FORKLIFTACTION.COM
MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE #37 December 6, 2001
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The independent, global newsletter for industry professionals.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
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1. AGGRESSIVE MEASURES TO RESTORE KOMATSU PROFIT
2. GLOBAL MARKET FEELS PAIN OF US SLOWDOWN: BT INDUSTRIES
3. KALMAR SEALS USD3 MILLION PHILIPPINES DEAL
4. CASCADE: INCOME UP, SALES DOWN
5. *- ADVERTISEMENT -* TVH MASTER CATALOGUE RELEASED
6. INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM
- Launch date confirmed
- Editorial contributors
7. EIGHT RTG CRANES FOR KWAI CHUNG PORT
8. DESIGN SOFTWARE TO SPEED HELI PRODUCTION
9. LIEBHERR FILLS RTG ORDER
10. DEBT COLLECTION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA STYLE
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1. AGGRESSIVE MEASURES TO RESTORE KOMATSU PROFIT
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TOKYO, Japan -- Recession in world markets has forced Komatsu Forklift to downgrade its outlook, suspend shareholder dividends, and implement "aggressive measures" to increase earnings.

Despite the half-year result prompting wide-ranging changes in company structure and focus, Komatsu expects to post a JPN1.3 billion (USD10.9 million) loss for the full year to March 31, 2002.

The company's net sales for the six months from April 1 to September 30 totalled JPN45.992 billion (USD386 million), a decline of 10.3 percent from the corresponding period in 2000.

The Japanese economy has deteriorated, leading to "drastic" cutbacks in private sector and personal spending, and the USA economy also slowed, which adversely affected Asian economies, Komatsu said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the terrorist attacks in the USA ... have given additional concerns that they may trigger further deterioration of world economies."

While domestic sales fell 1.7 percent to JPN27.8 billion (USD233 million), international sales "plummeted" 9.3 percent to JPN 14.1 billion (USD118 million).

Komatsu had increased its market share in the USA, but "was not able to catch up with the pace of sliding demand". Demand in south-east Asia dropped substantially as the US economy decelerated. Komatsu's only relief came from its China operation, which "continued to generate brisk demand with a promising outlook". As part of an alliance with Linde AG, Komatsu this year began producing forklifts in China.

To combat the slump in the worldwide forklift market, Komatsu plans to reduce group-wide costs by 15 percent by the end of the 2004 financial year.
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2. GLOBAL MARKET FEELS PAIN OF US SLOWDOWN: BT INDUSTRIES
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MJOLBY, Sweden -- BT Industries says the global forklift market has been "marked" by the economic decline in the USA.

BT's market for warehouse materials handling products decreased in north America by 30%. While Europe had maintained good levels of product demand, it was also showing signs of decline.

"BT's customers are primarily in consumer goods distribution, and around one third of our overall business is from services to complement lift truck sales," BT chief executive Carl-Erik Ridderstrale said.

"This makes BT less sensitive when the economy slows. Through global market coverage, BT is also less sensitive to regional economic swings."

BT's net sales rose 20 percent from SEK8.1 billion (USD766 million) in January to September 2000 to SEK9.7 billion (USD917 million) in the same period this year, helped by a high backlog of orders at the start of the year.

"Higher sales, continued strong income growth and steady margins are a show of strength," Mr Ridderstrale said. "The weak economy in north America has affected orders received, (but) Europe has developed positively."

BT, which was acquired by Toyoda Automatic Loom (TAL) in June 2000, this year expanded personnel in its European division by 200 workers to 4705, but BT Raymond in the US cut 336 employees to 2581 "to adapt to lower demand".

Mr Ridderstrale said BT had a strong market position and would continue to consolidate its role as "the world leader in warehouse trucks".
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3. KALMAR SEALS USD3 MILLION PHILIPPINES DEAL
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MANILA, The Philippines -- William Gothong & Aboitiz Inc (WGA), the largest inter-island shipping company in the Philippines, has purchased 11 container handlers worth USD3 million from Kalmar Industries.

WGA operations vice president Robert Kearney said the purchase was part of a materials handling equipment replacement program initiated in 2000.

WGA has expanded its container handling fleet in Manila to 46 units with the Kalmar purchase, which included three 45-tonne capacity reach stackers, seven 28-tonne capacity forklifts and one 8-tonne empty container side loader. WGA also purchased 3000 containers this year to supplement the 4000 it purchased in 2000.

"This completes our refleeting and rehabilitation program for the Manila operation, and we're now going out to the rest of the Philippines," Mr Kearney said.

WGA serves 23 major provincial ports throughout the Philippines, and was the first domestic shipping company in the country to be certified by the International Safety Management Code standard.

The company, which posted 29 percent growth in cargo despite a reduction in ships berthing, recorded net income of 563 million pesos (USD11 million) for the nine months to September, an increase from 195 million pesos (USD3.8 million) in 2000.
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4. CASCADE: INCOME UP, SALES DOWN
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PORTLAND, Oregon -- Cascade Corporation president Robert Warren has reported net income for the three months to October 31 of USD3.6 million, increased from USD792,000 in the same period in 2000.

Consolidated net sales were USD70.5 million, a 17.4 percent decrease from USD85.4 million in the same period in 2000.

Net income for the nine months to October 31 was USD12.7 million, up from USD10.6 million in 2000. Net sales were USD226.7 million, a 13.6 percent decrease from USD262.4 million for the same period in 2000.

Mr Warren attributed the sales decrease to a downturn in order and shipment rates in the forklift industry, especially in north America, which decreased 43 percent and 20 percent respectively from 2000. US sales for the third quarter and nine-month period decreased 19.7 percent and 14.2 percent respectively.

He said the company expected fourth quarter net sales and income to trail the 2000 results. A 24.8 percent cost reduction in sales and administration partially offset the lower sales levels.
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5. *- ADVERTISEMENT -* TVH MASTER CATALOGUE RELEASED
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GULLEGEM, Belgium -- TVH has released its free, 1200-page guide to forklift replacement parts. The TVH Master Catalogue is the largest in the materials handling industry, containing 50 chapters of replacement parts for all forklift makes.

TVH has Europe's largest range of forklift parts, with more than 270,000 pieces held at its Gullegem facility. TVH's production workshop, stringent quality control, international contacts and dynamic team guarantee quality at an attractive price.

For more information, or to order a free catalogue, see www.tvh.be/catalog reference TVH/6781777 or email info@tvh.be.

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6. INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM
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LAUNCH DATE CONFIRMED
After more than two years of hard work and research, we are ready to launch the first release of the Forkliftaction.com web portal. December 20 is the day, and that coincides with our newsletter being offered in HTML format. That means colour, photos and graphics are included, when available. You will be able to link to our web site directly from the newsletter. Prior to our launch all current subscribers (who have valid email addresses), will receive an email message, with a link to their personal registration form, which, once submitted, will permit free membership access to the site. So, if you are not receiving this newsletter direct to your own email address, you will need to subscribe directly to us. You can do that via our existing temporary web site at www.forkliftaction.com or email your request and details to info@forkliftaction.com.
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EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS
Forkliftaction.com is seeking editorial contributors, particularly journalists with expertise in the materials handling and ports industries around the world, to help us expand the coverage of Forkliftaction.com News.

As the Forkliftaction.com online community grows, we plan to enhance our regional coverage of important materials handling issues. If you wish to contribute to Forkliftaction.com News, please contact us at info@forkliftaction.com
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7. EIGHT RTG CRANES FOR KWAI CHUNG PORT
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KWAI CHUNG, China -- Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, has taken delivery of eight rubber-tyred gantry cranes for use at its Kwai Chung facility.

The eight machines are half of a 16-unit order made to Shanghai-based ZPMC. The remainder are expected to arrive this month.

HIT managing director Eric Ip told the South China Morning Post that the six-high stacking RTGs were equipped with the latest technology.

"The new RTGs will increase our terminal productivity, while giving us the capacity to handle future increases in container traffic," he said.

Each RTG has global positioning, jack-up mechanisms and four gantry motors. An anti-truck-lifting system, which uses lasers to ensure containers are lifted safely from trucks, would be installed, Mr Ip said.

Their installation will increase yard-stacking capacity to more than 76,000 TEUs. HIT, which operates 10 berths at Kwai Chung, accounts for more than 50 per cent of the port's throughput, the company said.
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8. DESIGN SOFTWARE TO SPEED HELI PRODUCTION
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HEFEI, China -- China Heli Forklift Truck Company, a subsidiary of Anhui Forklift Group, China's leading forklift manufacturer, has bought new design software for its products.

The three-dimensional computer-aided design software, bought from US company SolidWorks, allows China Heli Forklift engineers to reduce production errors, a statement said. Anhui vice general manager and chief engineer, Ling Zhong She, said the rate the company introduced new products was "critical".

"We tested SolidWorks extensively to ensure it can accommodate complex models and very large assemblies," Mr Ling said.

"(The software) enables us to design products in record time, while ensuring the quality craftsmanship that allows each of our forklifts to handle the workloads our customers expect."

Anhui was founded in 1958 and manufactures more than 7000 forklifts annually. The company has more than 100 sales centres throughout China, and distribution offices in Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Kunming, and Urumchi. Anhui this year established Heli Forklift (USA) to provide forklifts, parts, maintenance and technical support for customers in north America.
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9. LIEBHERR FILLS RTG ORDER
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MONTREAL, Canada -- Leibherr Container Cranes of Ireland has delivered two four-high stacking rubber-tyred gantry cranes to Montreal Terminals Inc in Canada.

A Connecting Cranes report said the eight-wheel RTGs featured global positioning system steering systems and chainless gantries. The machines have a 40-tonne capacity and employ an eight-rope sway prevention system, and conventional drive and hub components.

Meanwhile, Kalmar delivered two of its ContChamp cargo handlers to the Volkswagen Group and chemical company Aventis in Germany late last month. Both companies have private rail sidings.
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10. DEBT COLLECTION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA STYLE
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BUKA, Papua New Guinea -- A landowner company has seized two forklifts from a cargo barge, claiming the ship's owners owe it K84,000 (USD22,000) in stevedoring, berthing and cargo handling charges.

Katsin Brothers employees detained the MV Victoria, owned by Bismark Maritime Ltd, allowing it to leave only after removing the forklifts. Bismark managing director Hamish Sharp told the PNG Post-Courier that "criminals" had detained and threatened to burn the ship, promising bodily harm to crew if they attempted to leave.

Buka Police were notified of the incident, but said it was a commercial dispute and they were powerless.
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