an exclusive VIP valet parking service at the show. VIPs will be able to drive directly to the hall door, with their vehicle being parked for them and returned to the door when they leave. VIP guests will also have access to a premier club lounge, which offers complimentary refreshments and Internet facilities.
|Chaintec moves to larger premises|
Manchester, United Kingdom
Chaintec, a UK supplier of leaf chain to the forklift replacement market, has moved its Midlands-based business to a larger, purpose-built premises at Bentley Bridge Business Park in West Midlands.
The move ensures customers in the Midlands region benefit from easier access to the trade counter, increased warehousing capacity and greater efficiency.
“The UK marketplace is increasingly taking advantage of our fitting services alongside our chain products,” says David Hassan, Chaintec’s managing director.
EnerSys completes acquisition
Reading, PA, United States
EnerSys has completed the acquisition of the industrial battery businesses of Swiss company Accu Holding AG (Forkliftaction.com News #435).
EnerSys acquired the stock of OEB Traction Batteries and the operating assets and liabilities of Oerlikon Stationary Batteries, and its Swedish sales subsidiary. The companies, which operate under the name Oerlikon Battery, have combined revenues of over USD50 million a year.
Big Lift Trucks expands range
Durban, South Africa
Big Lift Trucks has extended its range of Taylor materials handling equipment to include the new TS-9972 reach stacker.
Clinton van den Berg, product manager for Big Lift Trucks, says the new reach stacker series has a one-million cycle lifetime compared to the market standard of 600,000 cycles.
Other important features of the new series include the “latest advantages of CANbus technology for improved control and sophisticated diagnostics”, van den Berg says.
Logitrans meets demand with pallet truck
Letchworth Garden City, United Kingdom
Logitrans has launched the BFC6 pallet truck with an in-built weighing system.
The weighing system that can weigh up to 2,000kg (4,409lbs) is fitted on a pallet truck, which has a 1,140mm (3.74 foot) fork length and overall width of 540mm (1.77 feet). It can be used in the temperature range of -5°C to +40°C (23°F to 104°F).
Logitrans president Erling Pedersen says the new pallet truck meets a long-time demand from transport businesses and companies with large dispatch departments.
|Movers & Shakers |
|Farmington Hills, MI, United States|
Jervis B Webb Company has appointed Brian Stewart as president and co-CEO, replacing Ryuichi Kitaguchi who is retiring from the company. Stewart was the company’s executive vice president and COO. He joined the Webb Company in 1981 as a junior engineer and has held numerous positions including vice president of engineering and senior vice president of operations.
Jonesboro, AR, United States
Hytrol Conveyor Company has announced that Bill Hawthorne will retire as vice president of sales at the end of 2009. Hawthorne will be a consultant for Hytrol up to the end of 2010. He has been employed with Hytrol for over 16 years and was a distributor for Hytrol for 24 years before that.
Cherryville, NC, United States
FleetNet America Inc has appointed Ric Nelson as TMcare forklift fleet manager. Nelson has over 25 years’ experience in the materials handling industry, ranging from being a service technician to branch management, with an extensive background in parts and service management. He will be responsible for managing and growing FleetNet’s forklift maintenance management program.
Lexington, KY, United States
Clark Material Handling Company has appointed Jason Gaydos as regional sales manager. Gaydos has over 15 years’ experience in the materials handling industry and has worked with many Clark dealers in eastern United States and Canada. Most recently, he was the international sales director for an industrial forklift and container handling manufacturer.
Shoreham-by-Sea, United Kingdom
Ex-Solutions Consulting, a fire and explosion risk management specialist, has appointed Ian Harrison as process safety systems specialist. Harrison has significant experience helping companies meet their legal requirements under DSEAR/ATEX, assessing risk, classifying areas, and inspecting, designing and verifying installations for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. He has an MSc in health and safety management, is a chartered electrical engineer and a chartered health and safety practitioner.
|Forklift carries “Splitty” in police compound |
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
|Classic car enthusiasts may recognise this classic-style VW split-screen camper van being carried by a JCB Teletruk forklift.|
The camper van is one of hundreds of vehicles impounded in Sao Paulo, Brazil and is likely to end up crushed, says JCB industrial marketing manager John Mitchell.
JCB Teletruk dealer Auxter supplied the TLT 35D to the Sao Paulo road police to use at the impound facility.
Mitchell says “a good number” of the vehicles have been in storage for many years because the fines against them are higher than their value or the cars have been seized in connection to crime.
He adds that the camper van, known as a “Splitty” because of its two-part front windscreen, could be worth over USD8,000 in an unrestored condition.
“On the other hand, it is most likely to have been manufactured in Brazil after VW stopped building them in Germany and may, therefore, not be the true 1960s vintage it appears to be.”
|Safety alert for lifting accessory |
Henley Beach, South Australia, Australia
|A safety alert has been issued to ICHCA members to raise awareness of potential counterfeit Crosby shackles and the consequences of their use.|
The counterfeit shackles are not up to required standards when used for lifting purposes, and can fail at just 40% of their stated rating, with potentially catastrophic outcomes.
The most obvious difference is that the counterfeit shackle has the word “Crosby” in all capital lettering whereas the genuine article only has the letter “C” capitalised.
Other key differences (see photograph) include:
• On the face, (a) the Crosby Name should be embossed as per the Crosby Logo, (b) The CE mark should appear along with (c) markings of 45 degree angles.
• On the rear of the shackle should appear two different groupings of IDs (three for Belgium manufacture) providing full traceability of the shackle.
• The pin should also be stamped (d) on the head with a traceable ID number.
|NTP provides freight solution to DHL |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|NTP Forklifts Australia has supplied DHL Global Forwarding with an airfreight system for its new facility at Tullamarine in Melbourne. |
The new system has reduced handling costs, operating space and freight igloo damage, and improved safety.
The system comprises a powered conveyor handling system, linked by a slave pallet network. The slave pallets are transported within the warehouse by two custom-built 7,500 kg Jungheinrich freight handlers.
The freight handlers feature maintenance-free AC motors on all functions, regenerative braking, automatic park brake on standstill, 180/360 degree electric steering and automatic speed reduction on cornering.
The rest of the fleet at Tullamarine comprises 13 Jungheinrich battery electric counterbalance forklifts, which are able to operate over two shifts with one battery charge.
Also included in the fleet is a Jungheinrich 5t AC electric counterbalance forklift for handling oversized freight.
|Sydney ports records profit |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Sydney Ports Corporation has recorded a profit before tax of AUD84.2 million for the 2008/09 financial year.|
According to the annual report, total revenue was AUD207 million, while total expenses, excluding finance costs, were AUD112.1 million. Net profit after tax was AUD59.2 million.
Full container exports grew by 14.9%, driven by higher exports of timber, cereals, machinery and transport equipment.
Container trade volumes through Port Botany have risen to 1.8 million TEUs—a rise of 0.3% on the previous year and included a record monthly throughput of 168,400 TEUs in November 2008.
“As part of the record annual container trade, it also included a record annual throughput of over 442,000 TEUs of full containerised exports,” says CEO Grant Gilfillan.
Sydney Ports’ total trade in mass tonnes for 2008/09 declined 4.9% to 27.8 million mass tonnes. The decline was mainly due to the relocation of the motor vehicle trade to Port Kembla and a reduction in crude oil imports.
|ACCC imposes conditions on terminal operator |
Canberra, ACT, Australia
|The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted conditional authorisation to Australian Amalgamated Terminals (AAT) to operate motor vehicle and general cargo handling facilities at ports in Brisbane, Wollongong, Melbourne, Launceston and Adelaide.|
Conditions imposed cover stevedore access, price review and dispute resolution to ensure that AAT's conduct is consistent with competitive practices and provides the opportunity for users of its terminals to raise and resolve issues with it.
The stevedore access condition establishes an independent and transparent process for stevedoring businesses seeking to operate at AAT's terminals.
The price review condition enables terminal users to object to price increases proposed by AAT. Under the administratively simple and efficient process, an independent price expert will assess whether the proposed price increase is reasonable and justified.
The dispute resolution condition will assist terminal users negotiate directly with AAT on non-price issues such as cargo storage, cargo damage and cargo collection.
|Australian companies face supply chain risk|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Despite signs that the global economy is recovering, supply chain risk remains high for Australian suppliers, according to research by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).|
The research, conducted on more than 24,000 of Australia's leading suppliers, reveals that nearly 7,000 were part of a broader group of companies and, of the 5,700 ultimate parents, around 2,000 were domiciled in another country. Nearly 1,500 of those 2,000 foreign domiciled companies are based in economies that have experienced some of the greatest distress from the global economic slowdown.
Of the ultimate parent companies examined in the study, 3% are classified as being in financial distress and a further 8% are categorised as at high risk of experiencing financial distress or failure in the months ahead.
According to Christine Christian, D&B's CEO, it is critical that procurement professionals understand the full extent of their supply chain risk, no matter what the economic environment.
"Too often, risk analysis is conducted at the stage of appointing a supplier but ongoing monitoring is ignored," says Christian.
"This means that purchasers aren't always aware of how changing economic circumstances are affecting their suppliers and ultimately their own risk exposure. Risk doesn't just derive from the status of the individual supplier but may be affected by their relationships with affiliates and the ultimate parent company."
"When the ultimate parent resides overseas in countries that are in, or have recently experienced, considerable economic stress, the need to understand total exposure is even more important.
“There are numerous examples of well run organisations in Australia that end up failing because of events related to their parent company," she says.
"In this environment, survival and prosperity are dependent on firms maintaining a strong focus on effective risk and cost management. Therefore, it is not enough to simply source suppliers when they are required and only conduct an appropriate risk investigation at the outset of a relationship.
"Businesses need to ensure they understand the total picture and monitor their suppliers on an ongoing basis. Circumstances can shift almost overnight, having potentially severe detrimental impacts on a business."
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|The New Range DSI by Mast Explorer |
|Mecano Continental S.A., manufacturer of Mast Explorer hydrostatic rough-terrain forklifts, a leader in innovation and development in its category, has launched the latest and ultimate product - the new DSI 25 / 30 range.|
The DSI range, as the initials indicate, is the new Diesel Semi-Industrial model by Mast Explorer. This model meets a very real need in the rough-terrain sector, which requires versatile forklifts suitable to handle materials on industrial sites with limited space. These forklifts must be adaptable to outdoor areas with uneven ground but at the same time ensure conditions of comfort, stability and safety.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|Heartbeat Manufacturing transforms warehouse efficiency with Bendi forklifts |
|Growing pressures on warehouse space often see companies turn to Translift Bendi for its articulated forklifts to provide the solution, and Redditch-based Heartbeat Manufacturing is a good example. |
A family-owned business stretching back over 60 years, Heartbeat produces shop fittings for nationwide distribution and export markets that include prestigious clients like Harrods.
Heartbeat’s problem was simple but the various possible solutions exposed the need for careful choice. Its old bulk steel store used counterbalanced forklifts that wasted valuable storage space. Such trucks typically need 3.6m wide aisles compared with only 1.6m for the articulating Bendi. Even reach trucks need 2.6m. The Bendi, therefore, can allow operators to store up to 50% and 33% more pallet loads than counterbalance and reach trucks respectively.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|The new Kalmar DRF420-450L ||We can see that new customers and new markets are opening up for container handling equipment. Some of these customers do not have the operational requirements that we offer with our current models, and some new applications will not need heavy and intensive usage of their machine.
We will ensure that we can meet this growing need for cost-effective, productive and flexible container handling. That’s why we’re proud to present the Kalmar DRF L Reachstacker – a streamlined machine with a streamlined price.
The machine is designed for container handling. Nothing more, nothing less. Its performance and functions have been specially developed for the day-to-day reality at terminals that form part of the continental distribution chain.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
|Omega lift delivers 30,000 lbs. HERC Series forklift to Lihir Gold in Papua New Guinea ||Omega Lift recently delivered one of its 30,000 capacity, 4-wheel drive HERC Series forklifts to Lihir Gold’s open pit gold mining operation in Papua New Guinea. Omega Lift was sourced from Lihir Gold because of its expertise building heavy duty forklifts designed for mining applications, as well as their global support network.
“Omega Lift has worked extremely hard over he last number of years to develop a truly global product range that can be supported anywhere in the world”, explains Nick Acocella, Omega Lift’s Director of International Sales & Marketing. “The HERC Series provides 4-wheel drive, and full Rough Terrain certification which is very unique for a forklift of this heavy capacity. Obviously, there are many manufacturers that build heavy trucks, but the Rough Terrain certification and 4-wheel drive really set us apart.”|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2010
The Forklift Market in The USA
Attachments: Pallet Handling
Used Forklift Dealers
The Forklift Market in China
Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
The Forklift Market in Latin America
Industrial Tryes and Wheels
Batteries and Chargers
Materials Handling in Europe
Warehouse Counter Balance Forklifts