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|The International Monetary Fund is putting a bit of a damper on recovery optimism. Olivier Blanchard, director of the IMF’s research department, warns that the turnaround will not be simple because the financial crisis has left deep scars which will affect both supply and demand for many years to come. And doesn’t the forklift sector know that first hand? Blanchard’s message is that we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges ahead. “Sustaining the ... recovery is likely to require delicate rebalancing acts, both within and across countries. An understanding of the issues and the dangers, and some co-ordination across countries, is likely to be as crucial during the next few years as it was during the most intense part of the crisis,” he says. |
|Study predicts failures in UK forklift industry |
London, United Kingdom
|One in three UK forklift companies is making a loss, according to a new forklift study.|
The study’s author, David Pattison, distinguishes between the 146 loss-making companies that “have simply had a bad year” and the ones that are “burying their heads in the sand”.
“Increasingly, we are seeing companies making a loss for the first time in their history and I think they can rightly claim they are victims of difficult trading conditions,” Pattison says.
He adds that a refocus on profitability would ensure that this is an isolated occurrence for those companies: one they can look back on and say “the year the recession forced us into loss”.
However, Pattison says there is “a band of serial loss-makers” in the UK forklift market.
“Seventy companies are making a loss for the second, even third year running. These companies are either blatantly undercutting the rest of the market to enhance or maintain marketshare or, more likely, have delayed making the painful decision more prudent companies have recently made,” he explains.
Pattison says he salutes management teams that have made difficult and unpopular decisions.
“They have cut their cloth according to the market conditions and, as a result, are more stable for it. Those failing to do so are running out of time and cash,” he says, predicting that there will be a number of failing forklift companies in the coming months.
“Without a big increase in demand, they cannot support their pricing strategy for much longer.”
The latest Plimsoll Industry Analysis – Fork Lift Trucks, which assesses 475 companies in the UK, is available to Forkliftaction.com News readers at a GBP50 (USD81) discount. For more details, call +44 0164 262 6400 and quote reference PR/SD33.
|Caterpillar gets pact for rough terrain forklifts |
Peoria, IL, United States
|The US Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded a contract for rough terrain forklifts with 10,000-pound (4,500 kg) lifting capacities to Caterpillar Inc’s defence and federal products business unit.|
Caterpillar will manufacture the forklifts for US Air Force service at a Clayton, North Carolina factory under a fixed-price contract with economic price adjustment provisions. The contract maximum is USD13.95 million, and the performance-completion date is 18 March 2010. The number of units was not disclosed. DLA solicited three proposals and received one response.
These forklifts “are used around the world at Air Force bases for quickly loading and unloading materials in support of our troops”, says Jim Dugan, Caterpillar chief corporate spokesperson.
Typically, the Air Force transports the equipment using four-engine turboprop C-130 Hercules military aircraft.
A defence supply centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania manages this contract under its duties at the DLA troop support centre.
Peoria-based Caterpillar employed 112,887 people as of 31 December and reported profit of USD3.56 billion on 2008 sales of USD51.32 billion from its machinery, engines and financial-products businesses.
|Doosan strengthens links with forklift dealers |
Warrensville, OH, United States
|Doosan forklift management met with a cross-section of the brand’s forklift dealerships in the US and Canada for round-table, focus group-style discussions on 24-25 August in Denver, Colorado.|
“(At the meetings,) we provided information about future plans and strategies, and the dealers provided information on what they need to succeed,” says Kim Parkinson, director and chief operating officer of the forklift division of Doosan Infracore America Corp. The meetings were “productive and pro-active”, and Parkinson expects to hold similar sessions on a twice-yearly basis.
Most Doosan distributors “are multiple line dealers”, so Parkinson perceives “a need to communicate more frequently” regarding Doosan attributes and help the dealers “build their businesses and become stronger”.
The 10 “significant dealers” at the gathering represented small-, medium- and large-sized markets, Parkinson says. “They have different agendas and needs.”
In a 1 September announcement, the Doosan forklift division appointed Lyndle McCurley as manager of sales and marketing.
McCurley began serving in 2004 as sales manager in the southern region with the division and, for the previous five years, was a territory salesman for forklift dealership United Machinery and Supply Co Inc, which has facilities in Springfield and Joplin, Missouri.
McCurley succeeds Parkinson, who was named recently to his current position (Forkliftaction.com News #425).
Parkinson notes that Doosan forklifts is developing a new US program on parts marketing and plans to introduce the initiative in the near future in conjunction with the corporate forklift team at parent firm Doosan Group in South Korea. “We will put together programs to help dealers become more competitive and make more money,” he says. “The back end of the business is important.”
Doosan manufactures forklifts in a certified ISO 9001 facility in Incheon, South Korea.
Units of Suwanee, Georgia-based Doosan Infracore America include the forklift division in Warrensville Heights, the machine tool division in West Caldwell, New Jersey and the construction equipment division in Suwanee. Doosan Infracore America manages the finance, human resource, information technology and support functions for the divisions.
|Further cuts at Konecranes |
|The second half of 2009 will see about 750 people lose their jobs at Konecranes, and statutory negotiations have already started at the Hyvinkää headquarters for a new round of employee cuts.|
The negotiations targeting the 189 employees of Konecranes Plc and Konecranes Finance Corp could affect 10-15 employees from the IT, R&D, marketing and communications, legal, financial, HR and procurement departments.
In addition to “possible temporary and permanent layoffs”, Konecranes says it is reducing the purchasing of external services and products to cut costs.
During the first half of 2009, orders for Konecranes products were 41% lower than the same period in 2008. In Konecranes’ second quarter interim report, it noted a reduction of 850 employees from the end of 2008.
In 2008, Konecranes’ sales totalled EUR2.103 billion (USD2.983 billion). The group has 9,700 employees at 485 locations in 43 countries. It is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.
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All enquiries will be treated confidentially.
See http://www.omegalift.net for more company and product information
|Newsletter asks “Who will survive?”|
Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
|Samuk HC, a joint venture with Chinese forklift manufacturer Hangcha, has made some predictions on the outcome of the global recession in its latest internal newsletter.|
Under the heading “Who will survive”, the newsletter says that world number one Toyota “with assembly plants in key markets” is likely to remain on top. It notes that the Japanese forklifts were considered “rubbish” 50 years ago.
US-owned Hyster and Yale forklifts “should survive with minor amalgamation”, while European leaders Jungheinrich and Linde are survivors because of their respective key strengths.
“Jungheinrich is said to be unloading big trucks by 1 January 2010. Very strong in warehouse growth market,” the newsletter says.
It continues: “Linde is a leader in high-cost transmission, and dominates Germany and surrounding Europe and the UK but where else?”
The newsletter observes that Linde now has a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Baoli for lower-cost European torque converters, “which was despised by Linde up to this year”.
Samuk predicts that Chinese manufacturer Heli could be in the top five by 2013, while Dalian, known for its “dated big trucks”, would need to regroup.
|Snorkel lists representatives in US, Canada|
|Snorkel International has identified 12 manufacturer representatives in the US and one in Canada under a cohesive program for the business’s aerial lift and powered access equipment.|
“The manufacturer’s representatives were all appointed after an extensive period of market research and discussions with potential partners,” says Dan Jenkins, media relations manager with parent holding firm Tanfield Group plc. Tanfield’s Snorkel business unit has a production facility for aerial work and vertical mast access platforms in Elwood.
The Snorkel representatives and principal locations are:
- Meridian Pacific Sales of Sacramento, California and Mesa, Arizona.
- Power Equipment Plus of Sand Lake, Michigan and Kettering, Ohio.
- Sales to Industry Inc of Hampton, New Jersey; Glenshaw, Pennsylvania; Forest, Virginia and Somers, Connecticut.
- Strom Brothers Inc of Fullerton, California.
- Mountain States Sales Associates of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- Manufacturers Marketing Services LLC of Conroe, Houston and Rowlett, Texas.
- Bob McClelland Sales Co of Buffalo and Belton, Missouri and Charleston, Illinois.
- Equipment Connection Inc of Melbourne Beach, Florida.
- Ken Jones & Associates Inc of Waleska, Georgia.
- Cavalier Industries Ltd of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
In August, Airco SA was named as the authorised distributor in Panamá of the Snorkel’s UpRight brand of powered access equipment (Forkliftaction.com News #425).
|Genco order advances Wegmans’ project |
Pottsville, PA, United States
|A major third-party logistics supplier has ordered 136 fuel cell power units for installation in Crown Equipment Corp forklifts in phases through 2012 at a grocer’s retail service centre.|
Genco Supply Chain Solutions of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania placed the purchase order with Plug Power Inc of Latham, New York for GenDrive-brand fuel cell units to power 100 Class 3 pallet jack units and 36 Class 2 standup reach trucks. Funding for the fuel cells is part of a USD6.1 million award made to Genco in April by the US Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Lift Inc’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania brand will deliver the Crown material handling equipment for use in the Pottsville centre of Wegmans Food Markets Inc. The initial conversion in the produce building involves 59 units (Forkliftaction.com News #424).
|AEM partners with Media Globe |
Milwaukee, WI, United States
|The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is taking the global recession into consideration and will not hold a stand-alone CONEXPO Russia exhibition next year.|
AEM has reached an agreement with Construction Equipment & Technologies (CTT) exhibition organiser, Media Globe, to hold an expanded construction equipment expo in Russia in 2010.
“The current economic conditions make it very difficult for the manufacturers of construction equipment and their customers,” says AEM president Dennis Slater.
“By joining forces with Media Globe to give the full support of AEM to CTT and organising the CONEXPO Russia exhibit area, we will be improving the opportunity of participants for a successful event,” Slater explains.
The annual CTT exhibition will be held on June 1-5, 2010 at the Crocus International Exhibition Centre in Moscow. CONEXPO Russia, which was held last in September 2008, was to be held in September 2010. Instead, there will be a CONEXPO Russia exhibit area in the CTT exhibition.
The new arrangement is expected to benefit participants through the combined resources of Media Globe -a major Russian trade show organiser - and AEM, and the bringing together of manufacturers, customers and industry organisations in Russia.
AEM will be responsible for exhibit space sales for North and South American-based companies, and other international manufacturers. The association will also provide marketing support for CTT in North and South America.
“Co-operation with AEM will enhance the global platform of CTT and will support participants during the economic downturn and in the future,” says Media Globe president Alexey Striganov.
CTT has grown “steadily” for the past 10 years as the expanding Russian economy created a boom in infrastructure projects. Media Globe organises specialised international exhibitions and publishes industry magazines in Russia.
|Briggs’ tips to improve business |
Cannock, United Kingdom
|Helping customers improve their business is a sure-fire way to improve your own business. That is why a UK forklift supplier is sharing some tips in these hard times.|
Available through Briggs Equipment, the UK’s sole Cat Lift Trucks distributor, the 16-page “10 Recession Busting Tips” booklet, aims to help Briggs’ customers deal with the global economic downturn.
“With the recession affecting most companies in the UK, the last year has been an important time to support and advise our customers as markets and demand levels have changed,” says Briggs’ marketing manager Sally Baker.
Briggs wants to remind its customers of the “essentials, to focus not just on the basics like right-sizing fleets and increasing productivity” but that expert advice can cut costs.
“For instance, with preventative maintenance, just checking oil levels can prevent a catastrophic failure that can have massive cost implications in productivity,” Baker says.
One of the recession busting tips is getting the basics right and focusing on people and service.
“Businesses can show appreciation in a number of ways, but one [that] we have seen is some of the most enlightened, successful companies include their staff in the selection and specification of equipment,” Barker explains.
The booklet also talks about forward planning.
“Our message is that all companies must think and plan ahead to take full advantage when the market does return. The recession has been a deeply unpleasant experience but we are dedicated to supporting our customers, suppliers and staff, to come out of [this] stronger and more competitive,” Baker says.
The recession busting tips are accompanied by a webpage, www.briggsequipment.co.uk/creditcrunch, which contains information on saving energy, emissions and money. For a free copy of Cat Lift Trucks’ “10 Recession Busting Tips”, call +44 033 0123 9814.
|Exposure guaranteed. |
|Sponsoring an event which boosts workplace safety is one of the most satisfying projects a company can get into ... |
At least, that is how we feel about it at Forkliftaction.com
And that is why Forkliftaction wants to give complimentary advertising exposure to companies who sponsor the USA Open Forklift Rodeo.
Make a statement to your employees, your market, the industry and the world by actively supporting this wonderful event.
The timing to become a sponsor couldn’t be better: this rodeo has all it needs to become very BIG in years to come.
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|Bolzoni and Hans H Meyer merge|
Warrington, United Kingdom
Bolzoni Auramo Ltd and Hans H Meyer Ltd have merged in the UK.
The new company, Bolzoni Ltd, markets Bolzoni-Auramo and Meyer products and is based in Warrington.
Abbey Attachments, Bolzoni Auramo Ltd’s service arm, will now service both brands. For more on this merger, see Forkliftaction.com News’s story next week.
Tyre manufacturers agree on Sri Lanka
Gumasol and Continental have decided that the Gumasol Softy tyre line will be manufactured at Continental’s Sri Lankan plant.
Both companies manufacture premium solid resilient tyres. Continental has been manufacturing tyres in Sri Lanka for the American and Asian markets.
Steve Smith, the former vice president-general manager of Caterpillar and Hyster dealer Johnson Machinery and ex-chairman of Hyster’s Dealer Marketing Council, has formed a strategic partnership with Webpage FX.
Webpage FX specialises in search engine optimisation, website design and development, and information management systems. Smith is currently president and owner of Contact Marketing Services.
Toyota Triago launched
Toyota Material Handling Europe has expanded its electric forklift range with the Toyota Triago 24.
The three-wheel, electric counterbalance forklifts, available in 1.0, 1.25 and 1.5 ton capacities, are designed for light- and medium-duty applications.
|Forklifts help at fires, interrupt robbery |
|Firefighting crews in two locales used forklifts to move storage that blocked their way to reach burning materials.|
In Columbus, Ohio, about 75 firefighters battled a fire for about three hours early on 31 August at a warehouse of T Marzetti Co. The unit of Lancaster Colony Corp manufactures specialty food dips and sauces in a nearby largely undamaged plant area. The facility employs about 120 staff.
Firefighters used the forklifts to relocate large stacks of flat cardboard boxes outside the building and enable crews to more easily fight the fire.
Investigators for the Columbus fire department say they are exploring possible causes including the role, if any, of a forklift battery.
In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, crews employed two forklifts to move stacks of wooden pallets in an outside storage yard at a Coca-Cola Bottling facility early on 30 August.
According to the Calgary fire department, an arson investigation is under way. The flames exceeded the height of a four-storey building prior to the arrival of emergency responders. The fire was limited to the pile of pallets and empty soft drink syrup storage containers in a corner of the yard. Relocating some of the pallets allowed firefighters to reach those material handling skids that were the principal source of the blaze.
Meanwhile in Florida, a quick-thinking forklift operator thwarted an attempted robbery by promptly swinging his material handling machine into the aggressor, reports the sheriff’s office in Lee County.
The perpetrator wore pantyhose to obscure his face and demanded money from the operator, Daniel Carpenter, 22, who was unloading supplies late on the evening of 28 August at the Wayne Wiles Floor Coverings facility in Fort Myers, Florida.
The forklift struck the robber on either his leg or foot. Carpenter received superficial arm wounds, and the robber fled the scene without any loot.
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|Forkliftaction.com is developing its presence in Europe. |
This person we need is:
Experience working in the materials handling or advertising industries is an advantage but not essential.
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|Forklift training switches to new system in NSW |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|Anyone undergoing forklift training in New South Wales as of 1 September must be enrolled with a training organisation registered by VETAB (Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board) as well as Workcover.|
The new system, which was implemented in Queensland in 2007, has significant cost implications for training organisations and means that licence assessment alone is no longer permitted.
Many people are still unaware of the new system, says specialist forklift trainer Todd Brennan of Forkpro Australia, an independent registered training organisation (RTO).
He tells Forkliftaction.com News that many people in New South Wales are operating forklifts illegally, unaware of the new legislation. From 1 September, it is illegal to operate any ‘scheduled’ equipment such as forklifts and order pickers without first enrolling in an approved course of training with an RTO.
“In some cases people are still operating using only logbooks when, in fact, all trainees must be enrolled with an RTO in the first instance.”
This will become an issue in Victoria next year as well, predicts Brennan, as the same system will kick in by 1 July 2010.
“Queensland undertook the new system in 2007, New South Wales has just switched over and Victoria chose to defer it for another year.” ACT has also announced that it is phasing it in from the middle of next year.
Among those offering training in Victoria is Hyundai distributor Flexilift Australia which offers the market accredited forklift training at its premises.
When asked his thoughts about manufacturers and distributors getting involved with training, Brennan commented that many of the manufacturers offer training in some form and, in most cases, forklift training offered by manufacturers and distributors in Australia is of a high standard. “They usually have significant resources to set up their training premises and (have) better access to equipment.”
The two- to three-day course at Flexilift, run by an accredited forklift trainer, takes place on site at the company and applicants have the opportunity to train on basic two ton forklift models as well as gaining experience using a narrow-aisle articulated forklift.
“It’s pretty rare for a forklift company to be able to offer training on a narrow-articulated forklift and it’s more than one would experience through TAFE or at a registered training organisation (RTO),” says sales and marketing manager John Fisher.
He tells Forkliftaction.com News that the course covers workplace health and safety issues, forklift usage, pre-safety forklift checks, safe forklift driving checks, and pre-exam preparation (theory and practical) to ensure operators are trained and licensed within national WorkSafe standards.
“One would assume all workplaces strive for safety first, and our forklift training programs focus on safe and efficient materials handling methods,” he says.
|DB Schenker awarded logistics contract |
Cardiff, New South Wales, Australia
|Schenker Australia has been awarded a major contract by Downer EDI Rail to provide logistics and warehousing to the NSW Rolling Stock Public Private Partnership project.|
“The contract is the largest yet placed in Australia and we are excited by the opportunity to work with Downer EDI Rail to assist in the successful delivery of the new fleet of Waratah trains for Sydney,” says Ron Koehler, CEO of Schenker Australia.
Over four years, Schenker will be responsible for the transportation of 626 carriages and tons of critical parts to Downer’s manufacturing facility in Cardiff, NSW.
The contract includes transportation services for high quality materials from France, Germany, Japan and China via ocean freight, air freight and train and road haulage of partially completed carriages and spare parts to the Cardiff facility.
|T&L award winners announced |
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
|The winners of the 2009 T&L Industry Development Awards for Queensland were announced at this year’s conference dinner attended by over 400 guests.|
Queensland T&L Industry Futures Award was presented to the Transport & Logistics Workforce Advisory Group (TLWAG).
Queensland T&L Experience Pays Award (Under 10 years) was awarded to Bill Potter of NQX College, while Dirk Wagensveld of J.J.Richards Engineering was highly commended.
Queensland T&L Experience Pays Award (Over 10 years) was awarded to Peter Thompson of Kagan Logistics.
The 2009 T&L Future Leaders Award was presented to Georgina Vuksanovic of Mrs Crocket’s Kitchen, while Jodie Collie of Collins Food Group was highly commended.
All high commendations and winners will be automatically entered into the SCLAA Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Awards which will be held in Melbourne in November.
Meanwhile, in other Queensland news, the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) will hold its annual charity golf day on Friday, 25 September at Brookwater Golf Club in Brisbane’s west.
Proceeds from the event, which is a joint function with the Australian Institute of Packaging, will go to Foodbank and the Salvation Army.
|Rail reform essential to meet freight task |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|The National Transport Commission (NTC) has outlined an ambitious national reform agenda for rail productivity.|
Chief executive Nick Dimopoulos says reform is essential to ensure rail plays its part in servicing the growing land freight task safely and sustainably.
“A focus on productivity reform will deliver a growing rail freight system, with better track speeds, quicker transit times, higher axle weights, improved service and reliability.
“The end result will be more competitive exports and lower cost products on supermarket shelves.”
Key recommendations of NTC’s Freight Rail Productivity Review include:
• clear national objectives and policies to plan and develop the right infrastructure;
• certainty and transparency of government subsidies to rail;
• exploration of options for more nationally consistent rail pricing and access regulation;
• open access regulation for key strategically-located rail terminals;
• long-term pricing reform so truck charges do not unfairly disadvantage rail;
• industry-led co-ordination of freight movements along the supply chain; and
• better performance measures for rail.
|Confidence counts, says NZ bank |
Wellington, New Zealand
|The latest National Bank outlook survey reveals a surge of confidence in New Zealand in August, up 16 points on July, with 34% of respondents expecting better times over the next 12 months.|
According to the report, momentum, once unleashed, is a powerful dynamic and the economic cycle is as much about getting a feel for behaviour as it is about the economic fundamentals.
The construction industry remains at the forefront of renewed optimism, with 64% expecting better times ahead, levels last seen in the early 1990s.
Companies’ own activity expectations are at close to a five-year high. A net 26% expect better times ahead and the jump is across all major segments including retailing, manufacturing, agriculture, construction and services. Profit expectations are back in the black, although only marginally so.
Employment expectations are correspondingly less negative. Job losses continue but at a marginal rate of decline.
The only indicator to turn down in the month was commercial construction intentions, which fell back to zero. But this is more than compensated for by surging perception towards residential investment, with a net 48% expecting better times ahead – the highest reading since 1994.
But the bank warns that while confidence surveys have proven to be an important measure for the economy, there are still clear challenges ahead such as the current account deficit and household savings rates.
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|Top Marks for Aisle-Master at Global Training |
|Global Training delivers a wide range of forklift truck training programmes and also runs a warehousing and storage operation from its site at Gloucester Business Park, and is benefiting from the qualities of an Aisle-Master articulated truck for both sides of its business.|
As well as providing packages for all the mainstream and specialist forklift types on the market up to RTITB standards, the company offers a range of health and safety courses such as first aid, fire risk assessment and crane handling. When it came to the choice of truck for training operators in the articulated sector, the Aisle-Master was a clear winner according to company Director Kay Herbert.
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|Beyond Cars and Buses: The Market for Fuel Cells in Niche Transportation |
|Fuel cells power a wide range of niche transportation vehicles, including: forklifts, unmanned aerial vehicles, trains, e-bikes, aircraft, and APUs for RVs, ships, and commercial trucks. In this webinar, Fuel Cell Today will present highlights from its August 2009 analysis of the niche transportation market for fuel cells.|
Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
|WE-LIFT release some popular forklift spare parts ||WE-LIFT Forklift Parts Co., Ltd is the leading forklift spare parts supplier in China. We supply many types of fast moving forklift parts such as forks, side shifters, fork positioners, seats, split rims, integral rims, solid tyres, pneumatic tyres, mast rollers, chain rollers, side rollers, water pumps, lamps, chains, fork extensions, drum clamps, discs, plates and torque converters.|
Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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