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|There are some encouraging signs this week, with one of the world’s major players, Jungheinrich, reporting the second-best earnings in its corporate history for 2008. And while that performance represents trading before the global financial crisis, company executives are confident they’ll make a profit this year. There are also a couple of expansion stories this week, indicating that the downturn is shaking up the dealer market, with consolidation activity increasing as some fall prey to more successful rivals. These are, indeed, interesting times.|
|Jungheinrich boosts earnings in 2008 |
|Jungheinrich AG has ended its 2008 financial year (FY) with record net sales and the second-best earnings in its corporate history.|
However, the German forklift manufacturer is expecting a “significant” reduction in the market and business volume for 2009.
In FY 2008, the group’s net sales increased about 7% from the previous year’s EUR2.001 billion (USD2.657 billion) to EUR2.145 billion (USD2.848 billion). Domestic business grew 10%, while foreign sales grew by 6%. As a result, Jungheinrich’s foreign business to domestic business ratio dropped 1% to 74%.
All divisions contributed to net sales growth but the largest increase was contributed by the new truck business area, which recorded a 9% jump. This is followed by the used and short-term hire equipment business areas, growing at a rate of 7%.
Short-term hire activities gained 8%, contributing to the rise in net sales. The after-sales service business area grew 4%.
Incoming orders climbed 1% to EUR2.145 billion (USD2.848 billion) compared to the previous year’s EUR2.120 billion (USD2.814 billion). However, by 31 December 2008, the value of orders on hand from new truck business had dropped to EUR242 million (USD321 million) compared to the previous year’s EUR334 million (USD443 million).
“Despite the difficult business environment in the second half of 2008, Jungheinrich managed to close the fiscal year with its second-highest earnings after the record level achieved in 2007,” Hans-Georg Frey, board of management chairman, said at an annual press conference in Hamburg last week.
Earnings before interest and taxes decreased 13% to EUR122 million (USD162 million) compared to the previous year’s EUR140 million (USD186 million). Net income was EUR77 million (USD102 million), compared to the previous year’s EUR82 million (USD109 million).
Jungheinrich invested in R&D to strengthen the company’s innovative power. Capital expenditure totalled EUR39 million (USD52 million) compared to the prior year’s EUR41 million (USD54 million).
“We work hard to create new products and services even in times of crisis, in order to win customers in the future,” Frey says.
The group enlarged its workforce in FY2008, focusing on sales and after-sales service. At the end of 2008, the group employed 10,784 people compared to 10,178 the previous year. About 54% or 5,834 people work abroad.
According to Jungheinrich, the global materials handling market declined by about 40% in the fourth quarter, a trend that continued in the first two months of 2009.
“The market was cut in half compared to the preceding year. The trend displayed the sector is thus in line with the development of the mechanical engineering industry as a whole, which strongly depends on exports and is declining by between 30% and 50%,” a group statement says.
In the first two months of 2009, the value of incoming orders was down about 31% to EUR254 million (USD337 million) compared to the previous year’s EUR368 million (USD489 million). By the end of February, net sales amounted to EUR249 million (USD331 million), 19% less than the previous year’s EUR306 million (USD407 million).
Frey says the group prepared for the economic downturn early by compiling a comprehensive crisis-management package.
Construction work on the new warehousing and system truck manufacturing plant in Degernpoint near Moosburg has been postponed and production across all factories was rapidly adapted to declining demand. About 240 temporary staff were cut and 80 temporary employment contracts were not extended. Shorter work shifts were introduced to 2,000 employees at the Norderstedt and Moosburg plants on 1 March.
About 200 members of Jungheinrich Group’s management board and executives have accepted a voluntary pay cut to demonstrate their solidarity with staff affected by shorter work shifts.
Frey says Jungheinrich is braced for a significant reduction in market and business volume in 2009 and that redundancies in certain group units hit hard by the crisis will be “unavoidable”.
The company expects a decrease in earnings but anticipates avoiding posting negative earnings for FY 2009.
|Kalmar to maintain Albania’s largest port |
|Cargotec’s Kalmar business area has been awarded a five-year equipment servicing and maintenance contract by the Durres Port Authority (DPA) in Albania.|
Cargotec technicians will establish procedures to ensure high levels of occupational safety and work efficiency before the contract commences in August.
Wolfgang Stöven, vice president of Cargotec’s Kalmar service, says the DPA is transforming from a service to a landlord-port through its outsourcing of port services to world-class private sector companies, leaving DPA to focus on being the port’s owner, regulator and caretaker.
“Initially, Cargotec will be a service and staff provider, preparing and maintaining the cargo-handling equipment workshop and workshop machinery, including the management of the parts inventory. As the collaboration develops, Cargotec’s role will increasingly progress as the Port Authority’s consultative partner, working in DPA's favour while the port transforms from a primarily cargo handling entity to a well-equipped and specialised container and ro-ro operator,” he explains.
Stöven adds that Cargotec was chosen as DPA’s partner because of its strong Kalmar brand and its reputation for work quality and innovation, and its global service network that includes the Adriatic region.
DPA currently has 155 units of cargo handling equipment including electrical port cranes, mobile harbour cranes, silos, reach stackers, forklifts, tractors, wheel loaders, spreaders, grabs and trailers. Cargotec will be responsible for maintaining the equipment that includes a recently acquired Kalmar empty container handler.
Edward Ndreu, director of DPA, says the contract will secure a high level of maintenance services in the Port of Durres that complies with European best practice.
Stöven agrees that the new partnership will raise the port’s activities towards best practice service levels on par with those maintained in leading ports worldwide.
Sokol Olldashi, the Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Telecommunication for Albania, says Cargotec’s contribution will significantly boost the port’s competitive position in the region and ensure standards and norms similar to Albania’s major trading partners.
Durres is the largest Albanian port, handling about 80% of the country’s seaborne trade. The port is part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor VIII linking Albania to FYR Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Italy. It also serves as a major industrial zone alongside the main highway to Albania’s capital, Tirana.
|RSC opens sites, expects infrastructure work |
Scottsdale, AZ, United States
|RSC Equipment Rental Inc this month is opening new facilities in two Texas cities—Brownsville and Laredo—adjacent to the US-Mexico border.|
An article in the 13 April issue of the weekly financial Barron’s Magazine quoted RSC chief executive Erik Olsson and reported the RSC was positioned to benefit from higher infrastructure expenditures that may occur under the US economic stimulus plan.
Despite economic pressures, publicly traded parent firm RSC Holdings Inc of Scottsdale came close during 2008 to its 2007 performance, although profit fell 0.6%, or USD765,000, on sales that were lower by 0.2%, or USD4 million.
RSC reported 2008 profit of USD122.5 million on 2008 sales of USD1.765 billion versus profit of USD123.3 million on 2007 sales of USD1.769 billion.
RSC rents forklifts for industrial, straight-mast and reach applications along with aerial work platforms, other material handling equipment and a range for construction functions.
As of 31 December, RSC Equipment Rental had 445 locations in 40 US states, and subsidiary RSC Equipment Rental of Canada Ltd operated 19 sites in three Canadian provinces. During 2008, RSC closed or consolidated 43 locations and took related charges of approximately USD8.5 million. The comparable net figures at the end of 2007 were 452 locations in the US and 21 in Canada.
“We believe we are the largest or second largest equipment rental provider in the majority of the regions in which we operate,” RSC says. “In 2008, we serviced approximately 350,000 customers primarily in the industrial or non-construction, and non-residential construction markets.”
On 11 July, RSC acquired certain rights and assets of American Equipment Rentals from Providence, Rhode Island-based FST Equipment Rentals LLC and AER Holding Co LLC (Forkliftaction.com News #369). Subsequent financial filings say RSC paid USD33.2 million in cash and USD200,000 for liabilities assumed.
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|Raymond clarifies market position|
Greene, NY, United States
|Raymond Corporation has issued a statement in response to the recent Forkliftaction.com News special report on the Canadian forklift market.|
“The Raymond Corporation's Class II and total electric truck marketshare has increased significantly in all three countries in North America. One of the reasons for this share growth is because of Raymond's relentless pursuit of enhancing the quality and reliability of their products. Raymond, the inventor of the first narrow-aisle electric lift truck, continues to be a leader in the materials handling industry, providing high-quality, reliable lift trucks, and continuously exploring new innovations and unique custom solutions to meet customers' ever-changing needs,” according to the statement.
|Xtreme boosts telehandler range |
Las Vegas, NV, United States
|Xtreme Manufacturing Inc is adding to its line of telescopic handler lifts and, by the end of 2009, expects to offer the most complete range of telehandlers manufactured in North America.|
Extreme is designing and manufacturing “lower, middle and larger models" with lifting capacities from 5,000 pounds (2,250 kg) to, soon, 30,000 pounds (13,500 kg), says Lee Kramer, president of Xtreme Manufacturing. The largest size is in final development.
Kramer compares the eventual broad Xtreme range with those of other North American telehandler suppliers including Oshkosh Corp's JLG Industries unit; Terex Corp "in the middle and lower" equipment sizes; and Linamar Corp's Skyjack subsidiary and Cargotec Corp's Kalmar RT unit with large-size models.
Another Xtreme competitor, Ancenis, France-based Manitou Group, markets a wide range of telehandlers in the US under the Manitou, Gehl and Mustang brands. Currently, Manitou builds components and most products in France, Italy and China and is boosting US manufacturing activities in Waco, Texas and Yankton and Madison, South Dakota.
Xtreme makes four rough-terrain straight-mast forklift models of 6,000 to 12,000 pounds (2,700 to 5,400 kg) and competes with product lines from Taylor Machines Works Inc, Wiggins Lift Co Inc and Eagle Picher, Kramer notes.
Xtreme focuses on assembly functions at its 65,000-square-foot (5,850 sqm) headquarters facility in Las Vegas and handles most fabrication at its 80,000-square-foot (7,200 sqm) site in Selma, California, about 20.5 miles south of Fresno.
Xtreme introduced its largest machine to date at the 3-6 February exhibition during Hanley Wood LLC's 2009 World of Concrete event in Las Vegas. The XRM 1534 model has capacity to lift 15,000 pounds (6,750 kg) to a height of 34 feet (10.2 m) and carries a list price of USD170,000.
In the US market, Xtreme distributes three small telehandler models that Dieci Srl manufactures in Montecchio Emilia, Italy. "We have exclusive rights to market and sell that product," Kramer says. The low-pivot telescopic boom Dieci units have lifting capacities of 5,000, 6,000 and 7,000 pounds (2,250, 2,700 and 3,150 kg).
"With the current business climate and (foreign) exchange rates, that relationship from a business side is difficult to work with," Kramer notes. Xtreme and Dieci began collaborating in early 2005.
Kramer observes slower sales. "A lot of our business depends on projects, but we have not seen concepts or projects for six to eight months," he says. "We are able to manage the business well, and we do not have an excessive amount of inventory."
Kramer warns against the current tendency to get excited about business possibilities. "Right now, any movement or activity seems to excite us," but, a year earlier, a comparable business indicator would not have caused a person to blink his or her eyes, he says.
Family-owned Xtreme had 2008 sales of USD49.5 million and employs 55 persons, down from 120 in late 2008. "We had major reductions in the fourth quarter," Kramer says.
In another product line, Xtreme designs and manufactures truck beds for attachment to the chassis of customized delivery trucks.
Don Ahern owns Xtreme and also owns and is president of Ahern Equipment Rentals, a Las Vegas-based firm that had 2008 sales of USD329.5 million.
|JLG wins Atlas spare parts contract |
McConnellsburg, PA, United States
|A US Department of Defence unit has awarded a five-year spare parts contract to JLG Industries Inc for the main control valve for the current-production Atlas telehandler. The contract has the potential to reach USD6.3 million.|
Disclosed on 3 April, "this is the latest contract in a long list of multiple-year spare parts contracts that JLG has been awarded in the past few years," says Jeff Ford, senior manager of marketing communications. "JLG strives to supply only quality, genuine (original equipment manufacturer) aftermarket parts to the government."
Since Atlas production began in 1997, McConnellsburg-based JLG has delivered more than 2,300 Atlas vehicles to the US Army and Army Reserves to support combat operations. The equipment is built to reach into trucks or shipping containers, lift loads over obstacles and pick up loads above or below grade.
The Warren, Michigan-based Defence Supply Center Columbus was the contracting agency.
JLG is a business of Oshkosh Corp of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
|Study: Materials handling container demand to grow |
Cleveland, OH, United States
|Demand for rigid bulk packaging is forecast to grow 2.1% annually to USD7 billion in 2013, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group Inc.|
Gains are expected to be bolstered by an improvement in real manufacturing activity and a shift in the product mix toward larger, higher-value containers that offer enhanced performance and cost effectiveness.
Rigid intermediate bulk containers are predicted to record the fastest growth, with demand increasing 4.2% annually through to 2013 due to cost and performance advantages of smaller, single-use packaging.
The outlook for materials handling containers is positive, with the report forecasting above-average growth driven by the increased use of returnable and reusable containers to boost manufacturing efficiency and achieve cost savings.
Drums are expected to continue being the leading rigid bulk packaging product type because of their relatively low cost, reusability and amenability to shipping hazardous materials. However, the study says demand for drums will grow less than 1% annually due to the maturity of steel and fibre drums and a moderation in raw material pricing.
Competition from rigid and flexible intermediate bulk containers are expected to restrain drum sales.
In 2008, non-durable goods markets like chemicals, food, plastics, rubber, fibre, petroleum, lubricants, and agricultural and horticultural products accounted for over 80% of rigid bulk packaging demand.
Chemicals, the leading rigid bulk packaging market, is predicted to advance at a below-average pace because of the maturity of many chemical product segments, increased imports and the movement of key customers to developing regions.
The Rigid Bulk Packaging Study is available for USD4,700 from The Freedonia Group Inc. Visit www.freedoniagroup.com for information.
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|Liebherr works its Combilifts hard |
|Combilift’s first-ever 14 tonne four-way forklift and a smaller, four tonne model are working hard at Liebherr’s manufacturing facility in Biberach, in southern Germany.|
The Biberach site specialises in producing industrial cranes of all sizes and classifications, and drive and steering components for the domestic and export markets.
A massive volume of raw materials and finished product are moved around the site and, previously, the job of conventional sideloaders. However, their lack of maneouvrability and the size of many of Liebherr’s products posed a challenge. The heaviest and largest elements for the tower cranes measure 12.43 metres (40.78 feet) by 2.3 metres (7.5 feet) and weigh about 12 tonnes each.
Combilift’s four-way forklifts met these challenges and are now in Liebherr’s forklift fleet. The four-way trucks work mainly outside. Their large tyres and good ground clearance are suitable for uneven and muddy terrain. The four tonne truck is used for lighter work in the undercover storage area. Its changeover to sideways mode and good visibility from the cab impressed Liebherr.
The Combilifts work on a three-shift basis and load and unload about 90 heavy goods vehicles a day. They keep the dispatch, assembly and paint shop departments continuously supplied with materials. Southern Germany’s harsh winters have imposed no disruption as the trucks are able to work in snow and ice.
“It would be hard to find an application that works its trucks so hard. It is a testimony to their robust design and build that they just keep on going,” says Combilift’s export sales manager in Germany, Ilya Morich.
Morich adds that Combilift’s designers specifically used as few sensitive electronic parts as possible and favoured hydraulics and standard components.
As part of its customised handling solution for Liebherr, hydraulic fork positioners and telescopic forks were fitted to the two Combilifts to enable easy handling of the oversized and various dimensions produced at Biberach.
All Combilifts are manufactured by Combilift Ltd in Monaghan, Ireland. The current range now consists of 15 base models with capacities ranging from 2.5-14 tonnes, with LPG, diesel or AC electric power.
|New Products |
Komatsu Forklift has introduced two new rider stacker trucks with ergonomic cabs to the European market.
The MWS12JA-3R highlift pallet truck is designed for transporting and stacking loads up to 1.2 tonnes. The MWS20JA-3R double-decker pallet truck with a 2.0 tonne load capacity is suitable for transport, stacking and order picking. The trucks are ideal for carrying fruit and vegetables, which can be delicate in stacking operations.
“The new stand-on pallet trucks are designed with a robust steel chassis as well as a low-maintenance electric motor. Managers can be sure to control costs,” claims Komatsu Forklift Europe general sales manager Rory Harvey-Kelly.
Drivers can choose a standing or seating operation position and the truck’s seat height is adjustable. The sideways working position allows good visibility and operator safety is enhanced by electric steering. The steering motor speed is electronically controlled by a sensor so speed is automatically reduced on curves when the steering angle exceeds a fixed threshold.
Buffalo Grove, IL, United States
Ravas USA has introduced iForks, which it claims are the first completely wireless scale forks for forklifts, reach trucks and narrow aisle trucks.
The scale forks have no external cabling as all components are fully integrated in the forks. The “plug & weigh” system can be installed onto forklifts quickly. Once installed, loads can be instantly lifted by the forklift and accurately weighed.
Bluetooth technology enables each scale fork to communicate the weight lifted with the cabin’s weight indicator. The weight indicator offers a range of functions – gross/net weight, total weight per shipment, code entry, date/time of registration and piece counting.
The indicator can provide weight data transfer to a printer, a data terminal or directly to a WMS or ERP system via RS232, Bluetooth or WiFi.
|Still honoured as Daimler supplier|
Still GmbH was awarded the Daimler Supplier Award for 2008 at a Stuttgart meeting last month.
Still received the award in the Manufacturing Equipment & Services category for its “outstanding performance in cost, quality, technology and logistics”.
Proton Motor exhibits at Hannover Messe
Proton Motor will showcase its PM Basic A 50 fuel cell system, which was used to equip the world’s first fuel cell-powered passenger ferry, the FCS “Alsterwasser”, at the Hannover Messe 2009.
The fuel cell system is also used in buses and for stationary power generation.
Proton Motor made news in 2007 when it combined a fuel cell, a battery and supercapacitors to produce a triple-hybrid forklift system (Forkliftaction.com News #331).
Konecranes signs new revolving credit facility
Konecranes has signed a new EUR200 million (USD265 million) three-year revolving credit facility with its core relationship banks.
The loan will be used for general corporate purposes and is a refinancing of the EUR200 million (USD265 million) facility signed in March 2005.
Konecranes’ group sales for 2008 totaled EUR2.103 billion (USD2.790 billion) and it employs 9,900 people in 43 countries.
Nissan Nine dealers awarded
Marengo, IL, United States
Nissan Forklift Corp has announced its Nissan Nine Dealer of Excellence award winners for 2008.
The awards program is designed to recognise the company’s top nine forklift dealers based on sales achievement.
Dealers are evaluated in categories including unit sales, market penetration, parts sales, professionalism, service and overall performance.
The list of winners can be found on www.nissanforklift.com.
|Movers & Shakers |
|Marengo, IL, United States|
Nissan Forklift Corp (NFC) has appointed Peter Kruse as president for its North and South American operations.
Kruse succeeds Takanobu Tokugawa and is the first American in Nissan Forklift’s history to be appointed to the position.
Kruse joined NFC in July 2004 as chief financial officer six months after the company introduced its Platinum internal combustion forklifts. His contributions helped lead NFC to streamline the Marengo operations, resulting in “increased efficiencies, favourable cost restructuring and improved financial stability”.
NFC says Kruse’s assistance in the company’s goal to boost its brand identity in the Latin American markets has made a positive impact on overall market penetration.
Before joining NFC, Kruse had nearly 20 years of financial experience in industrial manufacturing and consumer products companies including Honeywell and Newell Rubbermaid. He focused on areas that included strategy development and execution, financial process improvement and cash flow optimisation.
Chicago, IL, United States
Sauer-Danfoss Inc has appointed Jesper V Christensen as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective May 1.
Christensen succeeds Karl J Schmidt who announced his resignation last week. Schmidt will remain with Sauer-Danfoss until April 30.
Christensen, 39, has been vice president, finance, IT & HR of the Danfoss Motion Controls division since 2007. He will be responsible for finance, accounting, legal, investor relations and information technology functions and will be based in Neumünster, Germany.
Sven Ruder, company CEO, says: “I have worked with Jesper for eight years. He brings strong interpersonal and leadership skills and a successful career in finance, IT, business services and HR to our company.”
|Linde carries Giant Panda to Xiamen zoo |
|A Linde electric tow tractor was used to transport a Giant Panda in a two-metre long cage from Sichuan Wolong Nature Reserve.|
The mammal, known as “Giant Panda No. 21”, arrived safely at the Haicang Zoo in Xiamen.
Meanwhile, a German delegation comprising of members of parliament, the federal ministry of economics and technology, the Atlantic Bridge Federation and the business community visited Linde’s Chinese headquarters last week.
CP Quek, Linde China’s chief executive, also Xiamen Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment vice president, hosted the group and shared the company’s best practices of running a successful German business in China.
|China forklift expo “the industry’s choice”|
|Organisers of the 5th Guangzhou International Brand Forklift & Accessories Exhibition (BFE 2009) are calling the event a success.|
The expo was held at the Pazhou Complex of Chinese Import & Export Fair from March 6-8. A well-attended sales conference by China Forklift Parent Company and Guangzhou Best Exhibition Co Ltd was held on the last day of the expo at Guangzhou Jin Jia Li Hotel.
About 20 member-companies of China Forklift Parent Company and forklift and parts manufacturers like Heli, Hangcha, Dacha, Jingjiang, Xiacha, Liugong, YTO, Shuangli, Shanghai Yufan, Yucai, Baoxiang and Yichang participated.
The conference was chaired by Zhao Yiming, China Forklift Parent Company’s general manager.
Zhao presented a detailed report on China’s forklift sales and industry trends. Other forklift manufacturers’ representatives gave speeches and expressed their views on the effects of the financial crisis on the industry.
Tailift, Jianghuai, Good Friend Company, Sunward Intelligent, KIPOR and YTO showcased their newest forklifts, accessories and materials handling technologies to over 30,000 expo visitors.
BFE 2009, which is approved by China’s ministry of commerce, was organised by the China Construction Machinery Association, the Industrial Motor Vehicle Branch, China Forklift Parent Company, the China National Construction Machinery Quality Supervising Test Centre and Hong Kong International Exhibition Group Company.
|New WA premises for JLG |
Kewdale, Western Australia, Australia
|Access equipment specialist JLG Industries has opened new premises in Perth, designed to improve support to customers in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. |
It is the fourth new JLG facility opened in Australia in the last three years.
Based in Kewdale, the new premises are nearly four times as large as JLG’s previous Western Australian branch and include a service base, replacement parts and training facilities as well as JLG sales and administrative offices.
Speaking at the opening last month, JLG vice president and MD – Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Satterley said the new facility is designed to provide the support necessary to keep its customers’ machines in as-new condition for many years after their initial purchase.
“We believe our customers start with an advantage because of the level of productivity built into every new JLG elevated work platform and telehandler. These new premises, the additional field service technicians, parts holdings, and training facilities provide all the options to maintain that advantage.”
|Entries close soon for safety awards|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Entries for this year’s WorkSafe Victoria Awards close on 24 April.|
“Safety is part of running a business. The awards show others that many issues can be dealt with quickly and with relatively little expense, but delivering great benefits,” says WorkSafe’s executive director John Merritt.
“A lot of people find they can apply the experience of others to their own business, even if it’s a totally different industry, while others use the awards as a springboard to exposing their work to a broad audience and commercial benefits.”
He says the awards support WorkSafe's efforts to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries in Victoria by promoting people who were 'having a go'.
“Safety’s a matter for employers and workers to get together on and come up with creative solutions. Everyone’s workplace is different so the approach taken dealing with hazards can vary a lot.”
A number of last year’s award winners have moved up to the national Safe Work Australia Awards, which will be announced in Canberra on 28 April.
Categories for 2009 include:
• Health and Safety Representative of the Year
• Health and Safety Committee of the Year
• Best Health and Safety Initiative in a Small Business
• Best Design for Workplace Safety
• Best Strategy for Health and Safety Management
• Best Solution for Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders
• Best Solution to a Health and Safety Risk
|Container volumes fall at Auckland |
Auckland, New Zealand
|Container volumes at New Zealand’s largest container port, Ports of Auckland, were 193,882 TEU for the three months ended 31 March 2009, down 7.4% compared to the same period last year.|
Total ship calls numbered 406, down from 438.
On the plus side, March saw a 5% year-on-year increase in full export containers, and international cruise ship calls holding steady at 43 calls for the quarter, compared to 44 last year.
The port’s container terminals hit new productivity highs during the quarter, with a 10.9% increase in crane rate and 3.6% decrease in staff hours per container compared to the same quarter last year.
|Traffic management plan essential for forklifts|
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|WorkSafe Victoria has developed a health and safety solution for workplaces that use forklifts.|
It advises that all workplaces that use forklifts should have a traffic management plan in place that ensures pedestrians and forklifts are physically separated.
Forklifts cause more workplace deaths and injuries than any other piece of equipment, and more than half the people killed in forklift-related incidents in the last 10 years have been pedestrians.
The organisation notes that even forklifts travelling at low speeds can crush pedestrians.
According to the safety document published last month, businesses should firstly identify hazards related to forklifts at the workplace and assess the risk of people coming into contact with those hazards.
They should then put in place risk control measures to eliminate or minimise any risks.
When identifying risk controls, consider:
• where reasonably practicable, eliminating the risk altogether;
• the most efficient route of travel;
• traffic flows;
• ways to reduce the frequency of interaction with powered mobile plant; and
• substituting a forklift with other suitable load shifting equipment.
A traffic management plan may use a range of devices, such as:
• pedestrian and forklift exclusion zones;
• safety zones for truck drivers;
• safety barriers;
• floor markings;
• containment fences; and
• speed limiting devices and signs.
Involve health and safety representatives, forklift operators and other employees when putting the traffic management plan together. The controls should be reviewed regularly.
All people at the workplace, including contractors and visitors, must be advised about the workplace’s traffic management plan (eg. during workplace induction).
For further information, contact WorkSafe Advisory Service Toll-free: 1800 136 089
|Container trade in NSW celebrates 40th |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|This month marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the first dedicated container ship in Sydney, the UK-based ‘Encounter Bay’ at Balmain Wharf in 1969.|
“This was the beginning of the world’s first long-haul containerised freight
service -- the Europe to Australia run – and it ushered in a new era that’s been fundamental to the development of the Australian economy,” says ports and waterways minister Joe Tripodi.
“Containerisation transformed seaborne trade by sharply reducing ship
turnaround times in port, introducing larger and faster vessels and ultimately cutting costs.
“Container trade also improved the security of cargo on the docks and in
transit but it was their greater capacity that changed world trade forever.
“One container ship replaced about eight conventional ships when taking into account increased capacity and quicker round voyage times.”
The ‘Encounter Bay’ was the first cellular container ship to carry more than
1,000 TEU compared to as many as 4,500 TEU for the larger container ships which visit Botany Bay today.
In the first full year of overseas container ships operating in the Port of Sydney, some 118,000 TEU were handled compared with the 1.8 million TEU in the last financial year.
Tripodi says with Port Botany the primary gateway for overseas containerised trade, the NSW government is investing in the port’s expansion to cater for future container growth.
“The AUD1 billion expansion and construction of a third terminal will nearly double the port’s capacity to around three million containers when the project is completed in 2012.”
The ships expected to berth at the new terminal will have capacity up to
|New pallet solution from Toyota |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Forklift supplier Toyota Material Handling Australia has launched a new range of pedestrian electric-powered pallet trucks and stackers. |
The new range of BT Levio electric-powered pallet trucks has five model choices, with payloads ranging from 1.4 to 2.5 tonnes.
The company has also launched a new eight-model BT Staxio range of electric-powered stackers, with a payload range of 0.8 to 1.4 tonnes.
The first BT Levio models have arrived in Australia from Sweden, with the first BT Staxio models expected in the second quarter of this year.
A new range of BT Reflex Series reach trucks is also due for launch this quarter.
According to TMHA national product manager, electric products, Stuart Warren, the three new product ranges represent 70% of the total electric forklift market in Australia.
"The key development objectives for these machines were: safety, durability, reliability and ease of operation. The acceleration, maximum speed, braking characteristics and tortoise speed function can be programmed to suit individual operators.”
Each machine has PIN-code start up, so it can assume the appropriate setting for each operator and prevent use by untrained personnel.
"The reliability and durability of both the pallet trucks and stackers have been enhanced through design improvements and the introduction of AC technology to reduce maintenance costs and extend shift life from batteries," says Warren.
He notes that other improvements include the use of electrical connectors to prevent the intermittent faults sometimes created by deteriorating connections in wiring.
"Also included are quick-release hydraulic connections on all hydraulic hoses - to reduce the time it takes for service technicians to service the equipment and carry out repairs," he adds.
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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