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Next Wednesday, December 22, will be our last newsletter for the year. We will be back on January 13. Please look out for our special New Year message in your email.
Materials handling in South America
South America’s proximity to the United States suggests neighbourly commonality, but their materials handling businesses are worlds apart. In this special report, DAMIEN TOMLINSON looks at one company that has been through thick and thin in one of the world’s most progressive markets. Read more
Federal agents raid Clark
LEXINGTON, KY, United States
US Department of Commerce (DOC) agents have raided the Lexington, Kentucky, headquarters of Clark Material Handling Co, searching for evidence the company violated a trade embargo on Iran.
US newspapers reported the DOC alleges two 2003 shipments of forklift pistons and brakes, valued at USD29,700, were sent by Clark to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where they were exported to Sepahan Lifter Co, in Iran.
According to a DOC affidavit, Sepahan Lifter, which made forklifts under a licence from Clark in the 1970s, makes a machine, containing Clark parts, which can lift boats, vehicles, industrial machinery and military equipment.
The embargo on shipments of US goods to Iran was imposed after the US embassy in Tehran was attacked and its occupants held hostage in 1979.
Clark chief executive Brian Butler said the DOC had laid no charges, and the company was “cooperating fully” since the December 1 raid.
“Clark believes it has operated in accordance with all applicable laws and believes that, at the conclusion of the investigation, the government will conclude that Clark has done nothing improper,” he said.
“Sales by Clark are overwhelmingly concentrated in North America, with limited sales to Mexico and South America. Exports outside the Americas are minimal.”
TruPar replaces Hyster in GM parts deal
BENTLEYVILLE, PA, United States
Parts supplier TruPar America Inc is expanding to provide General Motors Corp (GM) with non-warranty mobile equipment items that GM formerly sourced from Hyster Co.
TruPar will more than triple its GM business.
Detroit, Michigan-based GM awarded TruPar a three-year exclusive contract and a two-year renewal option. TruPar also supplies parts to Ford Motor Co, DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler unit and other companies.
Under the GM contract, TruPar has responsibility to supply replacement parts for about 10,000 pieces of mobile equipment, including 7000 forklifts, operating at more than 60 GM manufacturing, fabrication-stamping and spare parts facilities in the USA.
Greenville, North Carolina-based Hyster, a unit of Nacco Industries Inc, won a three-year GM contract and two-year renewal option to manufacture and supply original equipment forklifts and parts, but Hyster lost the non-warranty parts business.
“Hyster was doing what I am doing now,” in supplying non-warranty parts, said Tom McDonnell, TruPar president and owner.
While Hyster may not share the sentiment, “our goal is to work closely with Hyster”, he said. Forkliftaction.com News’s calls to Hyster were not returned.
Before the new contract, TruPar generated about USD10 million in annual sales. “We anticipate a total of USD20 million” with the inclusion of the new deal, McDonnell said.
GM had accounted for 30 per cent of TruPar’s business, but will now represent 60 per cent to 70 per cent.
“We were the low bidder and, to successfully get the contract, needed to expand our facility in Michigan and expand our inventory,” McDonnell said.
That meant relocation. In the Detroit metropolitan area, TruPar leased and outfitted 20,000 square feet (1800 square metres) in Madison Heights and moved 20 miles (32 kilometres) from its 6,500 square feet (585 square metres) site in Livonia.
Upon request, GM plants provided TruPar with part sales histories and current usage, and TruPar, in turn, began boosting its stock of parts in its primary 35,000 square feet (3150 square metres) state-of-the-art Bentleyville facility and, now, Madison Heights.
TruPar’s new contract with GM “gives us the opportunity to become a true one-stop shop”, McDonnell said.
As part of the transition, Jeff Carnahan joined TruPar as vice president in early September after resigning as Hyster’s GM relationship manager.
TruPar employs 20 people in Bentleyville and 15 in Madison Heights. “We expect those numbers to increase,” McDonnell said.
Challenges remain. TruPar’s current goal “is to have a minimal 90 per cent fill rate of items off our shelves” for parts requested three or more times in the prior 12 months, McDonnell said. “We are working towards that. We are getting new shipments of product on a daily basis.”
The Hyster OEM agreement covers most forklifts for GM in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and the USA. Crown and Raymond Corp of Greene, New York, supply GM with narrow-aisle forklifts. Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing Inc, of Bedford Park, Illinois, supplies larger forklifts.
TruPar began its relationship with GM in 1995, supplying a GM plant in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, that was purchasing parts on-site at the time. Customer contacts alerted TruPar that GM planned to consolidate purchasing in Michigan.
TruPar managers became acquainted with GM Michigan procurement personnel and established a Michigan presence in 1996. “Overnight, they started doing more business with me,” McDonnell said.
TruPar captured GM contracts in the USA to supply non-warranty mobile equipment parts for Yale, Allis-Chalmers and Clark forklifts in 1996-1997 and a large, separate blanket GM contract for 20,000 line items in 1997. Those four contracts continued until the latest GM renewal and the opportunity for TruPar to also supply non-warranty parts for Hyster trucks.
GM narrowed its focus in the new contract. “Of the original 20,000 line items, they drilled down to those active and removed obsolete equipment,” McDonnell said.
In moving to the next business plateau, TruPar created a new corporate logotype and began to upgrade its website.
Other growth is contemplated. “Once we tackle this, we can fall into any kinds of large facilities” such as national distributors needing parts for forklifts and other equipment, McDonnell said.
Manitou to boost R&D spending
Manitou will boost research and development spending by 40 per cent following production of its 200,000th forklift last month.
Manitou’s first forklift left the factory in Ancenis, western France, in 1958.
Additional research and development funding would help Manitou expand its forklift range and enhance its presence in the construction, agriculture and industrial sectors, a company statement said.
The company aims to increase the number of Manitou units in operation from 14,000 to 20,000 by 2010, with 40 per cent used in construction and 30 per cent each in agriculture and industry.
The 200,000th forklift, a Manitou MI 70 H yard truck, was donated to the International Red Cross by company president Marcel Claude Braud.
“I call on you to join me in subscribing to a new challenge – to produce and sell our 300,000th Manitou forklift by 2010,” Braud said at a ceremony in Paris.
Manitou also revealed a new, modernised corporate identity and logo, and launched a limited edition “200,000th Series” Maniscopic telescopic handler range at the ceremony.
Mixed results for Philippine port players
The Philippines’ major port players have reported mixed third-quarter results.
International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) more than doubled its profit from last year, while Asian Terminals Inc (ATI) and the Philippines Port Authority (PPA) reeled from losses.
Manila-based ICTSI recorded a 247 per cent increase in net profit, recording PHP791 million (USD14 million) compared to PHP320 million (USD5.7 million) in 2003.
The earnings were attributed mainly to higher earnings from ICTSI’s foreign subsidiaries Baltic Container Terminal Ltd (BCT) in Poland and Tecon Suape, SA (TSSA) in Brazil. BCT was acquired by ICTSI in June 2003.
ICTSI’s third quarter consolidated volume in the Philippines totalled 1,321,991 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 18 per cent higher than last year’s 1,116,784 TEUs.
ATI recorded PHP244.3 million (USD4.3 million) in net income, a 17 per cent drop from PHP296.4 million (USD5.3 million) last year. This was despite container throughput growing 11.8 per cent from 562,843 TEUs to 629,428 TEUs.
The company attributed the loss to increases in containerisation and lower demand for steel and steel products, which it said was decreasing non-containerised cargo demand by 20 per cent a year.
PPA reported a 30 per cent loss of revenue. General manager Oscar Sevilla blamed the loss on the elimination of fees, including wharfage port dues and terminal fees.
Sevilla said the loss was not surprising, as the Philippines Government had introduced a Strong Republic National Highway (SRNH) program, which integrated roll-on/roll-off facilities with the country’s highway network.
Sevilla said the PPA may appeal to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to allow it to collect minimum port dues to recover lost revenue.
Forklifts hit by rising steel prices
Increases in steel prices are affecting the forklift industry, according to the latest information from Japanese manufacturers.
The International Herald Tribune reported that cars and home appliances could also be more expensive next year because of the higher cost of coking coal, a fuel vital to steel production.
Japanese steelmakers this month agreed to pay overseas suppliers a record USD125 a ton (900kg) for coking coal as of April 2005. That is about twice the average USD56 paid this year, and surpasses the previous record of USD66 paid in 1982.
This year, Nissan and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd raised forklift prices by three per cent. Steel accounts for 90 per cent of a forklift’s structure.
Growing demand in China and India has been blamed for the sharp rise, and Asia was expected to consume about 280 million tonnes of coking coal in 2004, about 10 per cent more than last year.
Forkliftaction.com’s Marketplace enters testing phase!
Forkliftaction.com’s latest initiative, Marketplace, has entered the testing phase ahead of a launch date early in the new year.
Marketplace will revolutionise the way used materials handling equipment is traded locally and around the world.
Executive director Michael Leu says the initial response from dealers and fleet managers has been strong.
“Marketplace has been designed to deliver local, national and international transaction capability for both dealers and end users,” he said.
“We are now preparing to enter stock lists with our established dealer contacts, but all other used equipment dealers are invited to contact us now.
“We have built a Marketplace test site and the URL address will soon be passed on to those people who have expressed interest in participating, for their feedback.”
Users will be able to search by geographical location the type, brand, model, age, hours, price, lift capacity and lift height. Purchased equipment prices can be converted to a choice of currencies: USD($), CAD($), GBP(£), Euro(€) and AUD($)
Contact email@example.com for more information.
European auction eclipses Ritchie Bros’ largest
The world’s largest industrial equipment auctioneer has staged its largest auction to date in Moerdjik, the Netherlands.
Ritchie Bros Auctioneers’ four-day unreserved auction netted EUR51 million (USD67.7 million) in gross sales.
More than 1500 people from 65 countries registered to bid on almost 4500 pieces of equipment at the 62-acre (25-hectare) site last month.
Ritchie Bros European operations managing director Guylain Turgeon said the company had enjoyed a “sharp increase in participation from Eastern European customers”.
“Thanks to the involvement of such a broad range of global buyers, we are able to reach beyond the regional, and even European markets,” he said.
More than 40 per cent of purchases were made by non-European buyers – 18 per cent went to North American buyers, 12 per cent to African buyers, 11 per cent to Middle Eastern buyers and the balance to Australian and New Zealander buyers.
Turgeon said more than 450 sellers submitted equipment to the auction. Most of the machines were from the construction, quarry, agriculture, access and transport industries.
The previous largest Ritchie Bros auction was in Orlando, Florida, USA, in February.
South of the Border: Rolf Slobotzky
MEXICO CITY, Mexico
For me, this is not just another year to wish happiness to my friends. It has been a year full of events, some expected, some not, in my personal life and in business.
Personally, I went through unexpected but major surgery. I survived, but, as the saying goes in Mexico, bad weed never dies out. The expected event was my 80th birthday, which I also survived. I am now running on extra time with the odometer starting its second turn.
What was more surprising was the overwhelming affection received from so many relatives, friends and business contacts. It moved me emotionally to a very high degree. How can I possibly thank everybody enough?
Business-wise, Mexico started 2004 with a gloomy outlook, but the year is ending with positive results in 90 per cent of forklift-related companies.
Sales were higher than 2003 and mostly close to budgets for 2004, with only collections being behind expectations, as Mexicans have everything but money.
Not so successful was the construction machinery business which, in most cases, finished in the red due to minimal government spending on public construction works.
I wish everybody on both sides of the border, and worldwide, a healthy new year, as happiness is a by-product of health. As Socrates said: It is preferable to be young, healthy and rich, rather than old, poor and p***ed off.
Wal-Mart trials fuel-cell forklifts
Three Crown PE4000 rider pallet trucks with Cellex hydrogen fuel cells will start trials in a distribution centre of the logistics subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc in January.
The location and length of the tests was not disclosed.
Cellex Power Products Inc, of Vancouver, built the power units with input from industrial gas supplier BOC Group, of Murray Hill, NJ, USA. The cells use proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology that typically operates in a range of 80C to 90C.
In October, the recently-introduced PE4000 Series from Crown Equipment Corp, of New Bremen, OH, USA, was recognised with a silver award in the 2004 Industrial Designers’ Society of America competition.
Pre-Christmas forklift safety call
An Australian government workplace safety agency is calling on employers to ensure the safe use of forklifts in the busy pre-Christmas period.
WorkSafe, a Victorian WorkCover Authority division, made the call after Coca Cola Amatil (Australia) Pty Ltd was fined AUD25,000 (USD18,915) for breaching the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
WorkSafe prosecuted Coca Cola after a 55-year-old truck driver was hit by a forklift at its Clayton warehouse in January 2003.
A spokesman said that, of the 53 forklift-related deaths reported since 1985, 14 involved travelling on or manoeuvring forklifts.
Forklift driven away by brat in a hat
QUEDGELEY, United Kingdom
A man masquerading as a worker has stolen a forklift worth GBP32,000 (USD61,564).
The Citizen newspaper reported a worker saw the hard hat-wearing thief drive the Caterpillar telescopic handler out of the Davy Way, Quedgeley site at around 6.50pm on December 9.
A police spokeswoman said the orange vehicle carried the registration number SF45 EVJ.
“He had a hard hat on and the [witness] assumed he was one of the workers,” she said.
Police said 1500 litres of diesel were stolen from the same area the night before
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NEW VDMA OFFICE OPENS IN BEIJING
The growing Chinese market is the reason for the newly-opened German Engineering Federation (VDMA) representative office in Beijing, says VDMA managing director Dr Hannes Hesse.
Hesse said the Chinese market was currently the most important sales market for 10 of the 31 VDMA industrial sectors.
“We are certain our representative office will be of assistance, especially to small and medium sized German engineering companies in helping them establish a foothold in the Chinese market and in finding a location there,” Hesse said.
The office will serve the VDMA’s 3,000 member companies, representing around 40 per cent of the European capital goods industry.
It will provide services in the following key areas:
- market observation
- marketing support
- building networks
- public relations
- overseeing trade associations’ interests
Individual companies will be offered an “office-in-office” concept that includes office infrastructure, sales support and help in finding suitable Chinese employees.
With the China office, the VDMA is consolidating and expanding its international activities.
Former international business relations head Gudrun Seitz, who has lived in China for 20 years, will be the office’s director.
1. Look Out For Landoll Corp
Landoll Corp. will be demonstrating the new Series IV model BN 180 degree articulating mast Bendi. This truck easily stacks standard 48” x 40” loads in 6’ aisles and is available in 2,500 and 3,500 lb. capacities and lift to 26’. Additionally Landoll Corp. will be demonstrating the Bendi Series IV model B40 electric equipped with extending forks for storing loads 2 deep. Recent Series IV improvements include higher capacity planetary transmissions, dual full time drive traction motor controllers, transistor controlled hydraulics and major improvements in the steering and hydraulics as well as a 10% increase in battery capacity. Also...
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2. Forkliftaction.com confirms ProMat attendance!
Forkliftaction.com’s Rodger Lamb (pictured online) will be representing our company at ProMat in Chicago, January 10-13.
He may be contacted through the kind folks at the CeMAT Hannover booth, number 4735, or you may see him walking the aisles in Forkliftaction.com’s distinctive orange and black uniform. Some exhibitors and visitors will have met Rodger at IMHX in the UK and NA2004 in Cleveland this year.
Don’t hesitate to stop him and ask any questions you have about the Forkliftaction.com portal and its opportunities for your business, including our soon-to-be-released Marketplace, the online used equipment classifieds service. Or leave your card at the...
If you would like to arrange a meeting, you can contact Rodger directly on his cell (mobile) phone: +61-419-535635, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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