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|World truck market poised for double-digit growth|
|The world materials handling market grew by 50% to 379,000 trucks compared to 253,200 units in the first half of 2010.|
According to Jungheinrich Group’s market intelligence, all regions contributed to the increase. Asia posted the strongest gain, expanding by 77%, with China making the largest contribution, growing by 103%.
Europe’s market volume advanced by 27% in the first six months of 2010 and accelerated in the second quarter by achieving a 39% growth rate. Western Europe recorded growth of 18%, while demand in Eastern Europe jumped 85%. The market improvement in Eastern Europe is especially impressive considering it collapsed by 78% last year.
The North American market recorded a rise of 28%.
Jungheinrich expects the world market to increase by over 30% - to more than 700,000 trucks - this year.
|Manitex gains in sales, obtains orders|
Bridgeview, IL, United States
|Excluding the impact of acquisitions, Manitex International Inc has reported a 29.5% increase in sales for the quarter ended 30 June versus the comparable prior year period.|
During 2009, Manitex acquired Load King Trailers in December and Badger Equipment Co in July.
Including the acquisitions, Manitex reports quarterly profit of USD213,000 on sales of USD19.5 million in comparison with a loss of USD117,000 on sales of USD11.8 million last year.
“Our specialty manufacturing strategy is working,” says David Langevin, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our plants are running at much better rates of production in comparison to a year ago, and our visibility is good for the rest of the year.”
Canada-based dealerships North West Crane Ltd (NWC) of Leduc, Alberta and Cropac Equipment Inc of Oakville, Ontario placed orders totaling USD5 million with Manitex’s boom truck subsidiary in Georgetown, Texas. The NWC order targets support services to the energy sector in western Canada, and the Cropac order involves the general construction segment in eastern Canada.
Manitex says the NWC order represents the largest single purchase of such Manitex products to be delivered to western Canada in more than two years.
On 30 June, Manitex disclosed formation of CVS Ferrari Srl, a new subsidiary for operation of the container handling business in Rovoleti di Cadeo, Italy under an operating agreement with the Ferrari family (Forkliftaction.com News #469).
Shares of Bridgeview-based Manitex trade on the Nasdaq stock market.
|Changing trends to double tow tractor sales |
|Jungheinrich predicts that its tow tractor sales will double this year as a result of changing trends in the manufacturing industry.|
Oliver Rosenthal, the group’s product manager for tow tractors, says that many manufacturing companies are reconfiguring their internal logistics systems to maximise efficiency of parts delivery processes.
“In a lot of cases, manufacturers are adopting the ‘milk run’ principle as the most efficient way of getting parts to the production line. This involves delivery of parts on a defined route around the factory, often to a set timetable,” Rosenthal explains.
This means that tow tractors leave the warehouse with a full load of parts. They drop off parts at the production line and take away an empty SKU for replenishment. The system, first used in the automotive sector, is being adopted by smaller companies in different industries.
Rosenthal says manufacturers have realised that tow tractors can work in narrow aisles and allow several loads to be transported by one vehicle. “This means saving in personnel. Also, when it comes to changing the layout of the factory, stationary conveyors, which have traditionally been used to deliver parts to the production line, are very inflexible.”
Jungheinrich claims its one to 25 tonne electric-powered tow tractors built at it its Lueneburg factory in Germany are the widest range of tow tractors on offer. The tow tractors feature fourth-generation AC motors that are built with the same components used in its forklifts.
Separately, Jungheinrich has reported increases in incoming orders, sales and earnings for the first half of 2010. Incoming orders increased by about 12% from EUR819 million (USD1.054 billion) to EUR915 million (USD1.177 billion), while net sales jumped 7% from EUR417 million (USD536 million) to EUR446 million (USD574 million). The group produced 27,400 trucks, nearly 14% more than the previous year’s 24,100 units.
Hans-Georg Frey, chairman of the board, credits a strong performance in June, efficiency programs, expanding after-sales services business and savings initiated last year for the group’s positive result.
The group’s cumulative earnings for the first half of 2010 was EUR37.7 million (USD48.5 million) compared to a loss of EUR14.8 million (USD19 million) the year before.
Forkliftaction.com News asked Jungheinrich how much money it saved through its cost-cutting measures last year but the group declined to disclose the figure. Jungheinrich cut about 300 manufacturing jobs during the global recession (Forkliftaction.com News #421).
|Training company expands in Europe|
Coventry, United Kingdom
|Train-a-lift in Canley is expanding overseas from its Coventry headquarters to meet demand for its forklift training services.|
David Brown, the company’s managing director, told Coventry Evening Telegraph that the company is entering the forklift training market in Cyprus.
“Health and safety is not as stringent in Cyprus as it is in the UK and there have been a lot of industrial accidents,” Brown explained.
“We have been working with the Health and Safety Training Centre in Cyprus by sending out instructors over there to train workers at a port to safely use handling equipment,” he said.
Brown adds that Train-a-Lift has set up a lot of practices and systems in the UK which can easily be transferred to organisations in Cyprus.
The 15-strong firm, which provides forklift training and mechanical handling equipment safety courses to about 5,000 people annually, is able to expand outside the UK thanks to the Yorkshire Bank’s new business support initiative “Investing for Growth”.
Martin Boag, a business partner at Yorkshire Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre in Coventry, told the newspaper that “Investing for Growth” was set up for companies like Train-a-Lift. “It aims to help trading businesses invest in quality opportunities to buy or expand their premises, hire new staff and launch products.”
Brown said Train-a-Lift, set up in 1977 by his uncle Jim Brown, is the only accredited training centre in Coventry.
“We’re all hoping the economy will get going again and we have bought the freehold of the premises from the city council thanks to the excellent support from Yorkshire Bank, which has also given us the confidence to diversify into new markets abroad,” he said.
|Florida fuel cell project now operational |
Sarasota, FL, United States
|In an advance for hydrogen fuel cell technology, Abel Womack Inc has retrofitted 36 pallet jacks and supplied 29 new materials handling units to a major food distributor (Forkliftaction.com News #454).|
A 4 August ribbon-cutting event for United Natural Foods Inc’s (UNFI) distribution centre in Sarasota included facility tours and demonstrations of GenDrive fuel cell technology from Plug Power Inc in UNFI’s fleet of electric lift trucks from Raymond Corp. Raymond dealership Abel Womack undertook the retrofit program at the 352,000 sqft (31,680 sqm) UNFI site.
UNFI will not reveal financial investment numbers but says: “We are happy to share that the [return on investment] is less than three years”. The new Raymond equipment includes seven model 8400 walkie riders, eight model 7400 Reach-fork trucks, six model 5500 order picker trucks and eight model 4200 standup counterbalance trucks. UNFI anticipates the use of fuel cells will be a key component in enhancing sustainability goals along with eliminating time for battery charging, changing and maintenance.
Raymond says UNFI is the first organisation to utilise Raymond’s new fuel cell-compatible order picker, which features a 21-inch (.53 m) battery box to accommodate the fuel cell.
Abel Womack is a major northeast distributor of Raymond materials handling equipment and services through facilities in Lawrence, Massachusetts; Wallingford, Connecticut; and Farmingdale, New York.
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|Chinese economy gives CeMAT a boost |
|CeMAT organiser Deutsche Messe thinks the resilient Chinese economy will benefit CeMAT Asia and expects nearly 400 exhibitors to participate in the October trade show.|
Deutsche Messe AG director Wolfgang Lenarz says Asian companies are increasingly interested in exhibiting at CeMAT Asia and European and US companies also want a presence at the show. “During the early stages of planning CeMAT Asia, we were reminded of the increasing importance of China for the intralogistics sector,” he notes.
“Current market conditions have made it essential for SMEs to step up their activities in foreign markets and taking part in trade shows remains the single most efficient marketing tool for companies seeking business in new markets,” Lenarz explains.
China is one of the first economies to recover from the global economic crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s GDP is expected to grow by about 10% this year. China also surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy last quarter. The Japanese Cabinet Office said this week that while Japan’s GDP for the second quarter totalled USD1.288 trillion compared to China’s USD1.337 trillion, Japan remained the bigger economy in the first half of 2010.
CeMAT Asia expects about 380 exhibitors to present their products and services in over 23,000sqm (247,570sqft) at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from 25-28 October. The expo’s key display categories are handling equipment like forklifts, cranes and lifting equipment; conveying and warehousing systems; loading equipment; and related software and accessories for goods and cargo handling.
Deutsche Messe spokeswoman Brigitte Mahnken-Brandhorst says 118 exhibitors from 19 countries have so far signed up for CeMAT Asia.
|MHIA launches new event|
Charlotte, NC, United States
|Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) will launch a new event, MODEX 2012, on February 6-9, 2012 at the Georgia World Congress Centre in Atlanta, GA. |
John Nofsinger, CEO for MHIA says the event will include a similar materials handling and logistics profile to MHIA’s ProMat event. "However, the MODEX event will additionally incorporate a broader array of technology, services and educational offerings that serve the overall supply chain—hence the event’s tagline ‘Solutions That Move Supply Chains’”.
MHIA strategically chose Atlanta as the location to take advantage of what it sees as an emerging gateway to American supply chains: “Over 40% of North American manufacturing and distribution locations are now within a 500-mile (800 km) radius of Atlanta,” he says. “Georgia and the Southeast are also home to extensive intermodal and logistics hubs that drive supply chains now and will continue to in the future. Currently, 90% of the global top 25 third-party logistics (3PL) providers have operations in Georgia and more than 48 of the largest retailers have distribution centres in Georgia.”
MHIA anticipates 500 exhibitors and tens of thousands of manufacturing, distribution and supply chain professionals from over 80 countries around the globe to attend MODEX 2012.
|Poundland expands fleet for pre-Christmas rush |
West Bromwich, United Kingdom
|Europe’s biggest single-price discount retailer, Poundland, has given its forklift fleet a boost in preparation for the pre-Christmas peak period.|
In the three months before Christmas, Poundland faces extra challenges when demand for its 4,000 product lines increases significantly. The products are handled at two purpose-built warehouses totalling 517,050sqms (5,565,480sqft), close to Wolverhampton.
Kevin Gillespie, Linde Creighton Ltd’s corporate account manager, says Linde has worked with Poundland since it opened. “We supply the company with over 120 trucks in normal conditions and an additional 60 or so trucks to cope with its peak demand for Christmas orders.”
The Poundland warehouse team uses low-level order pickers and reach trucks. The additional short-term rental trucks that are brought in from October to December have specialist features.
“We fit radio data terminals to the order pickers, which are configured to carry two pallets at once. We also send a team to the warehouses to fit the masts on the reach trucks as they are too high to be transported in one piece,” Gillespie explains.
Linde also organises and supplies the additional batteries and battery charging stations that are needed for the peak period.
“We match the short-term rental trucks as closely as possible to the existing fleet and we supply the trucks early to train the operators on any differences,” Gillespie says.
Poundland, founded in 1990, is one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses, opening an average of two new shops each month. It now has over 280 stores in the UK, which serve about 3 million customers weekly.
|Ruia buys Gumasol-Werke|
The Ruia Group has expanded its global presence further by acquiring tyre-maker Gumasol-Werke.
The group’s chairman, Pawan K Ruia, told The Statesman that Gumasol-Werke had faced challenges resulting from the global financial crisis but the acquisition will take it to “new heights”.
Gumasol-Werke is a German manufacturer of solid resilient tyres and rubber components used in forklifts and other equipment. It has registered patents in the European market.
The acquisition value was not disclosed.
Headquartered in Kolkota, Ruia Group is an industrial conglomerate with interests in infrastructure and engineering, tyre and rubber products, sugar and electronics. It employs about 9,000 people.
Defence agency contracts for forklifts
Chatsworth, CA, United States
Ground support equipment maker Hydraulics International Inc has received a USD5.9 million contract for 77 of its MJ-1C aerial stores lift trucks from the US Defence Logistics Agency (DLA).
The equipment is used to transport, lift and attach bombs, fuel tanks, pylons and aerial stores to wings and fuselage stations of military aircraft.
The contracting agency for the DLA is the Robins Air Force Base near Warner Robins, Georgia.
Chatsworth-based Hydraulics International is among the largest suppliers of ground support equipment to major aerospace agencies, military forces and commercial airlines.
In addition to materials handling devices, the firm produces hydraulic test, pneumatic, fuel test, fixture and component equipment and gear.
|Movers & Shakers |
Steve Pow has been appointed as Canadian Forklift Distributors Ltd’s manager of dealer sales and development for Ontario and Western Canada. Pow will service existing dealers and continue to develop the dealer network in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Elwood, KS, United States
Jamie Graham has been appointed Snorkel’s director of product support at its principal facility in Elwood, Kansas. Graham will be responsible for inside sales, parts and service. He brings over 21 years of experience in sales and customer service, most recently as assistant sales manager at Diesel Power Equipment in Omaha, Nebraska.
Doug Moore has been appointed Snorkel’s director of supply chain at the Kansas facility. Moore will be responsible for purchasing, planning, commodities and warehouse. He has over 18 years of experience in manufacturing, most recently as vice president of operations at Broderson Manufacturing in Kansas City.
Norfolk, United Kingdom
Karl Timmis has been appointed as DSV’s head of full load, contracts, haulage and support services in the UK. Timmis replaces Andrew Fowler, who has retired. He started his career as a customs clearance clerk in 1984 in Harwich and has been an active member of the DSV Group’s central equipment board for Europe for the last three years.
|Forklift operator shuts off leak, loses life|
Dickson, TN, United States
|A forklift driver is being hailed as a hero after a fatal accident.|
Dickson Fire Commander Richard Greer says James Bruce Mitchell saved others in shutting off a chemical leak, but a subsequent explosion claimed his life.
“Mr. Mitchell saved many lives by quick thinking,” Greer tells Forkliftaction.com News.
Mitchell, 60, was operating a Towmotor forklift “and accidentally hit a pipe which is used to move Toluene from place to place” in the printing plant, Greer says. “It tore off the shut-off valve, leaking product on him and the forklift. He went up a flight of stairs, cut off the leak at a secondary shut-off and drove the forklift to a shower area. Before he was able to dismount the forklift, the product vapours found an outside unknown ignition source and exploded.” Typically, clear water-insoluble Toluene smells like paint thinner.
Mitchell was a stacker in the press department at the Quad/Graphics Inc commercial printing production facility, known earlier as the Quebecor World Dickson plant, and had worked there for more than two decades. The explosion caused burns on about 98% of Mitchell’s body.
Beyond loss of the forklift, there was “no structural damage to the facility other than (the need for) some touch up painting and cleaning”, Greer reports.
A funeral service for Mitchell is scheduled on 21 August in the Taylor Funeral Home chapel in Dickson. Survivors include his wife, two daughters and a grandson. The Diverse Community Church in Dickson is accepting memorial donations, and Quad/Graphics is establishing a memorial fund.
|Forklift in video game draws reaction |
San Diego, CA, United States
|Forklifts can show up in imaginary places.|
The unveiling of a forklift within upcoming video game “Halo: Reach” brought some startled reactions from attendees at a recent Comic-Con International session.
The science fiction game takes place in 2552 with humanity locked in a war with the alien Covenant. Players assume the role of an elite super soldier during a battle for the world of Reach.
The forklift’s presence among so-called Forge tools inserted “a completely random new way for a player to travel in certain parts” of the first-person shooter game, reports Jean Guerrero in a Wall Street Journal blog.
Meghan Watt at the website of Geeknet Inc characterised the material handling equipment as “an awkwardly-controlled forklift.”
Brier Dudley, senior technology reporter with the Seattle Times newspaper, comments: “‘Reach’ has all sorts of new vehicles to drive, ranging from a fighter jet flown in space combat to a lowly forklift that players can drive, very slowly, just for the heck of it. Think of the forklift and space combat as exuberant bonus numbers during a rock star’s farewell performance.”
Erik Brudvig with IGN Entertainment characterises inclusion of the forklift among “the goofier announcements” about the game. The forklift is “a brand new vehicle that has both the ability to move and stop,” he says. “File this one under useless but fun.”
Brudvig notes: “The forklift can’t go fast enough to hurt enemies – ramming it at top speed into a grunt or jackal just pushes them forward or out of the way.”
IGN, a division of News Corporation, reports an early conceptual design allowed the forklift tines to raise and lower, but “that feature got cut because it was just too crazy and pointless”.
Privately held Bungie LLC of Bellevue, Washington developed the game. Microsoft Game Studios, a brand of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp, will publish the USD60 “Halo: Reach” for use in the DVD-9 format on the Xbox 360 video game console. Distribution begins in mid-September.
“Halo: Reach” culminates a decade of product introductions for the legendary “Halo” franchise with sales exceeding 34 million games.
|Komatsu brings OMG to Australia |
Seven Hills, New South Wales, Australia
|European forklift equipment brand OMG is now available in Australia through exclusive distributor Komatsu Forklift Australia.|
The company formalised an agreement with OMG in June this year, and is expected to have stock and demonstration units of selected models in its 11 branches by September.
Product manager Gary Hodge tells Forkliftaction.com News that a launch event to showcase Komatsu and OMG to the industry will be held at the company’s headquarters in Sydney in October.
He says the Neos range of reach trucks is available from 1.3t to 2.5t capacity with lift heights of up to 10m.
“Komatsu will stock models including compact reach trucks, full-size reach trucks, reach trucks with super-elastic tyres and four-directional reach trucks.
“OMG cold storage and freezer specifications are available across the range. All Neos Reach Trucks will feature the high visibility mast design unique to OMG,” says Hodge.
|Forklift modified for cemetery application |
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
|National distributor for Jungheinrich battery electric forklifts, NTP Forklifts Australia, has delivered a modified order picker for the Geelong Cemetery aimed at minimising the safety risks present in mausoleum handling operations.|
The order picker, with attachments designed, fabricated and commissioned by the Geelong Trust in conjunction with Total Lifting Solutions, has been engineered to operate as a crypt shutter remover, high-lift platform and entombment device.
Frank de Groot, deputy CEO of the Geelong Trust, says the trust spent months consulting with various forklift manufacturers before finally selecting the Jungheinrich EKS110, which has a lift capacity of 1000kg.
“This unit was the only one that could fit through our door, and reach the height of five crypts (it actually can reach the sixth level).”
He adds that the supplier also engineered a wider work platform and a double lanyard point for two people to ride up on the unit.
“And we could select any colour we wanted.
“With the shutter removal device, we investigated several styles, but due to the soft marble used in our mausoleum, we decided on the vacuum unit supplied by Total Lifting Solutions. This unit has been fabricated specifically for the order picker, is stored on its own stand and does not require any manual lifting for connection.”
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|National campaign to reduce forklift injuries |
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
|A compliance campaign at targeted sites, with workplace audits, begins this month in South Australia as part of a national campaign to assess and improve forklift safety in the grocery wholesale and fruit and vegetable wholesale industries.|
The national campaign aims to reduce the rate of incidents and injury from forklift-related tasks such as loading and unloading vehicles.
Workers’ compensation statistics show injuries from manual tasks and moving objects in both the grocery wholesale and fruit and vegetable wholesale industries impose a considerable financial burden on the Australian economy.
South Australian statistics for the period 2005 to 2008 show there were 2,800 forklift-related claims, which resulted in total workers’ compensation costs in excess of $23 million.
The state-wide campaign will specifically look at the safety of forklift operations, with SafeWork SA inspectors visiting work sites to assess the initial level of compliance and provide guidance, assistance and, where necessary, enforcement to improve forklift operation safety.
The campaign aims to assist employers to safeguard workers from injury, highlight the importance of systematically identifying hazards in workplaces and implement sustainable control measures to eliminate or minimise incidents.
Results of the campaign should be released by March 2011.
|More stevedores needed at NZ port |
Auckland, New Zealand
|With higher-than-expected container volumes at Ports of Auckland, the company is embarking on a program to hire more part-time and full-time stevedores.|
Overall container volumes rose close to 3% to 867,368 TEU for the year ended 30 June, with full import containers up 4.2%.
MD Jens Madsen says the growth in full import container volumes is a positive sign, suggesting some growth in the economy but also linked to the success the port has had in attracting and consolidating new import container business throughout the year.
Yesterday, the port announced a net profit after tax of NZD37.2 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2010, compared to NZD5.4 million in the previous financial year.
|Fire in forklift damages warehouse|
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
|A forklift has been blamed for a fire in a Coles Myer warehouse in Adelaide which broke out on 5 August.|
Media reports say firefighters responded to an alarm at the premises in Sturton Road at Edinburgh Park around 7.30pm after an electric forklift caught fire in the double-storey building. It had been left unattended by workers who were taking a break.
Jim Cooper, media spokesperson for Coles, says damage was confined mostly to refrigerated stock.
Investigators say the fire started accidentally. It was reported that while no-one was hurt, damage to the forklift, which was destroyed, is estimated at $80,000.
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