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|With the whiff of recovery in the air, businesses – especially smaller ones – seem to have stepped up their hunt for new business and their efforts to retain existing customers. And they’re going online to do it, according to new research from the Princeton, NJ-based Kelsey Group. Kelsey’s latest study finds that online advertising has risen from 22% to 36.8% of the marketing budget of smaller companies. The analysts were surprised by the growth in online advertising, given that there was no indication 12 months ago that businesses were considering the shift. The study also notes that businesses are getting smarter, with more targeted advertising, the use of video and contextual targeting ads. Smaller businesses may be spending less overall on advertising, but their internet spend is soaring.|
|Keeping the industry rolling |
|Tyres and wheels are the only piece of equipment on a forklift in constant and direct contact with the ground. Melissa Barnett reports that while these components are crucial to the safety, efficiency and handling of the vehicle, they are often the most neglected piece of materials handling equipment. Read more|
|More jobs to go at Grammer |
|At the end of the second quarter of this year, Grammer AG had 25% fewer employees than the same period last year, and the company is expecting more cuts in the future.|
The seat manufacturer’s consolidated revenue for the first half of the year was EUR341.7 million (USD485.6 million) or 37.6% lower than the previous year. Consolidated EBIT was EUR19.4 million (USD27.6 million) compared to the prior year’s EUR21.9 million (USD31.1 million).
One-off restructuring costs of EUR9.8 million (USD13.9 million) played “a significant role in the earnings decline”, Grammer says. Measures implemented for Grammer’s capacity adjustment are “having a positive effect” but the reduced costs have yet to offset the drop in revenues.
Among Grammer’s markets, Europe was particularly affected with revenues down 38.2% to EUR249.7 million (USD355.1 million). North and South America saw revenues fall from the previous year’s EUR82.6 million (USD117.5 million) to EUR44.4 million (USD63.1 million).
“We expect the situation in the relevant markets to remain difficult,” says Grammer CEO Dr Kempis.
“Although the bottom seems to have been reached in automotive business, we are anticipating further production cuts by customers in the seating systems division,” Kempis adds.
Revenue in the company’s seating systems division fell by about 40% from the previous year’s EUR210.4 million (USD299.2 million) to EUR125.9 million (USD179 million), due to “substantial order declines” in offroad and truck products.
At the end of the second quarter of 2009, there were 7,320 people working for Grammer, 2,434 employees or 25% fewer than the previous year.
Grammer expects its full-year consolidated revenue to be about 30% lower than the previous year’s and more employee cuts are imminent.
Grammer, a producer of automotive interior systems and components and seats for off-road vehicles, trucks, buses and trains, is represented in 17 countries through 23 fully consolidated subsidiaries. Its shares are listed in the SDAX segment of the German Stock Exchange.
|Cargotec buys service company |
|Cargotec is acquiring Danish sales and service company Arne Holst & Co A/S.|
Both parties are keeping the acquisition price confidential. The acquisition includes the business assets and customer contacts of Arne Holst of Kvistgaard, north of Copenhagen.
“Arne Holst & Co has been a valued agent and service provider for Kalmar products and parts and for MacGregor equipment for over 20 years,” says Ismo Vaihtamo, Cargotec’s director of container business for North Europe.
Vaihtamo adds that the acquisition will boost Cargotec’s presence as a distributor of equipment and parts, and as a service provider, in Denmark. The assets of Arne Holst & Co will be integrated into Cargotec’s subsidiary Kalmar Danmark A/S.
Cargotec has recently merged Kalmar and Hiab into one business area to increase operational efficiency and boost its customer service (Forkliftaction.com News #424). This is in line with its “On the Move” change program launched in February 2008.
Cargotec expects the merger to save EUR15 million (USD21.3 million) for the EMEA region alone by the end of 2009 and a further EUR5 million (USD7.1 million) by 2010.
Pekka Vauramo will head the merged business area while Pekka Vartiainen continues to lead Hiab until the end of this year.
|Hoist wins job from Alabama port |
Mobile, AL, United States
|The Alabama State Port Authority has awarded a contract worth USD1.24 million for two high-capacity forklifts to Hoist Liftruck Manufacturing Inc.|
The authority needs the equipment to handle steel slabs at its USD115 million Pinto Terminal now under construction at the deep-water port in Mobile and slated for initial operations in early 2010.
Bedford Park, Illinois-based Hoist won the contract for the 100,000 pound (45,000 kg) capacity machines in a competition with four other forklift manufacturers.
The Mobile branch of family-operated Cowin Equipment Co Inc will function as servicing dealer for the Hoist forklifts.
Marty Flaska, Hoist Liftruck president, comments: “Our machines are manufactured to handle demanding and rugged applications such as steel slabs. . . . We look forward to seeing the trucks operating there when the project is complete.” Hoist plans to deliver the P-Series P1000 forklifts before the end of 2009.
A standard Cummins Tier III diesel engine provides power for forklifts in the pneumatic P-Series, which Hoist recently redesigned. Other components include Dana automatic transmission, AxleTech planetary drive axle, outboard wet disc brakes, wide-view two-stage mast, electronic fingertip controls, true inching control, easy-access service points and RemoteTech vehicle management system.
The Port of Mobile, the 10th largest in the US in 2006, is located along the Mobile River at the entry to Mobile Bay. The authority owns and operates the port’s public terminals, which handle containerised, bulk, break bulk, roll-on/roll-off and heavy lift cargoes. Private bulk terminal operators are also located there.
The Pinto Terminal, a free-standing marine facility, will be equipped with three wide-span gantry cranes manufactured in Shanghai, China by Zhenhua Port Machinery Co Ltd. Each crane will have state-of-the-art magnetic lifting gear that is configured to unload product from ships to either barges or direct to storage.
Annually, the 20-acre terminal will be capable of handling more than 10 billion pounds (4.5 billion kg) of semi-finished steel slab.
The authority says the lift technology and design of the Pinto Terminal are unprecedented in North America.
|UpRight adds Airco as distributor |
Panama City, Panama
|A Tanfield Group plc business unit has appointed Airco SA of Panamá City as the authorised distributor of UpRight Powered Access equipment in that country.|
“Airco can deliver some new routes to market for UpRight, and we can grow our businesses together,” says Alberto Castillo, manager of Airco’s machinery division.
Several months of negotiation preceded the August appointment, which extends UpRight’s global dealer network.
Airco was established in 1966, occupies 5,200 sqm and is among Panamá’s leading providers of construction and industrial machinery representing the New Holland, Wacker Neusen, Manitou and Ausa brands in addition to UpRight. The facilities include a showroom, demonstration area, warehouse, repair shop and offices.
Holding company Tanfield acquired the powered access business of UpRight in 2006. At that time, UpRight was manufacturing its lifts in Dublin, Ireland.
“We transferred all production to our global headquarters, Vigo Centre in Washington”, says Dan Jenkins, Tanfield media relations representative.
In a streamlining process in North America except for Panamá, Tanfield has phased out the UpRight identity. “Its people, products and facilities are now all fully integrated into Snorkel International,” Jenkins says. Tanfield’s Snorkel business unit has a facility for production of aerial work and vertical mast access platforms in Elwood, Kansas.
“At present, UpRight remains the lead brand in the rest of the world, bar Australia and New Zealand,” where, historically, Snorkel also had a strong presence, according to Jenkins.
The integration included a former UpRight spare parts distribution center in Fresno, California that serves now “as our West Coast distribution center for spare parts and aerial lifts”, Jenkins notes. “Snorkel is also opening an East Coast distribution centre to reduce shipping costs for our customers on the Atlantic coast.”
Jenkins notes that the global aerial lift industry has been hit hard by the recession. “All our major competitors are reporting sales down 60-70% for the first half of 2009. . . . We have faced challenges, and, like all our major competitors, we have resized all our operations in line with current market conditions.”
Tanfield reports on its first half financials in September and Jenkins notes positive steps.
“Snorkel has launched a Recon program to capitalise on the growing impetus from rental companies to refurbish the larger, big-ticket boom lifts, rather than invest in new equipment,” he says. “We continue to develop some exciting new global products for launch next year” at the American Rental Association trade show on 7-10 February in Orlando, Florida.
Further, in July in North America, “we initiated the Touch program, where Snorkel is contacting every single customer on its books by phone – all 4,000 of them – with the entire team from the vice president down hitting the phones,” Jenkins says,
“Now that we have integrated the UpRight products and people into the Snorkel business, we have a unified North American operation with a stronger product portfolio, better sales and better distribution than ever before,” he notes. “We firmly believe this is a very strong base from which to grow when the market comes back around for its next upswing in the cycle.”
Twelve firms in the US and one in Canada represent the firm’s brands of aerial lift and powered access equipment.
In addition to the Snorkel and UpRight lines, Tanfield manufactures Smith electric vehicles and, through SEV materials handling, offers forklift trucks and other warehousing equipment for sale or hire through a United Kingdom depot network.
|Mitsubishi meets Norwegian customers’ needs |
|Mitsubishi Forklift has established a new branch to provide continued service to its Norwegian customers after its dealer succumbed to the global recession.|
Birgitta van den Bosch, Mitsubishi’s regional sales manager, tells Forkliftaction.com News that the company’s former dealer, Al Maskin, has closed down.
“Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Trucks BV has taken over the staff, the location, service vans, tools and registered a [new] company,” van den Bosch says.
The new company, Mitsubishi Gaffeltruck Norge, will move to new premises in Oslo at the end of the year. There are currently 28 people working for the branch, located in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Tromso and Trondheim – to provide a nationwide support network.
Van den Bosch says not all of Al Maskin’s staff are working at the new branch.
“We will make use of the in-house experience and possibilities from the Mitsubishi factory in Almere. Some of the workload can be moved to the Netherlands, like putting attachments on trucks centrally or making use of direct distribution to customers.”
According to World Industrial Truck Statistics, Mitsubishi Forklift’s marketshare for warehouse and counterbalance trucks has been around 6% in Scandinavia for the last four years. Van den Bosch says the global recession did not affect its dealers’ marketshare, but as the market declined, so did the number of forklifts supplied.
Van den Bosch says the company’s employees and customers have been loyal during the process of establishing Mitsubishi Gaffeltruck Norge. “Scandinavia has always been an important contribution to our company. We did not want to disappoint our long-term customers and jeopardize our long standing relationships.”
The Mitsubishi forklift brand has been represented in Scandinavia since the 1970s. Mitsubishi has had a higher market share for counterbalance trucks than warehouse trucks in Scandinavia.
Van den Bosch says Mitsubishi aims to boost its marketshare for both warehouse and counterbalance trucks in Scandinavia next year.
|Good experience prompts firm’s Loadall order |
Rocester, United Kingdom
|Waste recycling firm, John Wade Group, has expanded its fleet with hi-spec JCB Loadall telehandlers and compact-wheeled loading shovels for its growing business.|
Comprising haulage, aggregates and waste divisions, the company operates at the Aycliffe quarry near Darlington, which also houses its materials recycling facility. It has operated JCB wheeled loading shovels for several years.
“We like that they (JCB shovels) can be tailor-made to our demanding specifications and can handle the arduous conditions in the aggregates and recycling environments,” says company owner John Wade.
He explains that it was “the natural choice” for the company to order the 531-70 Loadalls when telehandlers were needed because of the positive experience it had had with the shovels, and the service from JCB dealer, TC Harrison JCB.
The new telehandlers load materials into high-sided containers at the Civic Amenity Site and Waste Transfer Station, which The John Wade Group operates on behalf of Darlington Council under an 11-year contract.
Meanwhile, the JCB wheeled loading shovels are used at the Aycliffe site to unload the picking station bays, load the hoppers and bailers, load lorries and handle sand gravel in the aggregates yard.
John Wade Group supplies aggregates and recycled products to the DIY, civil construction and equestrian industries, and provides waste management and landfill services to the commercial, agricultural and construction sectors.
JCB’s extensive equipment line-up for the waste management sector includes the JCB Wastemaster wheeled loading shovels, telehandlers, wheeled excavators, tracked excavators, rough-terrain forklifts and skid steer loaders.
|Jungheinrich employee recognised by Shell |
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
|Jungheinrich employee John Carroll has been recognised by Shell for his contribution to improving safe work practices at its Lubrication Centre at Ellesmere Port.|
Carroll, who has been based at the Shell site for 10 years, received a Shell Goal Zero certificate for his ideas on improving forklift operator safety at the centre that is a part of Shell’s Stanlow manufacturing complex.
“Stanlow’s health and safety record is excellent but I am pleased that my suggestions will play a part in [its] continuous health and safety development programme,” Carroll says.
The Stanlow manufacturing complex is at the heart of Britain’s oil and chemical production industry. The only Shell refinery in the UK, it is a massive converter of crude oil into products that are the lifeblood of British industries.
Shell recently updated its forklift fleet at the site with new Jungheinrich models. Carroll manages the team of Jungheinrich after-sales service engineers based at the facility to ensure the forklifts’ uptime.
The Shell Goal Zero scheme rewards staff and contractors for developing methods to improve safety in the organisation.
Jungheinrich UK Ltd, a division of German-owned Jungheinrich AG, supplies pallet trucks, stackers, counterbalance forklifts, very narrow aisle, reach trucks, order pickers and stacker cranes in the UK.
|Balanced, swift, calculated, efficient, safe and beautiful. |
|They move in harmony with their machine. Every move is safe and practiced.|
They move quickly and aggressively. Every move is fast and precise.
They move gracefully and lightly. Every move is the right move.
Balanced, swift, calculated, efficient, safe and beautiful.
The Roger Federers and the Andy Roddicks of the forklift Industry will be there.
The Portuguese will be there.
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Sponsors wanted now.
Competitors enter now.
US Open Forklift Safety Rodeo 2009.....Click here to view the Higgins Group Website
|Parkinson succeeds Lavelle at Doosan Infracore unit |
|Kim Parkinson has succeeded Michael Lavelle as head of the forklift division of Doosan Infracore Co Ltd’s North American subsidiary.|
Parkinson was named director and chief operating officer of the Warrensville Heights-based forklift business of Doosan Infracore America Corp, effective July 1.
Parkinson joined the organisation in 2000 and, most recently, was general manager of sales and dealer development for the forklift division. Parkinson has more than 25 years’ experience in the materials handling industry. He graduated from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
Lavelle served as president of the forklift division from January 2007 to June 2009.
Lavelle started his forklift industry career in 1974 with the Cleveland, Ohio branch of Clark Equipment Co. He worked for 21 years in the Clark dealer organisation, 11 years with Daewoo Equipment Corp and—after the Doosan acquisition of the Daewoo forklift business—four years with Doosan.
Mark Evans heads the technical and product support group for the US operations of the Doosan forklift division.
Indications from the Doosan organisation point to the potential for delays in timely publishing of industry reports for the dealership network and some tardiness in conveying program payments to dealers. Marketing representative Al Grywalski left the Doosan team last week.
In mid-March, dealer North Georgia Lift Truck Service of Rome, Georgia discontinued operations due to economic pressures (Forkliftaction.com News #403).
In early 2009, Doosan says it added representation through independent distributors Associated Supply Co Inc of Lubbock, Texas for four markets in that state; Kelly Tractor Co of Miami, Florida for three markets in that state; and Morrison Industrial Equipment Co. of Grand Rapids, Michigan for seven Michigan markets and two regions in Indiana.
Publicly traded parent firm Doosan Group, is based in Seoul, South Korea.
|Airgas, Nuvera link in fuel cell agreement|
|Industrial gas supplier Airgas Inc of Radnor and hydrogen fuel cell maker Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc of Billerica and Milan, Italy have struck a deal involving systems for forklifts.|
Airgas and Nuvera reached a five-year marketing, sales and service agreement to provide hydrogen generators and stations to the North American materials handling market.
Under the agreement, Nuvera manufactures the PowerTap-brand systems, and Airgas provides distribution, installation, monitoring and maintenance of the equipment along with backup hydrogen supplies at customer sites.
The sustainable technology lowers carbon dioxide emissions and eliminates “more costly, resource-intense battery installations and disposal”, says Peter McCausland, Airgas chairman and chief executive officer. “By combining Nuvera’s technology and manufacturing expertise with Airgas’ nationwide distribution capability, we’re able to provide the lowest total cost energy solution for these customers.”
A goal for Nuvera is to boost commercialisation of its products. “With this new distribution and service channel for our PowerTap systems and source for backup hydrogen, the materials handling market has a reliable, cost-effective and reputable source of hydrogen,” notes Roberto Cordaro, Nuvera CEO.
The agreement was announced on 17 August.
Publicly traded Airgas employs more than 14,000 people in 1,100 branches, retail stores, gas-fill plants, specialty gas labs and production facilities. Among Airgas competitors are Air Products and Chemicals Inc of Allentown, Pennsylvania and L’Air Liquide SA of Paris.
Among its project2, Nuvera is supplying 14 fuel cell systems to HE Butt Grocery Co for installation on Class 2 reach forklifts in a Texas perishables distribution center (Forkliftaction.com News #415). In February, Nuvera disengaged from a four-year fuel cell project with East Penn Manufacturing Co Inc of Lyon Station, Pennsylvania, and each firm indicated an intention to pursue the market from different perspectives, Nuvera in electrochemical fuel cells and East Penn in hybrid fuel cell technology (Forkliftaction.com News #397). Among others, privately owned Nuvera competes with the GenDrive fuel cell system from Plug Power Inc of Latham, New York.
|Movers & Shakers |
Bruno Fille has resigned from his position as Manitou BF’s executive vice president and as a member of the board. Fille, who leaves the company for personal reasons, will give up all his roles in the group’s subsidiaries by 30 September.
Manitou has appointed Hervé Rochet as financial director, Jérôme Tertrais as human resources director and Hervé Saulais as general secretary to the group’s executive committee. Saulais will supervise all legal, information systems, internal auditing and communications functions. He spent three years in the Alcatel-Alsthom Group before occupying subsidiary management controller positions at Manitou from 1994-1997. After that, he took over the management of an industrial SME before joining SFERT, the Manitou group control holding company, as a representative.
Milwaukee, WI, United States
Mani Iyer, president of Mahindra USA Inc in Tomball, Texas, has been appointed a director of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). AEM directors help set the guidelines and operating policies of the association on behalf of its members.
|Sample of used equipment for sale:||Search 4367 listings in the Marketplace|
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Click here to include your used forklifts, stackers, telehandlers, container handlers, attachments etc.
|Traka saves Tesco big bucks|
Traka will upgrade more than 2,200 forklifts at Tesco’s 22 UK distribution centres, saving the supermarket giant GBP1 million (USD1.6 million) a year.
According to Logisticsmanager.com, each forklift driver will be issued a Traka IFob key, replacing the existing ignition key or PIN access pad.
Before the new system, forklift keys were collected and returned at the start and end of shifts, causing bottlenecks when accessing keys.
The new approach is reported to save two minutes per person per truck, saving about 80,000 hours a year, the equivalent of GBP1 million (USD1.6 million) in savings.
Linde holds forklift competition
Linde (China) has collaborated with CCTV-4 to hold a forklift driving competition near the Bird Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing.
Six drivers tested out their skills in the competition, which Linde says showcased the advantages of the Linde forklift.
TVH distributes Fluke
The TVH Group has become the official distributor of Fluke measuring equipment.
TVH’s measuring equipment to repair and diagnose forklift problems now include Fluke’s digital multimeters, clamp meters, laser distance meters, infrared thermometers, thermal imagers and scopemeters.
|Coverage about the California Air Resources Board extension of verification on Nett Technologies Inc systems (Forkliftaction.com News #424) misstated BlueCat 300 properties, which are 1.0 gram per brake horsepower-hour (1.3 grams per kilowatt hour) of emissions of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide for engines with 3.0 litres displacement and below and 2.0g/bhp-hr (2.7g/kW-hr) for engines above 3.0 litres displacement. Also, the state agency excludes aerial lifts on its off-road large-spark-ignition engine regulation.|
|Freight conference in Brisbane |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|For the first time, the AusIntermodal conference, now in its ninth year, will be held in Brisbane.|
Hosted by the Port of Brisbane Corporation, the annual event brings together government departments, the leaders of Australia's ports, shipping lines, logistics service providers, engineering, freight operators, rail companies and analysts to discuss intermodal issues and the future of the nation’s freight industry.
Scheduled for 17-18 September at the Stamford Plaza, the two-day conference includes a site tour of the Port of Brisbane for delegates to gain a greater insight into the operations of Queensland’s largest general cargo port, and one of Australia’s fastest-growing container ports.
This year, AusIntermodal will focus on where infrastructure spending is necessary and what modal connections are needed to ensure efficiency across the freight transport chain.
Among others, speakers include: Tony Davidson, co-chair, Freight & Logistics Council of NSW (FALCON); Jeff Coleman, CEO, Port of Brisbane Corporation; Terry Garwood, executive director-Freight, Logistics and Marine, Department of Transport, Victoria; Steve Meyrick, group manager, GHD Meyrick; Paul Sullivan, general manager, Strategy & Communications, National Transport Commission; Hal Morris, CEO, Australian Logistics Council; Grant Gillfillan, CEO, Sydney Ports Corporation; Stephen Bradford, CEO, Port of Melbourne Corporation; Doug Schultz, divisional general manager, Patrick Container Ports; and Chris Mangan, secretary, Queensland Multimodal Freight Council.
|Beverage company updates forklift fleet |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Toyota Material Handling is delivering some 200 forklifts as part of a five-year contract to beverage company Schweppes, with completion due in 2010.|
The company chose Toyota over a number of other forklift companies, with Schweppes’ logistics execution manager Danny Murphy explaining: “We weren’t just looking for a company to sell us forklifts..
“Ultimately, we went with Toyota Material Handling because we are confident they will work with us as a partner to help reduce our forklift fleet operating costs. We’re even working with them to trial the introduction of vacuum layer picker attachments at some sites.”
Flexibility was a key characteristic, with the contract tailored to the company’s needs.
“Even though many of the new forklifts are already in service and others won’t be required until next year, they will all have a common expiry date on their rental agreements. In 2013, when our next fleet replacement exercise is due, we’ll be able to start with a clean sheet,” says Murphy.
|Freight safety day |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Freight Safety Day, part of Freight Week which takes place in Melbourne from 7-11 September, will highlight the importance of safety in the freight logistics industry.|
Highlights of the Program Schedule include a presentation by Ken Lay, deputy commissioner of Victoria Police, who will present an in-depth analysis of road safety.
Dr Jeff Potter, safety manager of the National Transport Commission, will discuss who is setting the best example in road safety around the world, and encourage freight industry leaders to follow suit.
Freight Week 2009 will bring together CEOs, senior management, operations and fleet managers, OH&S managers, manufacturers, supply chain and logistics managers, purchasing managers, warehousing managers, compliance managers, equipment providers, technology vendors, consultants and regulators.
|Brisbane port announces price increase |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|The Port of Brisbane Corporation (PBC) has announced a new schedule of port charges, to take effect from 1 December 2009. |
According to CEO Jeff Coleman, trade charges had not increased in Brisbane since 1982, and some charges had even been reduced.
“Despite not increasing our charges over the last 27 years, we have invested heavily in new infrastructure and facility upgrades, in a climate of increasing costs,” says Coleman.
“We have invested over AUD790 million in capital expenditure in the last five years alone, and it is critical that we continue this funding for the future growth of the port.
“It is no longer viable to keep our charges unchanged in this environment; an increase, while not desirable, is simply unavoidable.”
The new pricing schedule is the result of over a year of cost analysis and investigation, including a review from an independent expert.
Wharfage and harbour dues will increase by 6% across the board in the new schedule, with the exception of coal, where a higher increase will apply.
The pricing arrangement for trans-shipments will also be simplified in the new schedule.
|Study reveals flaws in shipping sector |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Shipping Australia has released the first-ever study into the break bulk shipping sector, highlighting the importance of the sector and setting out many of the obstacles inhibiting its potential.|
According to CEO Llew Russell, the study is contentious in sections; the objective being to stimulate debate on how the sector can be improved.
“Interestingly, in the states where mining resource development was at its highest level, port and bulk facilities appeared to be the most inadequate,” says Russell.
He adds that the conclusions reached point to a lack of adequate infrastructure, including a lack of undercover storage, shortage of labour; especially with the skills required and an inequity in the operation of berth priority systems that often disadvantaged ships with break bulk cargo.
One of the more important conclusions was the need to encourage the provision of separate berths and back-up areas for general cargo vessels compared to those larger vessels, primarily dedicated to the carriage of cars, trucks and agricultural equipment, given their very different operating characteristics and service requirements.
Among the recommendations for improvement were:
• Raising the profile of the industry.
• Establishing a genuinely representative consultative mechanism for all stakeholders involved in break bulk cargoes in ports where it is a significant trade to improve the efficiency of operations, eg. the use of portable temporary warehouses where appropriate.
• Encouraging increased competition in stevedoring/terminal management where the overall benefits have been clearly identified.
• Keeping port authority charges at a reasonable level to ensure Australia remains internationally competitive.
• Increasing labour availability and skill levels.
• Developing valid, workable and realistic indicators of performance in ports so that a port’s performance can be ranked against national or even international benchmarks and results made publicly available.
• Developing port-based data community systems to, among other matters, provide a platform for facilitating information exchange, promoting collaborative problem-solving and fostering co-operative action in pursuit of a common objective.
|Australia viewed as business safe haven |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Australia has been ranked in line with Canada, Norway and Switzerland as the four safest countries in which to invest.|
Dun & Bradstreet’s global risk indicator assesses economic, commercial, external and political risk to provide risk ratings for 131 countries around the world.
The latest rankings have Australia, Canada, Norway and Switzerland rated a DB1d, the fourth-highest possible rating on global risk indicator - no countries currently have a higher rating. However, within this group, Australia, Norway and Switzerland are all categorised as having a stable risk profile, while Canada has been earmarked as having a deteriorating outlook.
Australia is the only country in the Asia Pacific region to be rated in the DB1 range; however, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore have managed a rating in the DB2 category. Australia's rating demonstrates that although the nation is facing a number of challenges, it is faring well compared to others amidst the current global economic crisis.
According to Christine Christian, D&B's CEO, the latest GRI rankings show that Australia is a low-risk environment for business investment.
“However, to maintain strong trading relationships and attract foreign investment to our shores, we must, at the very minimum, maintain our current rating.
"When the rest of the developed world recovers and returns to economic growth, global competition will intensify. To keep our position in the top four safest countries, Australia's regulators will need to ensure that their focus on reform and strong economic management continue," she says.
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