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|The emissions debate seems to have gone quiet lately – possibly as industry focuses on financial survival. But as Roger Renstrom reports this week, it’s still very much alive in California where some restrictions already apply to forklift fleets. And the measures will get tougher in a couple of years’ time. The beauty of the California model is that business can plan for the future, so today’s purchase decisions can take into account the regulations which will be in place during the working life of the forklift. And perhaps end-users in other markets should also be looking ahead – not just at current regulations, but at possible future moves as well.|
|Calculating compliance with California ARB rules |
Sacramento, CA, United States
|Several companies are taking steps to help forklift fleet operators calculate ways to comply with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) fleet average emission level standards for large spark-ignition (LSI) engines.|
In 1994, ARB began considering emission control regulations for new LSI engines and, in 1998, adopted the nation’s first LSI-engine emission standards, which were implemented in phases between 2001 and 2004.
The board adopted a strategy for a California implementation plan in 2003 with an eye on complying with federal health-based air quality standards by 2010. Among 19 defined measures, two of the mobile-source measures involved off-road equipment with LSI engines. They set standards for engine manufacturers and fleet average emission level standards for relevant operators.
The first of the fleet average standards became effective on 1 January 2009, with stricter requirements scheduled for implementation at the start of 2011 and 2013.
Emission control equipment manufacturer Nett Technologies Inc of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; forklift dealerships Papé Group Inc of Eugene, Oregon; Raymond Handling Solutions Inc of Santa Fe Springs, California; and Fork Lift Specialties Inc of Fresno, California have developed fleet average calculators or guidance for fleet owners trying to cope with the ARB emission-control limits.
No such calculator exists on the ARB website.
ARB did not develop a calculator, in part because of time limitations but also “because we thought the fleet average standard was straight-forward”, says Mark Williams, air pollution specialist with the zero emissions vehicle implementation section in ARB’s mobile source control division. “I do appreciate that third-party calculators are out there, but I do not have time to verify that each and every one performs correctly. Therefore, I cannot promote or endorse them.”
The Nett retrofit sizing calculator—in the online and original Microsoft Excel-spreadsheet versions—can assist an owner in selecting the quantity and type of verified exhaust treatment products to meet ARB requirements for a fleet of forklift or non-forklift LSI off-road equipment.
Between the formats, “the only difference is that one is online and the other you can take with you”, says Wayne Borean, Nett co-ordinator for sales to original equipment manufacturers. “Both are updated on a regular basis.”
Borean says it was Randy Wingenroth’s “genius idea” in February 2005 to create a small spreadsheet to calculate a company’s fleet average. At that time, Wingenroth was with Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc in Houston, Texas. Now, he is vice president of engineering and research and development with Cargotec Corp’s Kalmar RT Center LLC in Cibolo, Texas.
Karen Hay with the Impco Technologies subsidiary of New York-based Fuel Systems Solutions Inc, along with Borean and, later, Nett’s Wayne Moffat, made modifications to the Excel spreadsheet. Moffat is the Nett senior technical sales representative for California.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve kept modifying it—there have been more than 20 versions—both to kill bugs and add features that customers have requested,” Borean notes.
Nett activated the online version on 10 August 2009 enabling an interested party to fill in the form under the “tools” tab on the www.nett.ca website, press a quote button and get a response from a technical sales representative.
Another emission control equipment manufacturer, Engine Control Systems (ECS), refers forklift fleet operators to the ARB website “to find the correct regulatory documents to ensure they understand the ARB LSI fleet regulation and reporting requirements”, says Kevin Brown, ECS marketing and regulatory affairs manager. “I would stress to fleet operators not to rely on simple fleet calculators as such tools cannot typically incorporate all the requirements and an understanding of the requirements of the in-use fleet requirements in California.”
ECS works with equipment and engine manufacturers to support the development of emissions control systems for new engines.
Catalytic Solutions Inc of Ventura, California acquired ECS in January 2008. ECS doubled the size of its main facility with a move in November 2008 to Thornhill from Newmarket. Both communities are in the Canadian province of Ontario.
ARB executive orders authorise retrofit kits from Nett and ECS for emission control on various sizes of uncontrolled LSI engines.
Among dealers providing help, Papé Group features an inventory and LSI recommendation worksheet under the “carb” heading on the www.papemh.com website. The Hyster, John Deere, Bobcat and Genie dealer has more than 60 locations in eight western states.
Raymond Handling Solutions offers multiple calculators for ARB compliance, space utilization, fleet right-sizing and pallet requirements under the “tools” tab on the www.raymondhandlingsolutions.com website. The Raymond dealer has four locations in southern California and Nevada.
Fork Lift Specialties provides guidance in a nine-page primer and resource compendium on its www.forkliftspecialties.com website. The Yale dealership has two central California locations.
ARB’s Williams notes the calculation assistance “might be valuable” to medium-sized fleet operators as compliance assistance tools. “Operators of the smallest fleets may not need the calculator, and the largest may have dedicated staff to work on environmental compliance,” Williams says.
As for guidance from Sacramento-based ARB on the subject, “I want to post links to the tools on our website after thoroughly evaluating and confirming that the calculators work properly,” he reports.
|Warren sees MCFA deal benefiting Jungheinrich |
Fairview, OR, United States
|The North American agreements between Jungheinrich AG and Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc (MCFA) are “a good move for Jungheinrich”, according to Robert Warren, president and chief executive officer of attachments manufacturer Cascade Corp.|
“They are teaming up with a much stronger partner” in North America where Jungheinrich has less than 2% marketshare, Warren observes. “It could be an opportunity (for Cascade) as we have a good working relationship with (Jungheinrich) in Europe.”
The manufacturing and marketing agreements were disclosed on 12 August and will be implemented in 2010 (Forkliftaction.com News #423). MCFA will distribute Jungheinrich-branded warehouse products in the United States, Canada and Mexico; Jungheinrich will design new North American market products that MCFA will manufacture; and Jungheinrich will supply some Class 1 products for sale under the Cat forklift brand and Class 3 products for sale under the Mitsubishi brand.
Warren ponders the implications for Cascade: “Is it an expanded opportunity? I don’t think it is really going to affect us at all. We have a very good relationship with Mitsubishi already. We have good relations in the market sectors that Jungheinrich is focused on. We already have good relations with their competitors. It could just be a shift of potential marketshare, and that is certainly what Jungheinrich is aiming for. We would expect to get market share from that.”
Warren made the remarks during a 3 September conference call with financial analysts following filing of Cascade results for the second fiscal quarter ended 31 July.
Cascade reports a loss of USD12.3 million—including USD11.6 million of European restructuring costs—on sales of USD76.6 million for the recent quarter versus profit of USD10.5 million on sales of USD150.1 million for the comparable previous-year quarter.
The restructuring primarily involves steps to cease production activities at a Cascade attachment facility in Almere in the Netherlands by the end of October 2010. Warren hints at further restructuring but declines to “get into specifics until it is announced with our facilities”. Cascade has 27 facilities in 16 countries.
Cascade attributes the lower sales to the decline in global economic conditions and a weak global forklift market.
“Our sales decreases by region are relatively in line with regional lift truck shipment statistics in the second quarter,” notes Joseph Pointer, Cascade chief financial officer. “The only region that shows a variance worth commenting on is the 20% decrease in lift truck shipments in China as compared to a sales decrease of 39%. (Forklift) industry shipments for China reflect only domestic (forklift) sales. Although published statistics are not available for the export market, our best estimate is that the market is down at least 75% from the prior year. Factoring in export shipments of lift trucks, the decrease is more in line with our sales decrease, which reflects both domestic and export sales.”
Warren says Cascade continues to plan on a lag in the capital goods markets extending past 31 January 2011 and into the firm’s 2011 fiscal year “before a real recovery begins to take shape.”
Fairview-based Cascade employs about 1,900 staff and primarily manufactures devices allowing forklifts to carry, position and deposit various types of loads.
|Bolzoni aims for greater sales coverage |
Warrington, United Kingdom
|Bolzoni Auramo Ltd and Hans H Meyer Ltd have merged in the UK to boost sales coverage and offer customers greater product support.|
“We also realised some synergies and savings, which nowadays are more than welcome,” says Bolzoni SpA sales and marketing director Carlo Fallarini.
Bolzoni and Hans H Meyer were Manchester-based sales companies with about six to seven employees each dedicated to product support and sales. The merged company, Bolzoni Ltd, is staffed by 12 employees and headed by former managing director of Bolzoni Auramo Ltd, Ken Smith. The ex-managing director of Hans H Meyer Ltd, Peter Bradbury, is now a company director and the key account manager for the beverage industry.
Any overlap in the two brands’ attachments is not a problem, Fallarini says.
“They will select the best products in both ranges and offer the customers the more suitable, the better performing and the more competitive attachments in our global offering,” he explains.
Smith adds that the prospect of selling all the Bolzoni Auramo and Meyer product range is “a salesman’s dream”.
“Both [Bolzoni and Meyer] have a large number of customers who have remained loyal to the product because of its quality and the service and back-up we provide,” Smith continues.
Independent company Abbey Attachments, which has been servicing the Bolzoni and Meyer attachments, continues to do so as the service arm of Bolzoni Ltd.
|Barloworld uses Six Sigma to boost efficiency |
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
|Barloworld Handling has used Six Sigma tools to achieve customer satisfaction and cut costs.|
“One of the main areas of focus for our Six Sigma projects is the improvement of internal processes to achieve customer satisfaction,” says Phil Marles, Barloworld’s field service manager. “We also have a number of projects aimed at improving equipment reliability in the field.”
Six Sigma methodology, a set of tools and techniques to improve the consistency and quality of process outputs, was first introduced in Barloworld in April 2008. Initially, six employees were trained to “Green Belt” standard by UK-based Paloma Consulting, and completed a comprehensive training program and several “improvement projects”.
While Barloworld did not disclose details of the projects, seven of them were completed by the first group of Green Belts, “all with direct financial benefit and improved efficiency” for the company.
Barloworld says the projects resulted in fewer breakdowns, faster engineer response times, less waste and the improvement of new truck handovers.
“One key positive is that we have used the Six Sigma process to strengthen our working relationship with Hyster, helping improve the reliability of trucks in the field, and introduced improvements in manufacturing and quality testing,” Marles says.
All Six Sigma projects are monitored for a minimum of 12 months after completion to ensure that improvements are maintained. At the end of July 2009, 10 more Barloworld employees achieved Green Belt status. According to Barloworld, future Six Sigma projects include partnering with key suppliers to improve its overall service offering.
Barloworld has been Hyster’s exclusive UK distributor since 1956. It maintains over 30,000 forklifts a year with about 1,000 staff members and 18 customer support centres in the UK.
|Forklift chosen over mobile crane to move engine |
London, United Kingdom
|A Linde heavy duty forklift was essential in the rebuilding of an engine for a historic diesel locomotive.|
Colin Davison, area sales manager at Linde Castle and part of a volunteer group that maintains the Deltic Diesel locomotive “Royal Scots Grey”, persuaded his managing director, Richard Heward, to sell an ex-rental Linde H80D to Martin Walker, the owner of the Deltic 55022 engine.
“It is an awkward object to lift,” Davison says of the Deltic 55022.
“We did consider hiring a mobile crane, but we all felt a forklift would be a better option,” he adds.
The engine was designed and built in Liverpool for naval marine use, fitted to mine sweepers and fast motor torpedo boats. It was selected for rail use in the 1950s as it produced very high power for its weight of 5.5 tonnes.
“The Linde H80D, with its hydrostatic transmission and smooth control, ensured the engine move went very well,” Walker says.
He explains that the engine is “very top-heavy and could easily tip over”.
“The forklift gave us more flexibility and is cheaper than hiring a mobile crane,” he adds.
The triangular, 18-cylinder, two-stroke, opposed piston engine has been transported to a specialist marine engine repairer where it has been stripped to component form.
“We now know what caused the engine failure and are busy sourcing spare parts. It’s not going to be a cheap fix though. This will cost in excess of GBP100,000 (USD165,439),” Davison says.
For more on the famous locomotive, visit www.royalscotsgrey.com.
|Universal Precision gets nod from Nuvera |
Akron, OH, United States
|Universal Precision Products Inc (UPP) of Akron has entered a five-year manufacturing agreement with Nuvera Fuel Cells Inc of Billerica, Massachusetts.|
“We are very pleased to be one of Nuvera’s partners,” says Jon Munson, UPP president.
“We were chosen by Nuvera because of our imaginative approach to their storage problem and the anticipated changes in the system,” says Ed Wise, UPP vice president of business development. “So, while we’re manufacturing their current design, we expect significant design changes and cost reductions over the next year or two.”
Wise sees promise. “While our initial relationship is with Nuvera, we expect increased exposure to, and involvement with, the entire forklift industry.”
Nuvera chose UPP as its manufacturing partner for the integration of compression and storage components of Nuvera’s PowerTap-brand hydrogen station. Nuvera conducted a nationwide search for the correct partner.
The station will provide compressed hydrogen used to fuel forklift trucks equipped with Nuvera’s PowerEdge-brand hybrid fuel cell systems, which can replace standard lead acid batteries.
The station, along with a hydrogen generator and a PowerEdge unit, form the Total Power Solution, a set of purpose-built products for the materials handling industry specifically matched to maximize customer productivity and minimise customer lifecycle costs.
Wise notes that UPP designs and builds custom industrial process machinery and factory automation systems requiring that “our relationships demand secrecy and confidentiality. We take that very seriously. Nuvera is a break from that tradition since improvements in support equipment such as our storage system enhance the entire fuel cell industry, not just Nuvera.”
As for business growth, Wise does not expect “any serious (UPP) volume in hydrogen storage systems for a year or two”.
|CFTS posts useful video online |
|Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) has added a short video clip explaining “Thorough Examination” on its website.|
“With more and more managers taking on additional roles, keeping up with legislation for forklifts and the increasing paper trail it creates is challenging, to say the least,” CFTS chairman John Chappell explains.
In the UK, forklift users are required to undergo a stringent test called “Thorough Examination”, on equipment 12 months or older. The test is repeated every 12, six or three months, depending on the forklift type, attachments it may have and its application.
Confusion arises regarding Thorough Examination because there is no strict government control over who carries out the test, the procedures to follow and the standards to meet.
The British Industrial Truck Association and the Fork Lift Truck Association developed CFTS in consultation with the government’s Health and Safety Executive in 2004.
Under the CFTS scheme, accredited companies comply with a stringent procedural code to provide a Thorough Examination report that meets the UK lifting equipment legislation LOLER 98.
Chappell says the video on the CFTS website highlights the benefits of choosing a company accredited to the CFTS Thorough Examination Scheme such as comprehensive inspection leading to enhanced safety and greater productivity.
To watch the video, visit www.thoroughexamination.org.uk. To find your nearest CFTS accredited company, email email@example.com.
|Deustche Messe and HMTG join forces|
|CeMAT organiser Deutsche Messe and Hannover Marketing and Tourismus GmbH (HMTG) have established an accommodation booking service to help trade show visitors and exhibitors.|
“Deutsche Messe is keen to provide visitors and exhibitors from all over the world with a professional and cost-effective accommodation booking service,” says Wolfram von Fritsch, Deutsche Messe chairman.
He explains that events held at the exhibition centre lead to “several hundred thousand” overnight stays in Hannover’s hotels and that the partnership with HMTG will bolster the region’s reputation as a trade fair location.
Von Fritsch says that the key factors that influenced Deutsche Messe’s decision to join forces with HMTG include the international dimension of the accommodation service and its year-round availability.
From 1 October, a dedicated hotel booking portal, in 20 languages, will be available via www.hannover.de. There will also be an accommodation booking service based in the tourist information centre on Ernst-August-Platz. During trade fairs, dedicated accommodation offices will be opened at Hannover Airport and the exhibition centre. About 140 hotels in the region will be marketed by the new partnership.
For a sneak peak of the new hotel booking portal, visit www.hannover.de/hotels, which will serve as a platform for accommodation queries until 1 October.
|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.
USA Open Forklift Rodeo: proudly sponsored by Forkliftaction.com, strong supporters of safety in the workplace and in materials handling.
Click here for more information and to view The Higgins Group website
|Konecranes work at waste disposal |
Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Cooper Specialised Handling has supplied four Konecranes container handlers to two of London’s waste disposal sites.
The 32-tonne container handlers unload 66 empty containers from trains servicing the West London Waste Authority’s Brentford and Ruislip sites and reload them with 66 full containers in less than four hours.
Hitachi strengthens hold on TCM
Hitachi Construction Machinery Co will make forklift manufacturer TCM Corp a wholly owned subsidiary through a share swap, Reuters reports.
Hitachi Construction Machinery became the largest single shareholder of TCM in July 2003 when it acquired a 30% stake in the company. It currently owns 51% of the company.
Clark supports dealers
Lexington, KY, United States
Clark Material Handling Company has released an updated version of its business stimulus programs for 2009 to its authorised dealers.
The programs support dealers in their efforts to promote their dealership and the Clark brand.
Scott Johnson, director of dealer services, says Clark has been conscious to encourage its dealers this year through incentives.
|New Products |
|Still introduces EK-X|
Still GmbH has introduced the EK-X truck that it boasts has the narrowest working aisle widths available in its class.
Available in load capacities up to one tonne, the forklift is suited to retail, product and logistics service providers and warehouses with limited space.
The EK-X offers safe manoeuvring up to a maximum picking height of 6.35 metres (20.8 feet).
The truck’s dimensions and performance capacities are “scalable” to match warehouses because of its modular design.
Jungheinrich’s new tow tractor
Jungheinrich has launched a tow tractor suited to applications where loads are transported in tight spaces.
The EZS 010 mini tow tractor can tow a trailer weighing up to one tonne. It is available with a wide range of couplings, making it compatible with virtually any type of trailer or roll cage.
It is suitable for use in manufacturing sites, warehouses, retail outlets and hospitals.
Nexen unveils X-range forklifts
Suffolk, United Kingdom
Nexen Lift Trucks has introduced seven new forklifts in its X-range of counterbalance trucks that are manufactured in Taiwan.
The diesel 2.5, three and 3.5 tonne units are powered by Kubota or Yanmar engines while the LPG versions are offered with Nissan or GM power units.
The forklifts are available in three packages – standard, Optima and Optima Plus – with different drivetrain configurations.
|Fumes in forklift incidents clear out stores |
Salisbury, MD, United States
|A forklift puncturing a gas line and a forklift propane leak has resulted in temporary closures in the vicinity of retail stores in Salisbury, Maryland and Lewisville, Texas.|
An Ace Hardware employee operating a Cat forklift sheared a gas conduit in a roadway behind the store in Salisbury and caused a leak that required the evacuation of nearby buildings including a SuperFresh grocery store until safe air conditions returned, reports the Salisbury fire department. A crew from the Chesapeake Utilities Corporation repaired the damage.
Five employees and another person reported feeling ill—all went to hospital but no-one was in a serious condition—after a propane-powered forklift emitted carbon monoxide fumes inside an unoccupied unit at the Vista Ridge Mall, according to the Lewisville fire department. Officials evacuated customers and workers from a large portion of the two-storey mall until the fumes dissipated.
|Represent Forkliftaction.com in Europe|
|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.
- experienced in business-to-business sales
- an expert in developing long term business relationships with customers
- reasonably fluent in English and skilled in at least 2 other European languages
- comfortable and confident communicating via phone and email
- driven and has a strong desire to be successful
- organised and skilled in customer management and reporting
- available for at least 25 hrs per week
We offer an exciting work opportunity in a successful business as part of a dynamic team.
We provide training, coaching and a results based commission system. All expenses covered.
If this position sounds like it was written for you or someone you know, then email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
|First hybrid released in Australia |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|The world’s first electric hybrid counterbalance forklift was released in Australia this week at the official launch of Komatsu Forklift Australia.|
The hybrid technology, which Komatsu claims is a world first, provides Australian businesses with the opportunity to reduce their carbon emissions with a more energy efficient electric forklift that runs for longer periods.
According to national marketing co-ordinator Leonie Perry, the new dual-power capacitor and maintenance-free battery result in 11 hours of operation with a one-hour recharge interval.
General manager of Komatsu Forklift Australia, David Cullen says the Australian market can expect expanded product ranges, investment in technology and industry-leading fleet management systems from Komatsu Forklift Australia over the next 12 months.
The launch was held at Sydney’s Luna Park and attended by dignitaries such as Nobuhito Hobo and Yasuhiro Nakayama of the Consulate General of Japan, as well as Susumu Isoda, CEO of Komatsu Utility, Japan.
|LDA winner announced |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|The 2009 Logistics Development Award has been won by Lisa Brown of the Department of Defence, RAAF. |
The Logistics Development Award is offered annually by the Logistics Association of Australia and sponsored by CHEP Asia Pacific.
Applicants for the LDA are required to submit a paper of approximately 1,500 words on either:
• The most significant supply chain trend that they see affecting business in Australia, or
• The most successful innovation in logistics or supply chain in which they have been involved.
Her major award winning paper was on Ethical Supply Chains – ‘The New Black’?
As the major prize winner, Brown will attend the Annual Conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals to be held in Chicago, Illinois from September 20-23, 2009.
The two runners-up were David Barry of Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads (QLD) for a paper on “State-wide Bituminous Product Co-ordination Project”; and Kevin Xu of Maersk Logistics (NSW), who submitted a paper on “One Step Further: An Operational Review of Offshore Logistics Solutions”.
They win a complimentary registration to the value of AUD1,500 at a major conference in the Australasian region.
Three $200 book prizes were also awarded to: Mark Allingham of Alpine Shire Council (VIC), Jyotirmoyee Bhattacharjya of Institute of Transport & Logistics Studies (NSW) and David Parker of University of Queensland (QLD)
|NTP will return to safety trade show |
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
|NTP Forklifts Australia will again exhibit at this year’s Safety Show in Sydney.|
According to marketing manager Tom Naffine, the company had a positive response and good numbers through its stand when it exhibited its range of Jungheinrich equipment for the first time last year.
“We intend to continue on a similar theme,” he tells Forkliftaction.com News, adding that the company will also exhibit updated models in the EMC B Stacker and the ERE 225 ride-on powered pallet truck.
“Essentially our key aim is to further educate the warehousing and distribution market of our relatively new status as the Australia distributor for the world-leading Jungheinrich product, and our ability to provide companies in this market with materials handling solutions, products and service support.”
The company will also exhibit the Japanese manufactured TCM industrial forklift brand, which it has represented in Australia for almost 15 years.
|Toll upbeat on future |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Transport and logistics giant Toll Holdings, which recently announced its results for the year ended 30 June 2009, achieved a 14% growth in profits despite difficult economic times.|
The company said gearing levels had been reduced to 12.2%, down from 37.6% last year.
Revenue for the year was AUD6.5 billion, an increase of 16% over the previous period of AUD5.6 billion.
EBIT pre-acquisition accounting amortisation charges and non-recurring items was AUD466.0 million compared to AUD428.8 million in the previous year, an increase of 9%.
“Our revenue and EBIT margin results are excellent given the difficult trading conditions, underpinned by a solid performance in the Australian business,” says MD Paul Little.
EBIT margins in the Australia/New Zealand business were maintained at 7.6% and Toll Asia margins remained at 10.5% as a result of cost control. The Global Forwarding business recorded a lower margin of 2.2% compared to 2.8% in the previous year due to significantly lower volumes.
During the year, Toll disposed of its investments in Brambles Limited and Virgin Blue.
The company generated AUD463 million in operating cashflow after capital expenditure.
|Business expectations hold steady for fourth quarter |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Businesses are confident that conditions will hold up in the fourth quarter, according to Dun and Bradstreet’s national business expectations survey.|
The survey shows that inventory expectations are at the highest level in five years, with 20% of executives expecting to increase inventories in the December 2009 quarter, while 12% plan to decrease stock levels.
Sales expectations for the December quarter are also up, with 46% of firms expecting an increase in sales while 19% expect a decrease.
Expectations for selling prices have fallen by 54% since the March quarter 2009.
Capital investment expectations have improved strongly, with 16% of firms expecting to increase investment and 7% planning to decrease spending in this area.
According to Dun & Bradstreet's CEO Christine Christian, the positive results from the survey are an indication that executives have enough confidence in Australia's recovery to believe that conditions will hold up heading towards Christmas, a traditional boom time for many sectors.
"However, it is important we remember that we are coming off a comparatively low base as firms are measuring their expectations against the December quarter of 2008 when Australia experienced negative growth.”
|Job data reveals slower decline |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|The number of jobs advertised in print and online grew by 4.1% in August, the first monthly rise since April 2008.|
Despite the increase, data from the latest ANZ Job Advertisements Series reveals that in trend terms, the total number of job advertisements still declined by 1.3% in August, following a 2.7% fall in July, to be 50.6% lower than 12 months earlier. The rate of decline in trend terms is weakening.
According to ANZ acting chief economist Warren Hogan, August’s growth in job ads is the strongest rate since December 2007.
“These data provide the best evidence we have received to date that the labour market (and the economy more generally) are about to enter the recovery phase of this downturn.
“So far in this downturn, the Australian labour market has been affected by cuts to hours instead of to employment, resulting in underemployment rather than unemployment (that is, employers have cut back on staff working hours rather than reducing their overall headcount). Indeed, the main driver of increasing unemployment has been rapid growth in the labour force due to strong population growth and high levels of participation.
“Once the recovery commences, this process is likely to happen in reverse, with work hours for existing employees creeping up again first, before total employment numbers begin to grow. It may, therefore, take some time to see sustained net job growth.”
Looking further ahead, Hogan says the August numbers confirm optimism that the pace of decline in employment will not be as severe as envisaged six months ago.
“We now expect the Australian unemployment rate to peak at around 7.25% in mid-2010.”
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|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.
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