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|When you have a neighbour as large and dominant as the United States, it’s hard to be noticed. But Canada is a significant economy – a member of the G7 powerhouse – and sizeable market. This week’s Feature article looks at the complex and diverse Canadian forklift market and reaffirms that the world’s second-largest country by area cannot simply be seen as a smaller version of the USA.|
This Feature is also the last by journalist Annette Densham, who has been at Forkliftaction.Com for the past six months and leaves us to take up a role in the sporting area. We all wish Annette the best in her new direction.
|Canadian forklift industry has positive future |
|Canadian materials handling manufacturers and dealers anticipate demand for forklifts and other materials handling equipment to drop, resulting in job losses and decreased revenues. However, despite the downturn, manufacturers remain positive about the long term with new factories due to open and new products being launched. Read more|
|Doosan dealer yields to economics |
Rome, GA, United States
|Doosan-brand dealer North Georgia Lift Truck Service shut down operations in mid-March in the face of economic pressures and owner John Maddox has opted to retire.|
“We were notified (about the closure) and are looking to options” for continuing Rome area representation, says Michael Lavelle, president of the Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based forklift division for the North American subsidiary of Doosan Infracore Co Ltd. “We may find someone in that area interested in taking on the line or a neighbouring dealer who might move into that territory.” Rome is about 55 miles (88 km) north west of Atlanta, Georgia.
The dealership began representing Daewoo forklifts in six contiguous counties in 2004 and transitioned to Doosan after its acquisition of the Daewoo brand in April 2005. The dealership’s territory extends north to Dalton and to Cherokee County in the south, Lavelle says.
Maddox says equipment, parts and related assets were “sold down to the bare walls” in a liquidation before the closure.
Maddox acquired the business in 1995 from Tom Wooten, who founded the firm in the late 1960s. Maddox began noticing a decline in business from late 2007.
North Georgia Lift Truck Service employed six people and occupied 5,000 square feet (450 sqm) in a building that Maddox owns. Lavelle says he is looking at the Rome situation and considers “the decision by John as a little bit of a sign of the times” for businesses with smaller footprints and resources.
The brand owner, publicly traded parent firm Doosan Group, is based in Seoul, South Korea.
|Highlander Equipment buys MTS |
Somerset, NJ, United States
|Highlander Equipment Co, of Somerset, has agreed to buy Maintenance Technology Specialists Inc (MTS), of Linden, New Jersey, effective from April 1.|
“Discussions began in September,” says Highlander general manager Paul Richardson. “The strengths of MTS complement the growing customer base within Highlander Equipment” in the metropolitan New York City region.
MTS president Dave Kennedy is scheduled to join Highlander. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the materials handling industry.
Kennedy started with Raymond dealer Dierckx Equipment Corp, in Long Island City, New York, as a technician and later became Dierckx general service manager before starting his own business in 1990. Kennedy found success in marketing very-narrow-aisle (VNA) forklifts in the New York market.
Established in 1997, Highlander Equipment represents the Bendi, Drexel and Combilift brands of forklifts and has strength in the New York market for man-down VNA systems for warehouses and long-load applications.
Richardson says Highlander is “currently the metro New York leader” in the VNA forklift category.
Recently, without disclosing details, Highlander Equipment expanded into the forklift markets in metropolitan Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. “The acquisition of MTS will help provide support for this new region,” Richardson says.
Richardson says Highlander employs 15 people and MTS four.
|Konecranes to cut jobs in Finland |
|Konecranes will cut jobs at two of its business operations in Finland. |
The company has begun negotiations at Konecranes Standard Lifting Oy and Konecranes Service Oy. The company is looking to cut up to 50 jobs in total at both plants.
Konecranes Standard Lifting Oy supplies lifting equipment for industrial purposes and Konecranes Service Oy offers service solutions for cranes, port equipment and machine tools.
The company says the decision to reduce worker numbers in the two business areas is due to “the continuing weak demand for lifting equipment and maintenance services.
“The aim of the measures is to adjust the companies’ cost structure and capacity to correspond with the current, weakened market situation and to secure future competitiveness.”
|New report reveals opportunities in the UK forklift market |
London, United Kingdom
|Industry analyst Plimsoll Publishing’s latest report reveals the current UK economic climate presents opportunities for those looking to grow amid the financial failure of ailing forklift companies. |
The study rates each of the UK’s leading 483 forklift companies on their acquisition attractiveness. It found 57 companies are “ripe for the picking”, based on a combined scoring system, incorporating overall financial strength, ownership, valuation and potential.
David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll, says the current downturn is one of the biggest opportunities in a generation, “if you have the courage and the capital.
“The current market conditions present unprecedented opportunities to buy into a business that even a year ago would have been unaffordable.
“We know of at least 177 companies within the industry that have the cash to spend and could aid these 57 ailing businesses and ensure their survival.”
The 57 companies identified are all privately owned but show a serious deterioration in financial performance.
Pattison says, given banks’ reluctance to lend more, the companies are running out of time, money and options.
“We have indentified a group of ‘wounded animals’,” he says. “Many of these businesses have a long and distinguished history, yet their recent performance has deteriorated. By definition, these are classic acquisitions.
“Anyone looking to grow their own company through acquisition should be looking for businesses that are currently undervalued yet, with help, can be turned around.”
Pattison points out that course of action will not be easy. “Many will need rapid and deep cost cutting to get them back on a firm financial footing.”
Plimsoll predicts as many as 1,625 jobs could go over the next 12 to 24 months as the companies shrink to ensure their survival.
|JLG opens new office in Singapore |
|Telehandler supplier JLG Industries has opened a new sales and service centre in Jurong, Singapore, as part of its ongoing initiative to capitalise on growth in the Asian market.|
The Jurong office will be JLG’s headquarters for retail sales, warranty, parts distribution, service and other parts of its ground support package in Asia.
Craig Paylor, president of JLG, says the Asian market has growth potential and JLG continues to concentrate efforts in those areas. “With the opening of the new Singapore facility, JLG is in a better position to provide ground support, aftermarket sales and service support to the Asian market.
“This facility demonstrates JLG’s continued commitment to growing our business with customers in Asia.”
Last November, JLG broke ground on a manufacturing facility in Tianjin, China (Forkliftaction.com News #387).
The new Chinese manufacturing facility will produce JLG access equipment specifically for the Asian market.
|TVH commits to environmental charter |
|European manufacturer TVH was one of 11 companies to sign the West-Flemish Charter Sustainable Enterprising (West-Vlaams Charter Duurzaam Ondernemen) agreement in March. |
Signing the charter demonstrates commitment by companies to undertake sustainable actions within their organisations.
The West-Flemish Charter Sustainable Enterprising is an initiative of the POM West-Flanders, VOKA KvK West-Flanders and Bureau Veritas Certification.
The charter is designed to give structure to company policy on sustainable enterprising. It also provides guidelines to assist in continuous improvement of performances in the environmental, social and economic fields.
|Air board wants compliance but holds back |
Sacramento, CA, United States
|The California Air Resources Board (ARB) wants operators of off-road large-spark-ignition (LSI) engines to reduce fleet-average emission levels but, for now, is holding back on widespread enforcement.|
In 2008, ARB delayed enforcement from January 1, 2009, to, at the earliest, April 1 for its new emission-level regulations for LSI engines powering forklifts and other equipment.
In December, the state agency applied to the US Environmental Protection Agency for authorisation to enforce the regulation. ARB will not begin enforcement earlier than 30 days after authorisation is granted.
ARB wants operators to determine if they are in compliance with the fleet-average emission-level standard and, as needed, buy retrofit kits or replacement equipment. An operator taking those steps is likely to avoid penalties.
ARB will allow any purchase of equipment or retrofit kits before April 1 to be included in the calculation for determining compliance with the new standard. For the calculation, an operator can use an emission rating for the new equipment or a retrofit kit in lieu of the rating for equipment that is replaced or retrofitted.
ARB plans to provide an additional compliance period for operators with six-cylinder engine equipment. At present, controlled six-cylinder engines, whether retrofit or original-equipment-manufacturer versions, are not certified to the same low emission standards as four-cylinder engines.
For existing machines, Sacramento-based ARB suggests owners install catalytic converter systems using retrofit kits such as those available from Nett Technologies Inc, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and Engine Control Systems (ECS), of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. Catalytic Solutions Inc, of Oxnard, California, acquired ECS in 2007. A retrofit kit and its installation may cost USD3,000 to USD5,000 per forklift.
|Ballard sees growth for fuel-cell products |
Burnaby, British Columbia, United States
|Hydrogen fuel-cell-product developer Ballard Power Systems Inc projects shipping about 1,000 units for materials handling applications this year, compared with 508 during 2008 and 204 in 2007.|
Ballard anticipates other sales growth in fuel-cell-product markets for backup power units and residential cogeneration systems.
For the motive-power niche, Ballard’s FCvelocity-brand 9SSL model for materials handling equipment costs about USD500 to USD700 per kilowatt (kW), operates with a power level of 4.4 kW to 19.3 kW and has an operational life of 10,000 hours, the company says.
Burnaby-based Ballard is developing advanced FCvelocity motive-power systems and plans, with its 9SSL V4 model, to have a 50% reduction in catalyst loading, new membrane-electrode-assembly technology and improved power density with a lower cell count.
In the future, the in-development FCvelocity 1200 should have a purpose-built unit cell for materials handling, increased power density and a cost-reduction system enabler.
During 2008, Ballard received orders for fuel-cell products for forklifts to service the dry goods side of a Wal-Mart Stores Inc warehouse in Ohio and, separately, for units for 219 Yale forklifts to service Central Grocers Inc greenfield warehouse sites in Joliet, Illinois (Forkliftaction.com News #391).
In April, Ballard and Raymond Corp, of Greene, New York, agreed to work towards jointly developing a prototype of Ballard next-generation fuel-cell technology to power Raymond trucks (Forkliftaction.com News #358).
Ballard reported 2008 sales of USD59.6 million, compared with USD65.5 million the previous year. Ballard projects an increase of 15% to 30% in sales during 2009.
|Advertisement – Agents, Dealers Wanted |
|Stöecklin Logistik AG, a Swiss manufacturer of innovative materials handling equipment, is looking for agents and dealers in Sweden, Norway and the UK.|
Stöecklin products include the full range of materials handling equipment.
If you are interested in promoting these world-class products, forward your company name, website, contact person, phone, fax and email address to email@example.com
All enquiries will be treated confidentially.
See www.stoecklin.com for more company and product information.
|Raymond offers Chep’s pallet protector |
Greene, NY, United States
|US materials handling supplier Raymond Corporation is now supplying a Chep forklift accessory aimed at reducing damage to pallets.|
The Chep Blue Guardian forklift accessory acts as a protective bumper and mounts easily to ITA Class II fork carriages, regardless of forklift make and model.
The accessory decreases damage to palletised products and packaging by redirecting the impact force from the forklift to the centre block of the pallet, instead of the top boards, where products are located.
The main housing frame is made of impact-resistant carbon steel and has a low-profile, energy-absorbing polyurethane bumper. The low-profile bumper prevents contact with the load to reduce product and pallet damage.
In the UK, Logitrans has launched a new, highly manoeuvrable pallet truck that can reduce damage to floors and travel silently.
The Panther Silent has specially designed rubber wheels that allow it to move goods around smoothly and silently.
The twin fork wheels make it easy to manoeuvre and its compact nature means it is ideal for confined areas, Logitrans says in a statement.
The wheels are non-marking and gentle to floors and flagstone layers in shops.
Anthony Dollimore, managing director at Logitrans UK Ltd, says the new pallet truck has been extensively tested in Norway. “Customers are not being disturbed by goods being moved around in shops. Shop owners are very satisfied because of increased customer satisfaction due to decreased noise levels and the reduction in maintenance costs.”
|Jungheinrich opens used equipment showrooms |
Mlton Keynes, United Kingdom
|Jungheinrich has opened seven specialist used forklift showrooms throughout the UK. |
The showrooms are located alongside the company’s existing regional facilities at Warrington, Sheffield, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Llanelli and Cumbernauld and stock an extensive collection of products from Jungheinrich’s Ready To Go range.
Neil Warren, Jungheinrich UK Ltd’s used equipment and short-term rental director, says while it will depend on the specification, a used truck will cost, on average, about 60% of the selling price of an equivalent new model.
All used forklifts in the Ready To Go collection have been rebuilt at Jungheinrich Group’s specialist used truck refurbishment centre in Dresden, Germany.
Warren says because all the forklifts are rebuilt to the same high standard, the operating cost will be the same as a new model.
The showrooms will be able to source forklifts from across the group. The desired forklift can be sourced and delivered within eight weeks.
Warren says because Jungheinrich operates a large contract hire fleet across Europe, it knows exactly what forklifts are returning and when. “Over the next three years we’ll have more than 100,000 forklifts coming back from contract hire packages across the group, so if we can’t find the forklift you want, it probably doesn’t exist.”
|Movers and Shakers |
|Terex Aerial Work Platforms (AWP), a business segment of the Terex Corporation, has appointed David Gillrie as global general manager for the telehandler product line. Before joining Terex AWP, he spent eight years at Ingersoll-Rand in various roles. Most recently, he served as vice president, strategy and business development. Gillrie holds a Masters degree in business administration from Central Michigan University.|
New Castle, DE, United States
Sky-Trax Inc has announced new and re-elected members for its 2009 board of directors.
William L Conley, Jr, was elected chairman. Conley currently serves as chief executive officer of the Bondurant Group. He was president of ATC Logistics & Electronics and has served in several leadership positions with Federal Express and Allied Airfreight.
Lawrence B Costello is founder and managing director of the Lawrence Bradford Group. Before founding LBG, he was senior vice president, human resources, for American Standard Companies and Trane. He had served as human resources vice president for Campbell Soup Company and PepsiCo.
Robert S Levin is founder and president of Republic Partners Inc. Before founding Republic Partners, he worked with Bankers Trust (now Deutsche Bank) as a generalist in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He later became a founding principal of Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm.
James K Adams, II, and Larry G Mahan have been re-elected to the board. Adams is vice chairman of Genco Supply Chain Solutions, a leading third-party supply chain management company. Mahan is president, COO and a co-founder of Sky-Trax Inc.
|Mitsubishi breaks ground in China |
|Japanese machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has broken ground at its new forklift manufacturing factory in Dalian, China.|
Mitsubishi is investing USD49.5 million in the construction of a 100,000 sq m factory to manufacture forklifts initially for the Chinese market. In 2010, the factory will export to Russia and south-east Asia and eventually to the US and the Netherlands.
The factory is being built in the Dalian Economic and Technological Development Area and will be completed in November 2009.
Initially, more than 300 forklifts will be manufactured at the plant with annual production capacity to reach 7,000 units in 2012.
|MHEDA convention sold out |
Vernon Hills, IL, United States
|The Material Handling Equipment Distributors’ Association’s (MHEDA) Annual Convention in May is sold out.|
A MHEDA spokesperson says despite the challenging economy, MHEDA members, such as A&K Equipment Company, have been positive about the industry event.
Al Boston, CEO of A&K Equipment Company, says it is a necessity to go to conventions in tough times. “Anyone who has ever attended a MHEDA convention knows you always get a return on investment by receiving a valuable, industry-specific education.”
The theme for this year’s convention is ‘Powerful Positioning’. Materials handling equipment professionals will have the opportunity to spend four days learning, networking and discovering resources on how to maintain a position of strength, determination and resilience for their company.
Highlights include the Exhibitors’ Showcase, 15 presentations, a networking roundtable session facilitated by industry leaders and more.
The convention is at JW Marriott Desert Springs, in Palm Desert, California, from May 2 to May 6.
|Three new dealers for Hyundai |
Dandenong, Victoria, Australia
|Australia’s exclusive importer of Hyundai forklifts, Flexilift Australia, has appointed three new dealers to carry the brand, one each in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.|
The company, which received its first shipment of Hyundai forklifts last month, says market response to the brand has been positive. General manager Jenny Ritchie says: “We’ve already sold two forklifts and provided numerous quotations, but the market is very quiet across the board at the moment.”
She hopes the current capital investment incentive provided by the Federal Government will kick start the materials handling industry, but says it will probably only happen towards the end of the incentive period in June.
Ritchie says Korean-based Hyundai has announced plans to start manufacturing a 20-25 ton forklift, which she believes will generate significant interest in the Australian mining and timber industries.
|All forklifts sold on auction |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|An auction of 60 forklifts from liquidated forklift supplier Rapid Equip Service, Sales and Hire, of Riverstone, New South Wales, realised around AUD400,000 with 100% clearance.|
“More than 65,000 individuals viewed the catalogue with bidding occurring from every state in Australia,” says GraysOnline general manager Josh Sanders.
He tells Forkliftaction.com News that the auction, conducted on behalf of Rapid Equip’s receiver, Jones Partners, was completely unreserved with every asset starting at AUD9.
“(It’s) another successful result which showed there is still a large market of forklift buyers,” Sanders says.
Rapid Equip went into voluntary administration in late 2008 but, without a proposal to creditors on how it could continue to trade, was placed in liquidation (Forkliftaction.com News #400).
There is no association between this company and Rapid Lift Pty Ltd in Brisbane, Queensland.
|NZ port plans ahead |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Ports of Auckland is gearing up to take advantage of larger vessels arriving in New Zealand in the future.|
The port has applied to deepen a ship berth at its Fergusson container terminal. The move follows the 2007 completion of a major project to deepen the Rangitoto shipping channel, enabling it to cater for larger container ships carrying up to 6,000 TEU.
Ports of Auckland managing director Jens Madsen says: “One effect of the global recession may be that, as shipping lines consolidate their operations, larger vessels arrive in New Zealand sooner than anticipated.”
He says a resource consent application is being prepared now so the port can move quickly to construct the berth when required.
|D&B offers business advice for survival |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|“Focus on the fundamentals. Effectively assess and monitor risk, tightly manage cash flow and market to those customers who represent the best risk.”|
That advice, from credit reporting firm Dun & Bradstreet, comes in the wake of a collapse in world trade, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region and a sharp drop in economic growth for China, which has heightened the downside risk to Australia’s outlook.
The company’s quarterly Global Economic & Risk Outlook report reveals world economic growth for 2009 has been downgraded further to –1.2%, led mainly by deterioration in China and Japan.
Since the September 2008 quarter, some of Australia’s key trading partners in the region - including China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam - have suffered risk downgrades, largely due to the impact on manufacturing supply chains. That has contributed to D&B lowering its growth forecast for Australia in 2009 from 0.5% to -0.2%.
According to D&B, the most significant factor for Australia will be the decline in forecast economic growth for China, which has fuelled much of Australia’s growth over the last decade. The company is forecasting economic growth for China for 2009 of 3.5%, in spite of a rally in stocks since late 2008 and a strong hike in new bank lending in January 2009.
Critically for Australia, Chinese imports plummeted 43.1% year on year in January.
|Survey reveals trends in industry|
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
|Australia’s longest running industry survey – the ACCI-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends – shows business confidence has stabilised, albeit at its lowest level in 18 years, and inflationary pressures are easing.|
However, the rest of the indicators in the March quarter 2009 survey, released last week, remain gloomy with sharp declines reported in actual net outcomes for demand, output, investment, employment, overtime worked and export deliveries.
Greg Evans, ACCI director, industry policy and economics, says: “The outlook of the March quarter survey remains pessimistic and indicates a further deceleration of domestic economic activity and a weakening in export performance. More positively, the sharp decline in business expectations appears to have been contained and inflationary pressures are easing.
“However, with prices declining at a faster pace than costs, the squeeze on profit margins has increased. Capital investment projections have also remained negative.”
The survey’s forward projections for the June quarter predict a decline in new orders and output. Net investment projections for both plant and equipment and buildings are more negative than three months ago. Unemployment is expected to increase in the next quarter. The export deliveries indicator also remains negative. Manufacturers’ profit expectations have continued to decline and are at their lowest level in more than 20 years.
Copies of the full survey are available on the ACCI website at www.acci.asn.au/SurveyACCIWestpac.htm .
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|In the Discussion Forums|
"I own a forklift dealership in Denver Colorado , I am not the big guy in town , nor the smallest , We dont know a lot about the current models and were looking for opinions - good , bad , anything helps , so should I be a Komatsu dealer ?
"lynn_w, United States
"No doubt a dirty word: Does anyone have any US. legal documentation regarding old ratchet-style seatbelts used on lift trucks and back injuries from prolonged use?
"TradeShowDave, United States
"In my experience Watts are at least equal to these brands. If you need a real premium solis tyre for heaviest applications, try Continental.
"tugger, United Kingdom
Editorial Calendar 2009
Rough Terrain forklifts
Safety products in MH
Forklift Market in Canada
Forklift Market in the United Kingdom
Fleet & Asset management
Narrow Aisle forklifts
Forklift batteries and power solutions
Forklift Market in India