Forkliftaction.com
MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE FREE EDITION - #19 MARCH 30, 2001
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A Fortnightly Newsletter For Industry Professionals. *******************************************************************
IN THIS ISSUE:
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EDITORIAL
FEATURE ARTICLE
1. CASCADE SALE IN JEOPARDY
2. NEW EXPLOSION-PROOF TRUCK LAUNCHED BY ASE
3. FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - AUSTRALIA PUTS UP THE SHUTTERS
4. FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE - USDA TAKES ACTION
5. LINDE FORECASTS SALES OF MORE THAN 9 BILLION EURO
6. RENTAL COMPANIES INVITED TO NEW EXHIBITION
7. KOMATSU SELLS FACTORY TO JAPANESE PARENT
8. BREAKING NEWS KOMATSU STRENGTHENS LINDE TIES
9. THEFT TRIGGERS HEALTH ALERT *******************************************************************
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EDITORIAL -- Forkliftaction.com is on the brink of exciting times. We are well on the way to becoming recognised around the world as the reference point in the Materials Handling Industry. We are busy compiling a database of all current forklift makes and models. A letter will be forwarded to key industry participants within the next few days requesting or confirming equipment specifications. This resource is sure to become an invaluable tool for your business, and we trust you will derive benefits from it once it is published.

We are busy developing our web site to handle this and all the other information you need. We are also planning to publish our industry news in various languages, but more about that later. As a result of your feedback, we have changed our format to allow you to focus on the news that interests you most, we hope you like it and welcome your comments.

Editor - ed@forkliftaction.com
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1. CASCADE SALE IN JEOPARDY
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PORTLAND, USA -- The sale of Cascade Corporation is under a cloud as the attachments manufacturer fights an environmental lawsuit in a US District Court.

The Lift Group, made up of Lift Technologies Inc, TD Capital Group Ltd and the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement Board, will revise its US$320 million buyout offer, made last October, once the litigation is finalised.

Cascade's board of directors will then review the revised proposal before deciding whether to proceed.

Cascade and the Boeing Company are being sued for US$19 million by the City of Portland for alleged breaches of the US Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act and the Oregon Hazardous Wastes & Materials Act. They also face a common law damages action.

The claim, filed against the two companies in December 1999, alleges groundwater contamination to a City of Portland-owned water well from the two companies' Portland plants.

Cascade says the claim is "without foundation" and it has adequate insurance to cover any court order made against it. Cascade president and chief executive Robert Warren said the claims had no merit.

The proposed merger completion date was pushed back to March 31, due to the litigation, but there is now no indication of when, or if, the transaction will proceed.

Lift Technologies was founded by former Cascade director and founder and president of Kenhar Corporation Bill Harrison. Lift Technologies bought Cascade's forklift mast business last January.
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2. NEW EXPLOSION-PROOF TRUCK LAUNCHED BY ASE
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FAIRFIELD, USA -- American Specialty Equipment (ASE) has released a new rider straddle explosion-proof truck (RSEX) with a capacity of up to 18 tonnes.

Marketed under the Gregory brand name, the truck is one of more than 50 explosion-proof models offered by the Fairfield-based company.

Other explosion-proof forklifts include reach trucks, straddles, pedestrian walkies, stackers, sit-down riders, tuggers and drum handling units.

All are approved, classified and labeled by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) of the USA and Canada for use in Division 1, and Groups C, D and G-class hazardous environments.

ASE chief executive Greg Russell said the RSEX forklift, designed for comfort and safety when transporting materials over long distances, was ideal for materials handling applications in confined areas.

"The unique, side-entry operator's compartment is ergonomically designed for forward and backward visibility from a single position," he said.

ASE manufactures UL-classified Gregory EX electric forklift trucks for use in hazardous and explosive environments in the USA, Canada and Europe.

For further information, go to www.exforklifts.com.
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3. FMD - AUSTRALIA PUTS UP THE SHUTTERS
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The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is only issuing permits for the importation of used machinery from countries that are free from foot and mouth disease (FMD). However, according to AQIS Executive Director Ms Meryl Stanton, the situation will be reviewed on a daily basis.

We have been free from this serious disease for 128 years, and Australians can rest assured that AQIS is adopting conservative quarantine management practices in its fine- tuning of the import bans, she says.

The problem has to do with soil contamination. Anything that has dirt on it is being treated very harshly. But as always, the situation is not that straight forward.

Darren Tomkinson, National Customs Manager of heavy machinery forwarder Skelton Tomkinson, says used earthmoving machines shipped from the UK before 6 February - and 28 February from other European countries - will be allowed to be unloaded at an Australian port provided they meet the normal quarantine cleanliness requirements.

There is no blanket ban on the importation of used earthmoving machinery. However, a current AQIS import permit is required and the equipment must be shipped from a FMD-free country.
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4. MORE ON FMD - USDA TAKES ACTION.
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The United States Department of Agriculture has taken emergency precautions to prevent foot and mouth disease from entering the country.

In a statement released on March 20th, the USDA said the importation of farm equipment and used vehicles from counties affected by foot and mouth disease is of major concern. All farm equipment, including earth moving vehicles, arriving from infected countries, will require cleaning and disinfection, the statement says. Materials handling equipment was not specifically mentioned, but presumably the same rules would apply to second hand equipment that might have come into contact with soil in infected areas.

Cleaning and disinfection will be performed on board ship, where possible, under the supervision of a PPO officer. Delays at terminals could result.
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5. LINDE FORECASTS SALES OF MORE THAN 9 BILLION EURO.
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WIESBADEN, Germany -- The Linde Group, Wiesbaden, is forecasting an increase in sales of 8 percent to more than 9 billion Euro, and a growth in profits in excess of the sales increase.
Particularly in Europe, the company foresees sustained high demand. The expected economic slowdown in the USA will however have a dampening effect on sales and profits. In the previous year, Linde achieved about 21 percent or 1.747 billion Euro of Group sales in America. Linde is also on course for further growth in 2001.
The favourable development in Material Handling will continue in 2001.
Innovative logistics concepts are a decisive factor in many companies to reduce costs and optimise production and sales processes. Last year, the Division with its three brands Linde, STILL and FIAT OM generated sales totalling 2.951 billion Euro and EBITA of 244 million Euro. High demand for forklift and warehouse trucks in Europe will continue and contribute to the rise in sales that is expected in Material Handling this year. A closer linkage of development and production facilities, higher capacity utilisation as well as savings in procurement will also help to achieve growth in profits.
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6. RENTAL COMPANIES INVITED TO NEW EXHIBITION
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MAASTRICHT, The Netherlands -- Dutch show organisers IPI have announced plans to stage an exhibition and conference solely for the European equipment rentals market in September next year.

RentEX will run from September 12-14, 2002, and showcase the industry which European Rental News (ERN) says could reach US$20 billion during the next decade. Maastricht is near the borders of Germany, France and the Netherlands.

ERN publisher James King said "the rental business in Europe has expanded at a tremendous rate over recent years, and it looks as if the phenomenal growth will continue."

"RentEX will provide the European industry with a much-needed focus point where all the latest equipment, techniques and management techniques will be on show."
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7. KOMATSU SELLS FACTORY TO JAPANESE PARENT
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TOKYO, Japan -- Komatsu Forklift Company Ltd has sold its former Kobe manufacturing plant to parent Komatsu Ltd for 6.25 billion.

Komatsu Ltd is a 51.5% stakeholder in Komatsu Forklift. Komatsu Forklift sold the factory as part of a "management rationalisation".

Komatsu Forklift will use funds from the sale to reduce interest-bearing debt from the restructure of its European activities.

The sale was decided on March 19 after a meeting of the Komatsu Forklift board, and the contract was signed on March 23.
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LATE BREAKING NEWS...
8. KOMATSU FORKLIFT STRENGTHENS LINDE TIES
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ASCHAFFENBURG, Germany -- Komatsu Forklift will begin selling Komatsu-badged Fiat forklifts in Europe this month as part of the tie-up share swapping deal with Linde, announced in May 2000. Fiat is a subsidiary of Linde.

Komatsu will receive 500 Fiat units, mainly 2.5 tonne capacity forklifts this year. Komatsu is exporting 2000 of its own engine-powered forklifts to Europe as part of its strategy to grow within the European market, according to the Japan Industry News.

Linde will begin selling rebadged Komatsu forklifts into the US market, and will receive 420 units in total this year. The annual number of units is expected to increase, however, and the two companies may combine component purchasing.

Komatsu holds 20% of Japanese market share, but only 1% of the European and US markets, despite the existence of a production facility in Georgia, USA. Komatsu plans to increase its world market share from 8% in 1999 to 10% by 2003.

Last May, Komatsu and Linde agreed to a cooperative business plan that included reciprocal share holding. Komatsu began selling Linde's product in Japan last year, and plans to begin production at its Amoi City, China factory this year.
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9. THEFT TRIGGERS HEALTH ALERT
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According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, a $45,000 haul of frozen goods stolen from an uninsured New Zealand courier firm has triggered a food poisoning alert in the city of Rotorua. There are concerns that the meat, poultry and seafood may not have been stored correctly after the theft.
"That is an awful lot of food. It could make foot-and-mouth disease look quite tame," says courier company owner Lyn Pratley.
Police suspect thieves took the frozen goods for a major social event, or have split them up for sale in smaller lots.
The report says Rotorua Chilled Couriers was burgled between 8 pm and 11.30 pm last Sunday when no one was on site. Included in the heist were 140 cartons of sausages, 72 cartons of pork bones, 69 of bacon, 50 of marinated mussels, plus whole and filleted salmon and slabs of beef and pork. Ten pallets of chicken, a carton of sliced meats and three one-tonne pallets of butter also disappeared.
Rotorua detective Tania Blackbourn said a huge truck would have been needed to transport the frozen food. If it has been thawed and refrozen, it could be a health hazard.
The burglary is a cruel blow to Lyn and Warren Pratley, who stand to lose their business if they have to pay for the loss in a lump sum.
"We are devastated," said Lyn Pratley.
"They were very well organised. They used our forklift and stole our pallet jack."
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