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WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #344 - 24 January 2008 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.
“CEO becomes Clark's largest individual shareholder.”
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Lilly sells Nashville operations to KMH
NASHVILLE, TN, United States
KMH System Inc has completed its acquisition of Lilly Co’s Nashville forklift operations following a period of wrangled Mid-South relationships and more than four years of litigation. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
In mid-2003, Yale Materials Handling Corp (YMHC) sued Toyota Material Handling USA Inc (TMHU) and Lilly, claiming that Toyota had interfered in Yale’s long-time dealer relationship with Lilly (Forkliftaction.com News #121). The litigation stemmed from Lilly acquiring the rights to the Toyota forklift franchise in western Tennessee and Mississippi and sought to terminate Lilly’s Yale rights in the Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee markets.
A Lilly spokesman said: “While this did not affect the Yale market share, Nacco, the parent company of Yale and Hyster, vowed that a Yale dealer could not represent a similar brand even though many Yale dealers represent brands such as Crown, Linde and Taylor.”
Other suits and counter-suits followed including one for trademark infringement, and observers indicate there were legal winners and losers on both sides.
Lilly, owned by Thomas J Clark III, began looking in June for a buyer for its Nashville operations and negotiated over several months prior to completion of the January 2 transaction with Dayton, Ohio-based KMH. Lilly managers perceived the Nashville sale as being in the best interest of its employees. Now, Memphis-based Lilly employs 258 and, in various markets, represents the Toyota, Clark, Linde and Doosan forklift brands.
A legal milestone in the case occurred in August. In a 40-page opinion, a United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio affirmed the trial court’s granting of a November 2004 preliminary injunction to Lilly and remanded unresolved issues to the trial court. From KMH’s point of view, that presented the company with a window of opportunity.
The litigants have agreed that the sale by Lilly of the Nashville facilities resolves all issues. Lawyers are proceeding to seek dismissal of the pending law suits with prejudice, meaning they cannot be retried. None of the suits reached the trial stage.
Lilly became associated with Yale in 1954 and was believed to be the world’s oldest Yale dealership. Lilly had won top awards for elite Yale dealers.
YMHC did not renew Lilly’s franchise in Memphis and, in October 2006, Black Equipment Co Inc of Evansville, Indiana picked up that Yale territory. Now, Black’s Memphis-based southern division represents the Yale brand in 20 counties in Tennessee, 25 counties in Mississippi, 10 in Arkansas and two in Missouri.
KMH’s full-service Yale forklift operation in middle Tennessee complements existing KMH operations in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
“By expanding our presence in a growing market like Nashville, we have the opportunity to add new customers and gain the economies of scale necessary to better serve our existing clients,” Michael Guenin, KMH president, says in a statement.
KMH is retaining all Lilly employees including operational managers and 30 technicians and will use the KMH identity instead of Lilly for the Nashville operations.
KMH was founded in 1976, employs 150 persons in eight locations, now manages more than 2,000 units and received Yale dealer of excellence recognition in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
While a single-source forklift supplier with the Yale line, KMH also represents Hytrol Conveyors and lines of integrated storage systems, personnel carriers, batteries and chargers, ergonomic and lifting equipment and overhead handling equipment.
Sweat equity propels Alliance Material Handling to new level
JESSUP, MD, United States
Alliance Material Handling has joined the ranks of employee-owned companies after a final sale of company stock under its employee stock ownership program (ESOP) last December.
Alliance president Thomas Albero tells Forkliftaction.com News the forklift dealer achieved its goal of becoming 100% employee-owned a few years earlier than planned.
In 2004, Alliance adopted a leveraged ESOP by buying 32% of company stock from owners Hobb Santel and Ted Wolff. It aimed to pay off the debt in six years. The company aggressively paid down the debt and was rewarded for its efforts.
“Through strong [company] performance and continued focus on reaching this goal, Alliance was able to pay the remaining debt [for the first loan] by May 2007,” Albero says.
Over half of the bank loan was paid down within a year and Alliance revised its goal to become fully employee-owned by December 2008. Last year, one year early, Alliance secured a second bank loan and purchased the rest of the company’s stock.
The current scheduled payoff of the second loan is December 2017 but the forklift dealership plans to aggressively pay off this loan and revise the payoff date each year.
“A key point is at the time of closing, the ESOP owns the shares outright and therefore [Alliance] is considered 100% employee-owned,” Albero says.
He explains that as the debt gets paid down, shares are allocated to employees’ individual accounts. The bank loans are repaid by company profits and secured by company assets and the former owners’ pledge of funds they received at closing. Employees get the shares for “free”.
Albero, who is a certified public accountant, says longer tenured employees will receive more shares over time.
“Hobb Santel and Ted Wolff [wanted to] reward the employees that have worked so hard for them over the years. The managers agreed this was the best way to make the company stronger. What better way to reward employees than to have them all own a piece of the company.
“The slang term [in the US] for this is ‘sweat equity’, something that most companies have forgotten about.
“In a time when most companies are laying off employees or increasing health premiums, Alliance is helping to secure its employees’ retirement,” he says.
Ex-owners Hobb Santel and Ted Wolff now have a visionary role in Alliance as chairman and vice chairman of the board of directors. Their former responsibilities have been passed to Thomas Albero, president and CEO; Warren Ross, executive vice president of sales; and David Judd, executive vice president of operations.
Alliance of Jessup, Maryland was formed after the 2001 merger of MidAtlantic Power Inc, Space Maker Systems Inc and Potomac Industrial Trucks Inc. The original companies are over 50 years old.
It is the exclusive dealer for the Clark, Crown, Mitsubishi and Doosan lines of sit-down forklifts and powered and manual pallet jacks. There are about 1,000 forklifts in its rental fleet and its technicians service over 10,000 customer forklifts. Alliance has 165 employees in Jessup, Maryland and Winchester, Virginia. It aims to expand in the Richmond and Chesapeake, Virginia area in the first quarter of this year. Its 2007 revenues exceeded USD41 million.
Haulotte sells rental interests to Loxam
Haulotte Group has divested its French rental businesses to Loxam Group for an undisclosed amount.
The Lev and Royans Levage companies operate about 2,000 machines distributed through a national network of 25 branch companies. These contributed about EUR30 million (USD43.9 million) to Haulotte’s 2007 revenues. The companies’ fleet consists of people lifting and material lifting equipment, the latter comprising an “insignificant” percentage.
Haulotte spokeswoman Carine Ploton says the group considered the rental market environment before selling Lev and Royans Levage.
“[It will] give our French rental business a real opportunity of development in a specialised group for the coming years.”
Loxam Group, established in 1967, claims to be Europe’s leading equipment rental supplier for the public works, construction and manufacturing sectors. Headquartered in Chatenay-Malabry, Paris, its 120,000-piece rental equipment inventory is supplied through a network of 550 locations in 10 European countries. It estimates its 2007 consolidated turnover to be EUR740 million (USD1.081 billion).
Haulotte CEO Alexandre Saubot says the sale of the rental businesses will have a positive impact on the group’s 2008 accounts besides focusing its resources on developing its business in and outside Western Europe.
“This operation will reinforce our strong balance sheet that can support Haulotte’s future development.”
The Eastern European, South American and Asian regions are expected to fuel Haulotte’s growth in the next few years.
With over 2,000 employees, Haulotte’s 2007 turnover was EUR652.7 million (USD951.3 million), 26% higher than 2006's turnover of EUR519.3 million (USD759 million).
The group predicts the global material handling and people lifting equipment market to be stable this year and forecasts annual sales to exceed EUR700 million (USD1.02 billion).
Pyroban enters North American market
BLOOMFIELD, NJ, United States
Explosion-proof specialist Pyroban has high hopes for its US subsidiary established in December.
The company is looking to Robert Zuiderveld, former US vice president of global marketing and sales for German-based explosion-proof forklift manufacturer Sichelschmidt, to lead Pyroban Corp and develop the North American business.
Zuiderveld tells Forkliftaction.com News he is confident that the quality and reliability of Pyroban products will help him build Pyroban’s reputation and brand recognition in the region.
“As demand grows, employees will be added and plans are in place to open a US manufacturing site to handle all North American equipment conversions,” he says.
He admits that Pyroban had previously “somewhat” neglected the North American market.
Since 1972, the company has focused mainly on the European and Asian markets. It has plants in West Sussex, the UK, and Hendrik Ido Ambacht in the Netherlands. In October 2006, it opened its first Asian plant in Suzhou, China (Forkliftaction.com News #283). The group website says its solutions are “built and certified for European ATEX regulations” unless requested otherwise.
“Based on the success in China and the current market opportunities presented by the Factory Mutual certification of the Gascheka product line, [we decided] in 2007 to enter the North American market,” Zuiderveld says.
Gascheka is a gas detection system developed by Pyroban. The system shuts down equipment automatically when a certain level of gas is detected. It provides safety in non-classified areas where there may be low risk of explosion.
Zuiderveld says the Gascheka product and “competitively priced” diesel-powered EX (explosion-proof) conversions will help the company rapidly gain market share.
Dealers will be able to offer their own brand equipment with EX protection. Equipment that might not have been previously available with an EX certification, like sweepers, main lifts and personnel carriers, can now be offered with Pyroban’s EX protection.
Zuiderveld estimates that 100 to 200 EX- and DX-rated forklifts are sold in North America each year. Higher volumes of forklifts with lower levels of protections like ES, EE, DS and DY rated forklifts are sold annually, he says, but does not offer any ‘guesstimates’.
Over the years, Pyroban has done “substantial” business in the US, mainly with the offshore industry, supplying EX conversion kits to companies including Haliburton and Stewart & Stevenson.
Click here to read Pyroban’s company profile.
Clark CEO buys equity in company
LEXINGTON, KY, United States
Clark Material Handling Company CEO Dennis Lawrence has emerged as the largest individual owner of stock in the Lexington, Kentucky-based forklift manufacturer.
Young An Hat Company Ltd (YAHC), which bought Clark in 2003, remains the largest shareholder of the global Clark forklift operations including US-based Clark Material Handling Company (Forkliftaction.com News #92).
The operating structure of Clark’s North American operations will not change, Clark spokeswoman Sherry Myers tells Forkliftaction.com News. Lawrence and the company’s management team will continue to guide the company towards long-term growth.
Myers says Lawrence had been successful in Clark chairman and YAHC founder S.H. Baik’s headwear organisations and was invited to lead Clark in 2005.
“Baik’s vision for growth for Clark in North America is what attracted Mr Lawrence to join Clark in June 2005.
“With the support of a dedicated team of professionals, the organisation has successfully implemented strategies to see this vision become a reality.
“When Mr Lawrence was given the opportunity to buy into this growing organisation and continue his life-long partnership with Baik, he was honoured to do so.”
Baik was the supplier of headwear to the Canadian company that employed Lawrence when they first met in Montreal in 1982.
Lawrence then worked for Baik as a Young An executive in Montreal and Vancouver, Canada; Dallas, Texas; Bentonville, Arkansas; and Lexington, Kentucky.
“As with most privately held corporations in the US, Clark does not publicly disclose specifics as to shares of ownership and share price,” says Myers.
“Much more important than the percentages … [is] the trust and confidence Mr Baik has in Mr Lawrence’s stewardship of Clark with its long and storied history.”
Young An has core interests in headwear, bus production and Asian telecommunications.
Click here to read Clark's company profile.
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Continued growth for portal
The past year has been one of growth and consolidation for Forkliftaction.com and 2008 promises even more developments for the industry’s only online global resource portal.
As 2008 begins, Forkliftaction.com’s membership base is approaching 35,000 after passing the 30,000 mark last year.
According to general manager Ann Hofmans, not only is the portal attracting more members, but they are becoming increasingly active, with a 15% growth in web traffic over 2006. “The site currently enjoys more than 5,000 visits each day, and we’re seeing visitors stay longer and access more and more pages,” she adds.
She attributes the membership growth to enhanced information offerings on the website. One example she cites is the renewed Business Directory. “Its searches are now easier and more accurate than before. Its content has grown to become very comprehensive in all types of materials handling businesses,” she explains.
Hofmans says the end-user members including fleet managers and forklift owners now make up the biggest demographic group in the forkliftaction.com membership base, accounting for 41% of members. Forklift dealers make up 36%, while 20% are manufacturers of forklifts and forklift components.
The site’s Marketplace, a virtual salesroom for used equipment, has also been upgraded, boosting the popularity of the listings.
Hofmans and her team are spreading the word about Forkliftaction.com at trade shows and exhibitions around the world, having participated in IMHX (Birmingham, UK), Logistex (Lodz, Poland), Matex (Melbourne, Australia), The Safety Show (Sydney and Brisbane, Australia), China 3rd International Forklift & Parts Expo (Shanghai, China), MHL (Auckland, New Zealand) and CeMAT India (Bangalore, India).
Besides increased marketing and visibility in the marketplace, Hofmans says her management team has boosted its resources and is revamping its website technology “to enhance the member experience”.
“This year, we recruited a highly skilled web developer, Saeid Hosseini, and already he has had a huge impact on the look and feel of parts of the site,” she says, adding that Saeid is hard at work on further enhancements which will be rolled out in 2008.
“We are also building a substantial editorial team around the globe,” says Hofmans. The expanded team includes the company’s first consulting editor, experienced business journalist and editor Allan Leibowitz. South African-born Karen Haverson was employed in 2007 as the newsletter’s Australasian journalist while former AFP Thailand correspondent Paris Lord joined the team to cover the Chinese market from his Beijing base.
Hofmans also attributes much of the newsletter’s market credibility to the work of staff reporter Christine Liew, who recently marked her third anniversary with Forkliftaction.com.
According to Hofmans, 2008 will see the launch of the newsletter’s second “regional” edition. In the first quarter, a US edition will be added, and veteran industry writer Roger Renstrom will expand his collaboration with enhanced coverage of the North American market.
The new regional edition will be accompanied by a new look and feel to the newsletter, and for the first time, global readers will have access to regional content from the US and from Australasia. And as the year progresses, says Hofmans, planning will continue for further regional editions which will be rolled out progressively over the next 12 to 18 months.
Ritchie Bros sells 35% more forklifts online
Ritchie Bros Auctioneers sold nearly 11,000 forklifts at its auctions worldwide in 2007, about 7% more than in 2006.
The world’s leading industrial auctioneer tells Forkliftaction.com News over 10,800 electric and internal combustion forklifts, rough-terrain forklifts and telescopic forklifts were sold in 2007 compared to 10,100 in 2006.
Bidders participated in the company’s rbauctionBid-Live internet bidding service to buy forklifts worth USD19 million - 35.7% more than the USD14 million of forklifts bought by internet bidders in 2006.
In 2007, Ritchie Bros handled nearly 35,000 consignments and 261,000 lots were sold. This compares to the 32,000 consignments handled and 240,000 lots sold in 2006.
Ritchie Bros says its internet bidding service set records in 2007 with about 12,800 customers from 79 countries buying over USD600 million of equipment and real estate using rbauctionBid-Live.
The growing company hired over 130 new full-time employees in 2007, bringing its total employees to over 950 people. The new employees were hired at its international locations and Richmond, British Columbia head office.
“Ritchie Bros intends to continue expanding into new geographic regions and market sectors … [and] is actively seeking new employees to support the growth,” says spokeswoman Vicki Cunningham.
Last Monday, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary in the auction business and 10th anniversary as a publicly traded company by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.
Ritchie Bros’ common shares were first listed on the Exchange on 10 March 1998 at USD8.50 per share. Its share price was USD77.63 at market closing on Monday, 14 January 2008.
When Ritchie Bros went public in 1998, it conducted over 100 unreserved auctions for total gross auction proceeds of more than USD1 billion that year. It had 50 locations in 14 countries, including 21 auction sites.
Today, the company has over 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 37 auction sites. In 2007, it conducted over 350 unreserved industrial and agricultural auctions worldwide, generating over USD3 billion in gross auction proceeds.
Ritchie Bros will release its audited financial results on 21 February.
Rocla’s new stacker
Rocla Oy has introduced the Rocla SPac stacker suitable for warehouses and the loading and unloading of lorries.
The forklift comes in 1,200kg (2,646lb) and 1,600kg (3,527lb) capacities. Its 790mm (2.6 feet) wide chassis enables easy pallet handling in trucks. For lifting heights of 3,300mm (10.8 feet) and higher, the chassis width increases to 926mm (3 feet). It is equipped with Rocla’s patented Integral mast and new h2 tiller arm. The stacker can lift up to 5,400mm (17.7 feet).
Redesigned telehandler in Las Vegas
REDMOND, WA, United States
Genie Industries will introduce the redesigned GTH 5519 telehandler at The Rental Show in Las Vegas from 11 February to 14 February at the Mandalay Bay Convention Centre.
The machine’s floor-mounted throttle pedal has been repositioned to improve operator comfort in the cab. Users can choose Deutz or Perkins engines that are compliant with Tier 3 emissions regulations. To accommodate the engines, the engine compartment has also been redesigned for easy access to internal components.
BT Lifter Silent launches
Toyota Material Handling Europe has launched a quieter version of its popular BT Lifter hand pallet truck.
Noise levels for the LHM230SI, made in Mjölby, Sweden, do not exceed 60 decibels. Noise levels for standard trucks can be twice as high. However, the truck is 20% to 30% more expensive than a regular hand pallet truck.
When developing the truck, TMHE followed guidelines by and received certification from the Netherlands’ PEAK programme. The PEAK organisation has established standards for measuring noise levels and set 60 decibels as a target noise level.
A certified silent model of the BT Orion LWE200 powered pallet truck is also available.
Jungheinrich introduces JIBOS
MILTON KEYNES, United Kingdom
Jungheinrich has introduced JIBOS, a battery fleet management system that can be used on any brand of battery charger, to the European market.
Jungheinrich UK Ltd sales director Bill Goodwin says the system promotes longer battery life through uniform usage and optimises battery cooling time.
A device at the back of the battery charger is linked to a visual display which indicates which battery had been charging and cooling for the optimum time.
New telehandler series with added capacity
NEW HOLLAND, PA, United States
Merlo SpA has introduced the compact Multifarmer telehandler in some of its export markets.
The 27.9 and 29.6 models add to the existing Multifarmer 30.6 and 30.9 models. The new models have a different chassis arrangement to the existing models and are 2 metres wide and 2.2 metres high.
On the compact machines, only the rear axle oscillates compared to existing models that have independently oscillating front and rear axles. The compact models are a “simpler” machine and have analogue control systems only.
A “multifarmer” is a Merlo machine that combines a telehandler and a tractor’s rear end. It is suitable for the poultry industry but is not restricted to farming applications.
Kylie Minogue rescues with forklift
MAIDENHEAD, United Kingdom
Millions of Doctor Who fans watched pop singer Kylie Minogue prevent a spaceship crash by ramming a villain with a forklift on Christmas Day. But few know that under the red paint and BBC props, the forklift is a Hyster electric counterbalanced truck supplied by Barloworld Handling in Cardiff, Wales.
Sandra Thompson of Barloworld says the forklift distributor has had a long relationship with the BBC and has received some strange requests.
“We have been called upon to help with the strangest projects like building the Doctor’s Tardis. However, this was the first time a Hyster forklift has been used onscreen. Perhaps next series, one of our forklifts will help fight the Daleks.”
Much of BBC’s science fiction programme is filmed on location in Wales.
Doosan company tops Koreans in overseas sales
SEOUL, Korea, South
Doosan Infracore’s sister company, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, was one of the highest performing South Korean companies in 2006.
South Korea’s ministry of construction and transportation has released statistics that show Doosan Heavy ranked first among South Korean companies in overseas sales, a Doosan statement says.
Doosan Heavy won 10 overseas projects in 2006 worth USD560 million. These include the Jebel Ali “M” project worth USD1.14 billion over several years.
In March 2006, Doosan Heavy accepted the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s tender to construct the Jebel Ali “M” Combined Cycle Power Plant. Doosan Heavy will be in charge of engineering, procurement and construction for the 1,330MW power plant that will supply electricity to the whole of Dubai. It is targeted to be completed by March 2010.
According to the statement, the ministry said revenue from overseas construction projects increased from USD10.9 billion in 2005 to USD16.5 billion in 2006.
High oil prices pushed revenues up to USD39.8 billion at the end of last year – USD22.8 billion from the Middle East, USD12.9 billion from Asia, USD1.7 billion from Africa and USD1.4 billion from Europe.
Movers & Shakers
GREENE, NY, United States
Raymond Corp has appointed David Furman as vice president of marketing. Furman has over 15 years’ experience in marketing management including multi-channel distribution, marketing, business and product development, and technical support. He was previously Agfa Corp’s senior manager of business and channel development of the NAFTA region.
MILWAUKEE, WI, United States
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has appointed Richard Jefferson to the newly created position of senior director of public relations. Jefferson has over 20 years’ experience in communications and managerial positions. He was the director of external affairs for the US Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency’s public affairs office in Washington, DC.
Megan Tanel is now AEM’s vice president of exhibitions. She will oversee all trade show activities for events based in the US, including the CONEXPO-CON/AGG construction exhibition and ICUEE. Tanel was directing AEM expo services like housing and registration in her role as director of CONEXPO-CON/AGG and ICUEE.
AEM has formed a separate international exhibitions department to oversee the association’s overseas shows like CONEXPO Asia and CONEXPO Russia. Larry Charrlin will lead the department as executive director of international exhibitions. He was in an executive-mentoring role for AEM’s exhibitions department.
Injured ex-forklift driver not entitled to benefits
BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
A former UK forklift driver who lost the use of his leg in a work accident could face jail for illegally obtaining social security benefits.
Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd reported the Solihull Magistrates’ Court heard Ian Wilkins, 38, had obtained housing and council benefits between 2001 and 2007 without disclosing his wife was employed.
The prosecutor told the court Wilkins was paid GBP7,196 (USD14,087.60) in housing benefits and GBP1,660 (USD3,249.80) in council benefits, to which he wasn’t entitled because his wife was working.
Wilkins’ lawyer said he was of good character and a serious work accident while he was employed as a forklift driver had shattered his back and resulted in the loss of his left leg functionality.
“Unfortunately, he cannot work because of his injuries and he did not receive any compensation for the accident,” the lawyer said.
He added that Wilkins had thought he was entitled to benefits despite his wife’s employment.
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Equipment Inc wins more Nissan awards
JACKSON, MS, United States
Equipment Incorporated has won the Nissan Nine Award for the 29th time and the SEP Award for service excellence for the 11th consecutive year.
The Nissan Nine Award recognising Nissan forklift dealers’ sales and overall performance has been given out annually for 30 years. The SEP award honours dealers’ service performance.
Equipment Incorporated also supplies equipment from Bobcat, Jungheinrich, JLG and SkyTrak. It employs over 75 people and has full service branch locations in Mobile, Alabama and Tupelo, Mississippi.
Dealer expects Russian sales hike
ST PETERSBURG, Russia
Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks’ exclusive dealer in Russia, 4K, projects sales for high lifting warehouse equipment in Russia will grow 200% in 2008, according to Siberian news agency RIC “FIS”.
It has opened a representative office in St Petersburg to meet the region’s demand for forklifts and spare parts.
Doosan US sets up finance provider
ATLANTA, GA, United States
Doosan Infracore America has established Doosan Global Finance that will offer finance programs to Doosan Infracore’s machine tool, forklift and construction equipment dealers and customers.
Doosan Infracore America president HS Lee says the company anticipates the finance provider will generate “economies of scale” resulting in improved rates and more competitive wholesale and retail financing programs for its dealers and Doosan end-users.
Hyster donates to California relief effort
GREENVILLE, NC, United States
Hyster Company has donated a new forklift to assist wildfire relief in California.
The State of California and Adventist Community Services requested donations of forklifts to use in the state’s recovery warehouses. The forklift will be used in a warehouse in Miramar, California.
Port Botany project signed and sealed
SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia
The AUD1 billion Port Botany expansion officially got under way last month with the signing of the contract in State Parliament on 20 December 2007.
The project, which involves a 60 hectare expansion to cater for growth and reinforce the port’s world class reputation, is expected to deliver more than 9,000 jobs and AUD16 billion to the NSW economy.
Trade through Port Botany, which handles a third of Australia’s container traffic, was worth more than AUD40 billion last year, and that figure is expected to double over the next 20 years.
Belgian company Jan De Nul and Australian company Baulderstone Hornibrook are the two joint-venture partners selected to deliver the massive infrastructure project.
More than 100 planning conditions have been imposed for the Port Botany expansion to protect the bay’s environmental health and local amenities.
Circuitous freight routes damage environment
AUCKLAND, New Zealand
Toll Rail and Port of Tauranga recently announced an agreement to invest in additional rail rolling stock with an aim to moving more Auckland import containers via Tauranga rather than through the closest port, Auckland (an extra distance of 200 kilometres).
“Almost 15,000 tonnes of extra carbon emissions a year is generated by moving 120,000-plus Auckland-destined or Auckland-originating containers via Tauranga,” comments Jens Madsen, Ports of Auckland managing director.
“The current situation where thousands of containers a year are moved around the country by very circuitous freight routes is untenable. This is increasing domestic transport carbon emissions, which the Government wants to halve by 2040, and adds cost in the supply chain. Who is paying for this?
“The environment pays through increased carbon levels, the consumer pays because it costs more to move goods further, and taxpayers pay for the unnecessary government investment in transport infrastructure (road and rail) to support these irrational supply chains.
“The less distance import and export containers are moved within New Zealand, the lower the carbon emissions. It’s not rocket science. So the natural, quickest and least carbon-emitting option for Auckland import containers is for them to come through the Auckland sea port and be transported a maximum of 25 kilometres to end-users via the Wiri Inland Port and/or South Auckland distribution centres,” explains Madsen.
Ports of Auckland has both the port side and landside infrastructure not only to handle Auckland-bound container volume, but to act as a major New Zealand hub port.
Container volumes grew by more than 10% during the 2007 calendar year.
“The port will be able to handle larger ships when required and has a range of future capacity options open to it. Given the port can handle this volume, it is not sensible in the foreseeable future for investments to be made in supply chains that are not required.
“Additional rail rolling stock is needed on the logical rail corridors, to assist lowering supply chain costs, not the opposite.
“The Auckland/Tauranga situation is only one example of supply chains that are not providing a net benefit to New Zealand. We are staring down the barrel of the same thing potentially happening between Northland and Auckland. If Ontrack provides the catalyst for another international port at NorthPort by connecting it to the main trunk line (over NZD100 million investment), the outcome will be hundreds of thousands of tonnes of needless extra carbon emissions generated each year.
“While these longer supply chains might be good business for NorthPort and Toll Rail, we have to question are they “good business” for the environment, for consumers, for taxpayers and ultimately for New Zealand?
“New Zealand should only invest in road and rail freight infrastructure that supports logical, cost-effective and lowest carbon emitting supply chains,” he concludes.
Global uncertainty puts brakes on investment
Australian manufacturers are tipped to cut back on investment to cope with global uncertainty and a slide in exports, a survey shows.
The Australian Industry (Ai) Group, an umbrella group representing 10,000 employers, says the sector will be relying more on domestic consumers in 2008 as a stronger Australian dollar dents the industry's global competitiveness.
The survey of 500 manufacturers conducted in December forecast that nominal export growth would be 7.5% in 2008, well down from the 13.7% level enjoyed in fiscal 2007.
It reports Australian manufacturers are anticipating moderate growth in 2008 against a background of belt tightening as the sector faces continuing global uncertainty and potential softening in demand.
The survey predicted new capital equipment spending would drop for a second year running, to post a 1.2% fall this year.
Research and development spending is forecast to rise by less than 1%, after an estimated 4.2% climb in 2006/07.
But employment in the manufacturing sector is expected to record a 2.2% increase in 2008, the same level as the previous financial year.
Chep takes action against pallet abuse
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
Materials handling supplier Chep has reached an out-of-court settlement with a West Australian company, Jason’s Pallets, under which the latter acknowledged Chep’s ownership rights and undertook not to acquire, sell or otherwise deal in Chep pallets.
Chep issues, collects, repairs and reissues about 285 million pallets and containers to assist manufacturers, distributors and retailers to transport their products safely and efficiently.
The company, a subsidiary of Brambles, has become hyper-vigilant about tracking its pallets since 2003 when it admitted it had lost track of 14 million of the wooden platforms, most of them in Europe.
The WA dispute is the third that Brambles has resolved in the past 12 months, with a Sydney local court ruling in March 2007 that Chep was entitled to the immediate possession of pallets being used by a fruit and vegetable retailer, while in May the NSW Supreme Court handed down a similar ruling against two food wholesalers.
Chep's pallets and containers are rented out to customers and must be returned after use, but a Brambles spokesman says the company still loses about 3% of its inventory every year.
Auction changes to Thursdays
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
One of Brisbane’s leading truck auctions, Pickles Auction Truck, Machinery and Earthmoving Plant Auction, will now be held on the third Thursday of each month at 10:00.
The auction was previously held on Wednesday for the past seven years. The next auction will be held on Thursday, 24 January and buyers can view items on the Wednesday before the sale and from 8:30am day of sale.
There will be more than 400 items up for auction including forklifts.
Something for every application
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia
Powerlift (Nissan) has released its new Powerlifter range of walkie stackers to the Australian market. The range encompasses three base models of a walkie reach truck, a walkie counterbalance and a walkie straddle stacker – all built in Australia.
The stackers have capacities from 700kg to 20,00kg and lift heights to 6,000mm, giving Powerlift a comprehensive product coverage from these new walkie stackers from the 1.8 to 7 tonne Nissan range right through to the SMV heavy lift forklift and container handling range.
“The new Powerlifter range is ideally suited to the small to medium manufacturing sector, food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers, bottle shops and hotels – in fact, any business where heavy loads need to be lifted, clean pollution-free operation is desirable and space is at a premium,” says Chris Burns, national sales manager.
He adds that the walkie counterbalance (C Series) is a unique addition to Powerlift’s range, offering an extremely compact design, up to 1,200kg capacity and lift heights to 4,500mm. “None of the internationally based forklift manufacturers build a similar unit and market it in Australia. The C Series is also at the very affordable end of the materials handling equipment scale.”
The Powerlifter range is available through all Powerlift direct branch operations and Powerlift authorised dealers throughout Australia.
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