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Dear reader,
WELCOME TO FORKLIFTACTION.COM, MATERIALS HANDLING ONLINE.
This is issue #442 - 24 December 2009 of the weekly newsletter for industry professionals.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
PD Ports reaches container handling milestone

INSIDE FORKLIFTACTION.COM

SPECIAL REPORT: The Indian forklift market

NEWS
NITCO acquiring assets of Hyster New England
Cargotec boosts sales activities in Morocco
Alta acquires Aurora Lift-Truck
PD Ports reaches container handling milestone
AGVs from HK help retailer in warehouse
Still partners Konekesko, wins test
Plant hire firm beats recession with reindeer
Forklifts donated for training program
Movers & Shakers
Briefs
Sample of used equipment for sale
Forklift helps deliver Christmas shoeboxes
Briggs helps children in need
Woman, 89, runs granite firm and forklift
Forklift operation damages van in towing lot

LOCAL NEWS
Hyster distributor appointed
Supply chain report released
Lower growth forecast for Australia
Top transport and logistics provider named
Port Botany announces third operator

MEDIA RELEASES
High Performance Solid Tyres from 'Royal'

PRODUCT WATCH
Omega lift delivers 30,000 lbs. HERC Series forklift to Lihir Gold in Papua New Guinea

ADVERTISEMENTS
FORKLIFTACTION.COM THANKS LOYAL AND NEW ADVERTISERS – EXPECTATIONS FOR 2010
FORUMS RECOGNISED

FORK TALK: CFTS-accredited companies now searchable online

SAFETY FIRST: Rob Vetter: A (Trainer’s) Christmas Story



Send this newsletter to an associate

Inside Forkliftaction.com
As the man in the red suit sets off on his materials handling mission around the world, it’s interesting to note in this week’s newsletter that one industry player has diversified into reindeer hire – and has boosted his forklift business on the back of that. Maybe someone else will boost their business by hiring out rabbits in time for Easter.
This newsletter is the last full dispatch from Forkliftaction.com News for the year. Next week, we’ll have a special Year In Review edition and then we’ll take a short break before returning to your inbox on January 14th.
On behalf of all the staff and contributors, may we wish you all the best for the festive season and may the year ahead be so much better than the one we have just completed.




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SPECIAL FEATURE
The Indian forklift market
With the global materials handling market almost halved this year, impacting stakeholders worldwide, Christine Cranney discovers that the Indian forklift industry was affected but is still doing well.  Read more
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NEWS STORIES
NITCO acquiring assets of Hyster New England
North Billerica, MA, United States
Charlie Haywood is moving toward retirement and the sale of the business assets of his Hyster New England Inc to Yale dealership Northland Industrial Truck Co Inc (NITCO).

Principals anticipate completing the transaction during December or January.

Haywood leaves the materials handling industry after four decades and believes it “will be business as usual” for Hyster New England customers under the new ownership, headed by NITCO President Steve O’Leary.

“Many of the Hyster New England staff will be joining the NITCO team to ensure the relationships that have been longstanding,” Haywood, president and owner, says in a mid-December letter to customers.

Nacco Materials Handling Group Inc (NMHG) is moving toward selective geographic dealership consolidations in North America for its Hyster and Yale brands (Forkliftaction.com News #423).

Hyster New England is based in North Billerica and has other locations in Berlin, Connecticut; Scarborough, Maine; and Concord, New Hampshire. In addition to its exclusive Hyster line in most of the region, the dealership markets straight-mast rough-terrain and truck-mounted forklifts from Manitex Liftking ULC.

“Being in the materials handling industry for 40 years as a Hyster dealer has been a satisfying and rewarding life’s work,” Haywood reports. “The relationship with our employees, customers and suppliers has been an outstanding part of the experience.”

The business began in 1969. Yankee Industrial Truck Corp was founded in northern New England. Expansion into the regional dealership of Hyster New England took place in 1997 when Haywood’s team purchased Lewis/Boyle Inc.

“And now we are excited to help facilitate the formation of one of the early dual-brand Hyster/Yale dealerships” under NITCO ownership, Haywood notes.

The western counties of Vermont and Berkshire County in Massachusetts are outside the territory of Hyster New England.

Haywood has been involved with the Hyster Big East Group, a benchmarking and networking group of the mid-Atlantic and New England Hyster dealers facilitated by Currie Management Consultants Inc of Worcester, Massachusetts.

In better economic times, Hyster New England had five facilities, more than 265 employees, USD50 million in annual sales and more than 650 short-term rental units. Current figures were unavailable.

“Combining the talent of these two great teams under the concentrated direction of a single solutions provider will enhance the value to all our customers,” O’Leary says. “All the stakeholders involved in this proposition, our combined employee team, customers and vendor partners will truly benefit.”

The combined organisation will operate under the NITCO Materials Handling Solutions brand, according to O’Leary. Going forward, NITCO intends to have six full-service facilities including two additions to its sites in Wilmington, Shrewsbury and Stoughton, Massachusetts and Lewiston, Maine. It was not disclosed where the two additional NITCO facilities will be located.

Wilmington-based NITCO, established in 1969, is the exclusive Yale forklift dealer for central and eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. In addition to Yale products, NITCO deals with the Sellick, Atlet, Bendi, Combilift, Drexel, Taylor, Versa-Lift and V Mariotti forklift brands and the JLG line of aerial work platforms.
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Cargotec boosts sales activities in Morocco
Stockholm, Sweden
Cargotec has acquired the port service and equipment business of its former Moroccan dealer Maghrepic SA.

According to the agreement, Maghrepic founder and president El Mati Alem will continue to own and manage the company’s business activities that were not acquired by Cargotec. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

”Global port operators and shipping companies have started investing in Moroccan ports and strategically-placed greenfield facilities as the country is located at the crossroads of important sea routes and the gateway between Africa and Europe,” says Mark Williamson, Cargotec’s senior vice president for services in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Cargotec will employ 44 people, mostly service technicians. The acquisition is a part of Cargotec’s goal to grow sales and service activities in Morocco.

Sales of the acquired business in 2010 are estimated to be about EUR6 million (USD8.6 million).
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Alta acquires Aurora Lift-Truck
Montgomery, IL, United States
A prominent Michigan-based forklift dealership has added a location in Illinois.

A receptionist at Aurora Lift-Truck Service Inc began identifying the business in Montgomery as “a division of Alta equipment” in early December.

The location in Chicago’s far western suburbs becomes the first non-Michigan site for Alta Lift Truck Services Inc and involves an ownership transition to Alta from the Rhoades family. Terms were not disclosed.

Fred Rhoades established Aurora Lift-Truck in 1972 with assistance from his wife, Barb, who took the helm after her husband died in 2007. Aurora Lift-Truck represents the Komatsu, Schaeff and Jungheinrich forklift brands.

Alta Lift, the new owner, represents Yale and other lines in Michigan.

Steven Greenawalt founded Alta in 1984 and expanded the dealership’s geographic footprint in acquiring the assets of Detroit Forklift in April 2009 and those of Van’s Industrial Equipment Co in October 2008.

Now, Alta Lift in its home state has metropolitan Detroit locations in Wixom, Sterling Heights, Romulus, Lansing and Saginaw and western Michigan sites in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Zeeland and Battle Creek.
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FORKLIFTACTION.COM THANKS LOYAL AND NEW ADVERTISERS – EXPECTATIONS FOR 2010
This is the last newsletter edition for 2009 and Forkliftaction closes on another year, happily taking a good rest after an eventful and successful year’s work.
We are proud and humbly appreciative of our loyal customers, most of whom have managed to keep and even grow their investment in Forkliftaction advertising. Like every business that has survived this past year, we have been tested. We have had to hone our skills, trim our procedures, and grow our expertise. We have welcomed lots of new customers and we look forward to working with you all and many more new businesses again in 2010.

What to expect for 2010?

We will keep delivering our weekly News service and you will find more and more local news in your weekly bulletin.
The online business centre will keep growing in numbers as more and more professionals find their way to Forkliftaction as we keep improving and extending its content.  

+47,000 registered members; a readership which exceeds 160,000; 4,500,000+ monthly web pages served during 220,000+ monthly visits ... that’s Forkliftaction today. And every month these numbers grow!

Our prices remain very competitive with our advertising packages offering inserts from USD $214.

The Forkliftaction team is excited about 2010!
For more information contact Forkliftaction.com: write to info@forkliftaction.com, phone +61 7 3369 9090 or fax +61 7 3369 9096.
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PD Ports reaches container handling milestone
London, United Kingdom
PD Ports’ ports operations reached a milestone in November with Teesport handling over 100,000 containers in a year.

This is the highest volume of containers ever recorded at Teesport in any calendar year.

“We are delighted that in these difficult economic times our efforts have clearly out-performed the market. We expect to reach this benchmark earlier each year as we move forward,” says PD Ports managing director Frans Calje.

PD Ports Ltd was bought by Canadian-based global asset manager Brookfield in November 2009. It employs over 1,140 people at key ports and logistics centres in the UK and has an annual turnover exceeding GBP120 million (USD191.7 million).
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AGVs from HK help retailer in warehouse
New Bremen, OH, United States
Supply-chain solutions integrator HK Systems Inc is upgrading pallet picking operations with automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) in a Canadian Tire Corp Ltd warehouse.

Privately owned HK is based in New Berlin and focuses on complex integrated systems. HK is working with Canadian Tire to largely automate certain operations in the retailer’s 1.2 million sqft (108,000 sqm) AJ Billes distribution centre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

The AGVs are replacing aging turret forklifts in the narrow-aisle warehouse, are expected to increase pallet moves and are leading to reassignments for the displaced forklift operators.

Canadian Tire embarked on the improvement project in 2006, worked with numerous consultants and conducted trials on how to improve the movement of pallets.

Canadian Tire began working with AGV Products of Charlotte, North Carolina. In late 2006, HK acquired AGV Products, and the development work continued.

Publicly traded Canadian Tire employs about 57,000 staff, sells into the retail automotive, sports and leisure and home products markets and reported profit of CND85.4 million (USD78.9 million) on sales of CND2.45 billion (USD2.26 billion) for the third quarter ended on 3 October. Principal businesses for Canadian Tire involve the hard goods, apparel and petroleum retail segments and the financial and automotive services markets.
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Still partners Konekesko, wins test
Hamburg, Germany
Still GmbH will intensify its sales activities in Scandinavia in January next year via a partnership with Finnish-based Konekesko Oy.

“Konekesko knows the market (through) years of business experience. In the future, we want to offer our customers complete intralogistics solutions,” says Still manager Frank Schliesser.

Schliesser adds that both companies’ corporate philosophies match “very well”, with a common emphasis on quality products and fast on-site service.

He thinks that Still products and service will do well in the Scandinavian market, which is environmentally conscious. Still claims to be the first to manufacture a diesel-hybrid forklift (the RX70-25 Hybrid) and its Blue-Q energy saving program can save up to 20% of energy in forklifts.

Konekesko, part of the KESKO group, imports and sells construction machinery, lorries, buses and leisure vehicles. It operates in Finland, the Baltic states and Russia.

Separately, the Still RX20 electric forklift, which features sideways battery change, has won a forklift test by Logistikwelt magazine. Five comparable forklifts of different manufacturers were closely inspected, driven and evaluated by professional forklift drivers. The RX20 did well in the driving characteristics, ergonomics and handling categories.

Editor-in-chief Walter Dorsch presented the award to Bert-Jan Knoef, Still’s director of sales.

The RX20 had been re-launched in 2009. Besides the Blue-Q program being a standard feature, the electrically operated parking brake and minilever hydraulic controls are new to the updated forklift.
Still claims the Blue-Q feature can save up to EUR2,500 (USD3,566) in every five years of three-shift.
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FORUMS RECOGNISED
Forkliftaction.com wants to acknowledge expertise and generosity in the forums.
Hundreds of questions, comments and tech problems are highlighted in our Discussion Forums.....everyday, by people around the planet...
.....and everyday technical solutions are offered by generous experts in our industry.

Never before has our global industry had the opportunity to share knowledge in technical and safety forums. We are proud that Forkliftaction has contributed this forum to our industry and each year we wish to recognise the contributions by leading experts from around the world.

Over the coming holiday weeks, because we don’t need a holiday, we are going to read back through the discussions and we will recognise one of the top contributors........watch this space...and keep up the great work, you are making the workplaces of the world safer and more efficient.

The Forkliftaction team.
Email: info@forkliftaction.com - phone +61 7 3369 9090 - fax +61 7 3369 9096.
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Plant hire firm beats recession with reindeer
Sittingbourne, United Kingdom
GCS Group, a UK company that rents out reindeer for special occasions, has added four new JCB Loadall telehandlers to its equipment fleet.

Michael Gallacher, the plant hire company’s owner, says the JCB Loadall 531-70 models will not only be hired out to customers but will be used to deliver “presents” of hay bales to the reindeer, which are helping him beat the recession through alternative business generation.

“I’ve really stepped up the reindeer hire in light of the recession. You have to look at alternative ways of generating business and, fortunately, they are proving to be a big hit,” Gallacher says.

During the six weeks to Christmas, the reindeer, imported from Lapland, make numerous appearances at Santa’s Grottos, garden centres, parties and other festive celebrations.

“What can be better for a child going to Santa’s Grotto and seeing the ‘real’ Rudolph, Donner or Blitzen pulling a sleigh? It makes their Christmas,” Gallacher explains.

He adds that his investment in JCB machines demonstrates that the GCS Group is doing well despite the economic gloom. The expanding fleet includes a range of mini excavators, rollers and now the Loadall telehandlers.

“As well as being popular with our customers, [the Loadalls] are also really useful with the reindeer. We’ll be using them to deliver bales of hay to the reindeer during the winter months and they will also be used to load the sleigh they pull when they are hired out for appearances.”

The GCS Group was established over 20 years ago and is based on Gallacher’s farms. It now has over 160 machines in its hire fleet. Greenshields JCB of Sevenoaks, Kent, supplied the new telehandlers to the company.
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Forklifts donated for training program
Franklin, VA, United States
The Windsor, Virginia distribution centre of Safco Products Co has donated four forklifts to a college initiative to train entry-level warehouse workers.

Safco contributed the battery-powered cushion-tyred counterbalance forklifts ─ two eight-year-old Toyota 5FBE18 riders and two five-year-old Crown RC3020-55TT stand-ups ─ and a conveyor system, says Scott Bauer, manager for distribution in Safco’s east coast centre.
    
Paul D Camp Community College in Franklin plans to start a one-semester three-course warehouse and distribution certification program for up to 20 students, according to Randall Betz, the college’s vice president for workforce development. The college took possession of the forklifts on 4 December. Classes are set to begin on 11 January.

In addition to the Safco contributions, the Cost Plus World Market Distribution Center in Windsor donated a conveyor system.

“We have had tremendous program and financial support,” Betz says. The Norfolk, Virginia-based Hampton Road Workforce Development Board, which operates as Opportunity Inc, is fiduciary agent for a grant to the college from the US Department of Labor’s workforce innovation in regional economic development (WIRED) initiative. Megan Robinson is the WIRED project director.

The program may be the only one of its kind in the nation.

“The program is designed to train employees who will work inside a warehouse,” says Bob Hayes, coordinator of the college’s workforce development division. One course provides basic instruction. Another focuses on teamwork and problem solving to prepare students to work with others. The third course deals with warehouse and distribution operations to teach the individuals how to move products around.
Hayes seeks storage racks to help “train students on going in and out of the aisles using the forklifts.”

Al Will, a retired US Marine Corps colonel, provides instructional expertise on the basis of his 25 years in warehouse and logistics management.

“In the future, we may condense the courses for a summer program,” Hayes notes.

The college’s location places it near a growing number of warehouse operations utilising ocean-accessible deepwater Port of Virginia container shipping facilities in Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport Mews. “Many warehouse and distribution facilities have sprung up” in south eastern Virginia, Hayes says. “We want to develop qualified entry-level workforce for those facilities.”

The college began conceptualising the training program in 2005.

Safco, a unit of Liberty Diversified International, manufactures office products including furniture, file storage devices, organisers and, for material handling, folding platform and hand trucks.

Based in New Hope, Minnesota, Safco invested about USD17 million in constructing and establishing the 308,000 sqft (27,720 sqm) centre. Safco expected to create 40 jobs in opening the Windsor distribution facility in the Shirley T Holland Intermodal Park. Operations began in December and now utilise 22 battery-powered forklifts.
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Movers & Shakers
Konecranes changes management structure
Hyvinkaa, Finland

Konecranes has announced that it has shifted to a two-tiered management structure, consisting of a group executive board and an extended management team.

Konecranes’ group executive board members are Pekka Lundmark, board chairman, president and CEO; Hannu Rusanen, executive vice president and head of service business area; Mikko Uhari, executive vice president and head of the equipment business area; Harry Ollila, executive vice president and head of market operations; Teo Ottola, CFO; Pekka Lettijeff, chief procurement officer; and Ari Kivinitty, chief technology officer.

Ryan Flynn has been appointed senior vice president and head of Konecranes’ operations in North East Asia. Flynn is also now a member of the company’s extended management team. He was previously Konecranes’ director of ports for North East and South East Asia. He replaces Harry Ollila who is now executive vice president and head of Konecranes’ newly established market operations function.

Konecranes chief information officer Antti Koskelin is now a member of the extended management team. Koskelin joined Konecranes in January 2009.

Pekka Päkkilä will leave Konecranes in February 2010. Päkkilä has worked for the company since 1987. Since September, he has been senior vice president and head of Konecranes’ operations in the Nordic, East Europe and India (NEI) region, and a member of the extended management team. He was a member of the group executive board between 2003 and September 2009, and will continue as president for the standard lifting business area until the end of 2009.

Aku Lehtinen has been appointed senior vice president and head of Konecranes’ operations in the NEI region. Lehtinen will also become a member of the company’s extended management team. He was previously Konecranes’ director for Southeast Europe.

Tomas Myntti has been appointed director for industrial cranes in the NEI region. Myntti was previously director of market operations.

The members of the extended management team include the senior vice presidents of the regional organisations, vice president for general counsel, vice president for human resources, vice president for marketing and communications, and the chief information officer.

New CEO for ECCO Group
Boise, ID, United States

Safety products specialist ECCO Group has appointed Chris Marshall as president and CEO. Marshall is currently managing director of Vision Alert at ECCO Group’s European headquarters in Leeds, UK. He joined Vision Alert as sales and managing director in 2002 and became managing director in 2004. He previously held senior positions at Hella Ltd and Lucas Industries, and served as a Royal Naval Aircrew officer.

Manitou share holders approve new structure
Ancenis, France

An EGM of Manitou shareholders has appointed Pierre-Henri Ricaud and Christopher Himsworth as board members. A supervisory board meeting held after the EGM appointed Marcel Braud non-executive chairman of the board and Jacqueline Himsworth as vice-chairperson. It confirmed Jean-Christophe Giroux as president and CEO and Christian Caleca as president of the rough-terrain handling division.
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Briefs
Reach stackers boost TMP’s productivity
Xiamen, China

Tanjung Manis Integrated Port (TMP) in East Malaysia has received two new Linde reach stackers that were assembled in Xiamen, China.
The reach stackers replaced two 45 tonne, self-propelled, truck-mounted cranes that support vessel and yard operations. TMP’s Hassan Hasnan says the new machines will reduce the vessels’ turnaround time as they can make 15 moves per hour compared to the cranes’ 10 moves.

DSI official launch next year
Lorquí – Murcia, Spain

Mecano Continental SA will officially launch its new DSI rough-terrain forklift range at its headquarters in Murcia, Spain in January 2010.
Company spokesman Francisco Vilar says dealer response to the new range has been “great” and partly attributes it to Mecano being one of two manufacturers in the world to produce the semi-industrial forklifts. Separately, Phoenix-Zeppelin in the Czech Republic has recently joined Mecano’s dealer network.

CeMAT Middle East for 2011
Dubai, UAE

Deustche Messe is postponing CeMAT Middle East, Industrial Automation Middle East and Motion, Drive & Automation Middle East until 2011.
Originally scheduled for February 2010, the industrial trade shows have been pushed back because scheduling changes and a resulting overlap of topics mean the Dubai World Trade Centre is unable to accommodate them then.

Haulotte-BilJax raises money for kids
Archbold, OH, United States

Haulotte Group-BilJax and Nu-Arch Lanes have raised over USD600 for Northwest Ohio charity Christmas for Kids.
Haulotte Group-BilJax hosted a bowling event at the Nu-Arch Lanes Bowling Alley this month and half the proceeds of the event were donated to Christmas for Kids. A watch and bowling ball were also raffled off to help raise money.

JLG in preferred vendor list
McConnellsburg, PA, United States

JLG Industries Inc has been named Cat Rental Stores preferred allied vendor for the 10th consecutive year.
Caterpillar selects companies for the list after reviewing their products’ features and benefits, product support capabilities, training and distribution capabilities and dealer satisfaction survey performance. Cat Rental Stores stock forklifts and telehandlers among its 32 product lines.
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Sample of used equipment for sale:Search 4934 listings in the Marketplace
Mafi R25-200 1984 Australia AUD 35000 Details
Hyster H2.50DX-A466R01604 - Australia AUD 12000 Details
Crown 35RRTT198S04004433 - Australia AUD 10000 Details
Mitsubishi FG20F17A01397 - Australia AUD 8000 Details
Hyster H120XL 1988 United States USD 7850 Details
Toyota 7FG15 - Australia AUD 9850 Details
Cascade 35D-CCB124R0 - United States USD 1500 Details
Komatsu FG30HT-14 2005 Australia AUD 16000 Details
Nexen FD35 (4JG2) 2004 United Kingdom GBP 9500 Details
Still R20-16 2003 Germany EUR 5600 Details
BT RTX30DR 2005 New Zealand NZD 35000 Details
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Caterpillar GC30K 2000 United States USD 8500 Details
and thousands more...
Click here to include your used forklifts, stackers, telehandlers, container handlers, attachments etc.
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Forklift helps deliver Christmas shoeboxes
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Barloworld Handling has supplied a forklift to help international development and relief charity, Samaritan’s Purse, with its Operation Christmas Child campaign in Wrexham.

The charity has one of its largest operations in Wrexham, where Barloworld provided a forklift from its local short-term hire fleet. For the last three years, a Hyster 2.0FTS diesel forklift has been used for four weeks during the operation’s busiest period before Christmas.

“Wrexham is where Operation Christmas Child started 19 years ago and the campaign has grown tremendously in that time,” says Samaritan’s Purse head of operations and logistics Ian Macleod.

Last year, over 1.2 million shoeboxes packed with gifts were wrapped, packed and sent to disadvantaged children worldwide. The shoeboxes were donated by the public at over 1,700 outlets across the UK, which were then collected, checked and sorted at 70 processing centres.

This year, the charity is expecting over 50,000 shoeboxes to pass through the Wrexham depot.

“After the shoeboxes arrive, they are checked, placed in cartons and then palletised. It is an impressive logistics operation that relies heavily on the time given by volunteers and the added generosity of the local Barloworld team in Wrexham,” Macleod explains.

The Wrexham operation uses the two tonne Hyster forklift to help manage the storage and loading of the pallets onto lorries and containers.  Over 300 volunteers help process the boxes, which are then exported to children in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
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Briggs helps children in need
Cannock, United Kingdom
Briggs Equipment directors and employees got into the Christmas spirit early with their fundraising efforts for the BBC Children in Need Appeal last month.

Tony Rooney, sales and marketing director; Peter Jones, chief financial officer; and Gavin Wickham, operations director, helped support Briggs’ service centre, short-term rental and credit control teams while staff swapped their daily work duties to participate in a “Celebrity Car Wash”.

In the car wash, staff dressed up as their favourite stars to clean the cars of nearly 100 motorists. All the money raised was then matched and donated by the company.

The company also saw David Barry, human resources director, swapping his managerial duties to greet Briggs’ customers and answer the telephone on reception.

Meanwhile, the public met the likes of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe at the car wash, all using pressure washers sponsored by Nilfisk. Staff also kept themselves warm with Travis Perkins-supplied heaters.

“The BBC Children in Need Appeal is a charity close to us here at Briggs. We are very pleased with the amount of money we raised and we are proud to be associated with this worthy cause,” says Wickham.

A total of GBP1,618 (USD2,582) was raised for the appeal.
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Woman, 89, runs granite firm and forklift
South Quincy, MA, United States
Linda Montillo operates a Hyster forklift among her duties as owner of the A Monti Granite Co in South Quincy.

Montillo, who is 89, says the Hyster is “an old-timer” with capacity to lift approximately 16,000 pounds. “It has never failed to lift to fulfill a need," she notes to Forkliftaction.com News.

The dealership in granite blocks has other materials handling equipment. “We have two others not worth two cents,” she says. Those forklift capacities are approximately 8,000 and 4,000 pounds.

Gary Higgins of The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts documented Montillo’s story in a 15 December feature article (“Solid as a Rock”) and an audio slideshow.

Linda’s father, Angelo Monti, ran the business from 1932 until his retirement in the mid-1950s.  He directed his daughter to either operate the business or close it.

She opted to continue the work, largely involving the creation of monuments, memorial stones and architectural sculptures using unfinished blocks of stone. The nearby Quincy granite quarries were early sources for the material.

Linda’s son, John, works at the firm. Linda, now a widow, has a grandson and a married granddaughter but “neither is interested in the business”, she notes.
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Forklift operation damages van in towing lot
Chicago, IL, United States
A forklift operator for an automobile towing company under contract to the City of Chicago acknowledged scraping the passenger side of a van while moving it in a storage yard. Vandalism was blamed for the shattering of a side window on the vehicle.

Pam Zekman, an investigative journalist for the CBS-network television station in Chicago, heard from van owner Frederick A Stanley of South Lake Park Avenue about the damage and the towing company’s extremely slow payment for the repairs (“City’s Tow Company”).

Zekman says that United Road Towing Inc paid Stanley’s USD2,000 claim under pressure from the broadcasting station and suspended three employees without pay for several days for damaging the van and mishandling the claim.

United Road, based in Mokena, Illinois, bills itself as the nation’s largest towing company. The city reports about 700 damage claims over two years for about 81,000 cars towed to the lot.
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LOCAL STORIES
 
Hyster distributor appointed
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Adaptalift Hyster has acquired the distribution rights to the Hyster brand in New South Wales.

The deal, which took effect on 18 December, gives the company exclusive national distribution rights of all Hyster products within Australia.

Adaptalift Hyster NSW state manager Steve Brooks says Adaptalift Hyster (AALH) will continue providing NSW with the highest forklift fleet management solutions, forklift sales and rentals, spare parts, and servicing.

To meet the anticipated increase in service demand, AALH has added an extra 11 service vans to its mobile fleet statewide, as well as employing extra staff, in particular qualified workshop and mobile technicians. Importantly, most appointments were made in the company’s nine regional service branches located throughout the state.

In addition, the company has also implemented a AUD16 million national spare parts distribution program to increase the supply of parts in the state. This program has been designed to shorten response times and improve efficiency, allowing customers to quickly and easily obtain spare parts for their forklifts.

“We are the only company in Australia to store and source genuine Hyster parts, and one of a number that can really say they are national,” adds Brooks.

With this announcement, Adaptalift Hyster becomes the nation’s exclusive Hyster dealer, overseeing all aspects of the Hyster brand throughout NSW and Australia.
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Supply chain report released
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
An annual report on Australia’s logistics and supply chain industry has been released by the Logistics Association of Australia and consulting firm, Logistics Bureau.

The report, the second in a series, comprises an economic and market update, defines market participants, reviews Australian industry performance and gives an overview of the employment and regulatory environment within the industry.

Among the economic findings are:
• Transportation and storage has generated more than $50 billion to the Australian economy. (July 08-March 09)
• Contribution to GDP has reduced slightly in percentage terms, down from 4.71% to 4.66%. (July 08-March 09)
• As of May 2009, the transport and storage industry directly employs approximately 600,000 people.
• Australia’s total freight volume has grown from 2.8 billion tonnes in 2002-03 to 3.6 billion tonnes in 2006/7.
• The 2006/7 freight volume increased 11.3% from the previous year. This increase was mainly influenced by a surge in domestic freight volume (12.89%).
• Domestic trade accounted for 80% (2,868 million tonnes) while international trade represented 20% (734 million tonnes) of total freight volume in 2006/7.
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Lower growth forecast for Australia
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
A new report released by analysts Dun and Bradstreet forecasts that Australia will record lower growth next year of 1.8% compared to 2.5% recorded two years earlier.

Unemployment is expected to rise in 2010 to 6.1% before dropping back slightly in 2011. Meanwhile, inflation is forecast to remain within or below the Reserve Bank of Australia's target zone of 2-3%. Australia is expected to record annual average inflation of 1.7% in 2010 before rising to 2.3% in 2011, according to the “Risk 2010” report.

Christine Christian, D&B's CEO, says 2010 looks significantly more positive than 2009. However, risk will remain prevalent as the recovery continues to unfold.

"Australia has fared relatively well throughout the past two years, a time when many other nations felt the full brunt of the global crisis," says Christian.

Prevailing risk, she says, “means that if Australian firms are to deliver on this confidence, they must maintain a vigilant focus on the fundamentals of sound business management. Otherwise, businesses could find themselves as another statistic on the failed business register."

D&B's risk ratings show that more than 37,500 firms are classified as at high risk of experiencing financial distress or failure in 2010. This finding comes on the back of the latest trade payments data which confirms that Australian firms are forcing each other to wait an additional three weeks (past standard terms) to receive payment for their goods. Some 44% of firms have indicated that this lag in payments is negatively impacting their operations.
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Top transport and logistics provider named
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Costa Logistics was named Australia's Top Transport and Logistics provider in the Mercury Awards, announced in early December.

The company, which receives and delivers more than 100 million units of produce to supermarkets across Australia, was also highly commended in the Logistics Leader category.

The company was recognised for three reasons:
• Promotion of its staff program, People First, which contributed to a productivity rise from 105% in 2007/8 to 109% in 2008/9
• Staff absenteeism dropped from 5.2% to 4.1%
• Staff turnover reduced from 3.5% to 2.8%

Costa Logistics chief executive Tim Bolam said industry recognition was proof that the programs in place were working.
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Port Botany announces third operator
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Hutchison Port Holdings, one of the world’s largest port operators, has been appointed the operator of the new third container terminal (T3) at Port Botany.

Construction on the 63 hectare third terminal began in July 2008, parallel to the procurement of an operator, and around 400 workers are on site working at Port Botany every day.

It is expected the new terminal will deliver 9,000 new jobs and boost the state’s economy by AUD16 billion over the next 20 years.

Despite the global economic downturn, Port Botany has posted eight consecutive years of record growth. This year, it set record monthly highs for October and November.

Port Botany sees around AUD40 billion worth of trade every year, handling 1.78 million containers last year.

Ports and waterways minister Paul McLeay says the new terminal will increase competitive tension in the sector through greater competition with the two existing stevedoring operations.

“To be competitive in global trade we need world class facilities and international operators and that’s what we will have with this massive infrastructure investment.

“Increased competition will benefit business and the residents of NSW by reducing cargo handling charges for goods that come through the port,” says McLeay.
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MEDIA RELEASES
High Performance Solid Tyres from 'Royal'
When a major European roll-trailer manufacturer fitted their 140 ton port trailer with world’s leading brand of solid tyres, they faced a rather unusual problem: the trailer did not move! Even after a higher capacity hauler was called in, the trailer moved only after over-heating the hydraulic axle gear-box. It was then that the manufacturer chose ‘Royal’ tyres for the same application and found them to give superior performance – surpassing ETRTO’s recommended load carrying capacity by at least 25%. For Royal Tyres, it was just another day at work: performances are routinely exceeded here.

Click here for the full text of this release, including pictures.
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PRODUCT WATCH
Omega lift delivers 30,000 lbs. HERC Series forklift to Lihir Gold in Papua New Guinea
Omega Lift recently delivered one of its 30,000 capacity, 4-wheel drive HERC Series forklifts to Lihir Gold’s open pit gold mining operation in Papua New Guinea. Omega Lift was sourced from Lihir Gold because of its expertise building heavy duty forklifts designed for mining applications, as well as their global support network. “Omega Lift has worked extremely hard over he last number of years to develop a truly global product range that can be supported anywhere in the world”, explains Nick Acocella, Omega Lift’s Director of International Sales & Marketing. “The HERC Series provides 4-wheel drive, and full Rough Terrain certification which is very unique for a forklift of this heavy capacity. Obviously, there are many manufacturers that build heavy trucks, but the Rough Terrain certification and 4-wheel drive really set us apart.”

Click here for more information on this product, including pictures.
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FORK TALK
CFTS-accredited companies now searchable online
Sunninghill, United Kingdom
Consolidated Fork Truck Services (CFTS) has launched a web tool to guide forklift users to companies that are accredited to the CFTS Thorough Examination Scheme.

Click here for the full Fork Talk feature.
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SAFETY FIRST
Rob Vetter: A (Trainer’s) Christmas Story
BLAINE, WA, United States
When Christmas approaches, Rob Vetter is haunted by the ghost of Christmas Past and remembers a very valuable lesson. He shares it here ...

Click here for the full Safety First feature, including pictures.
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Editorial Calendar 2009
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Editorial Calendar 2010

January
Telehandlers
February
The Forklift Market in The USA
March
Attachments: Pallet Handling
April
Used Forklift Dealers
May
The Forklift Market in China
June
Materials Handling Equipment in Ports
July
The Forklift Market in Latin America
August
Industrial Tryes and Wheels
September
Batteries and Chargers
October
Materials Handling in Europe
November
Warehouse Counter Balance Forklifts
December
Spare Parts

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