Hyster FleetSmart Capabilities Reduce Costs

Hyster Company, a leading lift truck designer and manufacturer in North America, offers its customers a fleet management program with a variety of services designed to reduce costs and improve the productivity of large lift truck fleets.

The customizable FleetSmart program offers Web-based access, digital paging technology, e-mail service reminders, online reports, maintenance plans and other features to help effectively operate and maintain material handling equipment.

A large component of the Hyster® FleetSmart program is the “Power by the Hour” concept, which offers a fixed “per hour” charge for services, as opposed to a blanket cost that can lead to unnecessary maintenance and fees.

Uptime is tracked by a remote hour meter that remotely acquires and tracks lift truck runtime.

The charges are then billed monthly to reduce the number of invoices billed over the course of a year.

The Hyster FleetSmart maintenance plans support all brands of material handling equipment.

Customers can choose from four maintenance plans to meet their company’s needs: basic periodic maintenance, comprehensive periodic maintenance, full maintenance and full maintenance with abuse included.

Supported by an experienced and reputable dealer network with over 2,500 certified and trained technicians, the Hyster FleetSmart program covers 100 different brands and more than two million parts through the UNISOURCE™ parts program.

Hyster Company also provides operator training, financing and leasing programs, as well as a comprehensive standard warranty.

To find your local Hyster dealer, please visit www.hysteramericas.com.

Powered Gemini delivers productivity

Warehousing Equipment is pound to announce the latest innovative product to its range, the Magliner Powered Gemini Handtruck.

The powered Gemini improves driver safety, longevity and creates a delivery environment for increasing workforce diversity.

With about 19 times less force needed to start rolling a load than a non-powered truck the powered Gemini reduces stress and muscle strain, therefore improves driver wellbeing and safety.

The powered Gemini also increases productivity, by being able to move larger loads, with fewer trips, delivery time can be reduced by up to 25%.

The powered Gemini will benefit drivers in high volume delivery situations that may include; inclines, long distances and rough terrains.

Product features include compact drive motor with easy to use controls, folding nose which helps keep the largest of loads in place and maintenance free sealed battery with quick charge system.

As a platform truck the Powered Gemini will take a large load of 450kg and the unit weight with the batteries is 55kg.

The motor is 1 horsepower with a maximum speed of 5.5kmh — very efficient!

For more information or to arrange a demonstration of the new Powered Gemini please contact Warehousing Equipment 1800 337 711 or sales@warequip.com.au.

Or to see our other innovative products visit our new website www.warequip.com.au.

TOP issues to drive business case

Efforts to achieve maximum efficiency from the Port of Melbourne container logistics chain have taken another step forward with the release of a major discussion paper on current problems and possible future remedies.

The Victorian Freight and Logistics Council this week published the distilled findings of the first stage of its Truck Optimisation Plan (TOP), a Port of Melbourne Corporation-funded project designed to have industry drive efforts to manage truck traffic in and around the port in the face of an expected doubling of freight volumes by 2020.

VFLC chairman John Begley said projected trade growth, combined with urban freight deliveries, would generate significant growth in vehicle movements through the port precinct, impacting in turn on container terminal capacity and overall port efficiency.

“Port infrastructure and road space are finite physical assets,” Mr Begley said. “We have to optimise within those limits, not just to extract the greatest value from the assets but to recognise industry’s responsibility to surrounding communities and the liveability of Melbourne.”

The project work, which is being undertaken by a TOP steering committee of the Council’s Freight Intermodal Efficiency Group (FIEG), was prompted by raw figures that measured container haulage truck slot use in the port precinct and linked hinterland, with two-way loading at 40%. These figures seemed at odds with Australia’s road transport industry’s reputation as amongst the most efficient.

The VFLC, in conjunction with the Victorian Transport Association and Roy Morgan Research, surveyed metropolitan and country-based port carriers about their business patterns and practices, and undertook four detailed representative case studies and face-to-face industry workshops. What has been revealed is a complex situation that will require concerted and co-ordinated industry action and possible State government leadership.

The key finding is that, to a large extent, road carriers are balancing their operations between two strictly controlled environments – the port terminal and the customer delivery windows.

“Each node manager and supplier is searching for internal efficiencies, often at the expense of other parts of the supply chain, or frequently, at the expense of the public infrastructure and public environment,” the VFLC’s TOP options paper says.

“Transport operators are fiercely price-competitive, often to the detriment of their own sustainability. While some of the larger carriers are confident of their value proposition, others are unwilling or unable to educate their customers to an appreciation of the service.”

These major carriers are investing heavily in depots, equipment and customer service, commonly staging containers through transit depots to gain efficiencies and offering a range of value-added logistics and storage solutions.

The TOP discussion paper deals with seven major challenges affecting truck utilisation and canvases options for improvement. Issues of empty container park arrangements and operating hours, vehicle booking systems, container terminal interface, customer flexibility, co-operation between transport operators, labour supply and regulation will be now be further refined with the port community, peak bodies, freight customers and government agencies to ascertain which are the most feasible options and which have a perceived commercial benefit. After detailed analysis the FIEG will develop a business case for implementation and the recommended Truck Optimisation Plan will be presented to industry and government.

“The VFLC has a strong interest in industry-led solutions, supported where necessary by government policy and regulatory settings,” Mr Begley said. “Industry-led solutions are most likely to bring about sustained change in business behaviours and deliver outcomes that are effective as well as cost-efficient.

“We recognise that change takes time and businesses need to carefully consider changes that have impacts on their assets, operations and investments,” he said.

“However, it should be kept in mind that any small improvements will have cumulative benefits and multiply across volumes of freight movements.”

Copies of the TRUCK OPTIMISATION PLAN: Options Paper can be obtained from the VFLC website at www.vflc.com.au. Individuals, businesses and organisations are invited to make a submission outlining their views, and this can be done using the appropriate form also available on the website.

TOP is a two-stage project modelled on the VFLC’s very successful Business Activity Harmonisation Study, in which the experience and expertise of supply chain members was very successfully mined to address long-standing frustrations in a practical and co-operative manner.

The Victorian Freight and Logistics Council is an independent industry advisory body that provides advice to government on the development, planning, regulation and operation of freight and logistics transport, infrastructure and services in Victoria.

Have your say on OH&S Laws

An important step in moving towards harmonisation of Australia’s workplace safety laws occurred this week with the issuing of an invitation for written submissions to the National Review into Model Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Laws.

All interested persons are able to contribute to the review by lodging a written submission by 11 July 2008. This provides an opportunity to influence the direction of OHS reform in Australia.

The advisory panel conducting the review has published an issues paper to assist anyone making a written submission.

The review panel chair, Robin Stewart-Crompton, said that the  panel is looking forward to the submissions and would appreciate evidence and reasoning to support the proposals that they contain.

“Our recommendations will be designed to improve OHS outcomes and we strongly encourage all who are making written submissions to explain how that might best be achieved in a model OHS law,” said Mr Stewart-Crompton.

“We want to ensure that the legislative OHS framework is effective and responsive to the changing needs and working arrangements in Australian workplaces. 

“The panel welcomes comments and proposals on any matters within its terms of reference.

“We suggest that before making a submission, interested persons consider the matters raised in the issues paper but need not address them if they have other concerns.

“The submissions will assist the panel in making well informed recommendations to the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council on the optimal structure and content of a model OHS Act,” said Mr Stewart-Crompton.

In developing the issues paper, the panel undertook preliminary consultation with key stakeholders in all states and territories. Consequently, the issues paper includes many issues that stakeholders see as central to the review. 

The goal of harmonising OHS laws has the support of Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, including the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers, and Workplace Relations Ministers.

In accordance with the review’s terms of reference, all matters raised in the submissions will be considered on their merits. Unless indicated otherwise, submissions will be made public on the review website.

The issues paper, together with a template for written submissions and details on how to lodge a submission by 11 July 2008, is at www.nationalohsreview.gov.au.

Inventory and vehicle tracking technology bears fruit

EastPack, one of the largest Kiwi Fruit pack houses in New Zealand, has implemented a revolutionary new RFID and indoor vehicle management supply chain solution. Combining RFID, indoor vehicle tracking, mobile data capture and inventory management software, the system has already achieved an ROI for EastPak just months after its deployment.

The new approach was designed, developed and deployed by Peacock Bros. for EastPack who needed more than just ‘point of activity’ tracking of RFID pallets to fulfill their supply chain  visibility requirements. The resultant supply chain management system now tracks the movement of all of the forklifts and pallets within centimeters, every second of the day in every facility.  Continuous monitoring of activities allows for full inventory reporting on where the stock is located, quantity, expiry date and much more, as well as analysing the performance of indoor vehicles such as forklifts to ensure optimal efficiencies within the warehouses.

This is made possible by the forklifts being fitted with Sky-trax optical cameras that identify the relative location of position markers suspended from the warehouse ceiling.  The location information is fed to a vehicle mounted mobile computer that continuously relays data such as location, speed and direction to the main warehouse management system. By adding automated RFID pallet tag readers and height sensors to the forklift, the warehouse system now knows the location and height of the tagged pallets even if they are in motion onboard the forklift.

EastPack maintains three warehouses containing 42 refrigerated storage rooms, receiving, storing and dispatching as orders are placed. The system was deployed throughout their entire operation incorporating 25 forklifts, which last year moved over 13.5 million trays of Kiwi fruit.  Donna Smit, EastPak’s company administrator said, “We have already moved over 2 million more trays than this time last year due to the new system.

“Knowing the exact location of a pallet at any given time is vital”, she said. “Because Kiwi fruit is a perishable product, we have to be sure that the pallet taken by the forklift is the right one every time.

“Previously warehouse staff read a barcode with a scanner and manually typed in the pallets location, the problem was we could not depend on the accuracy of the information being entered and interpreted.”

Warehouse operational efficiency has improved dramatically thanks to the Sky-trax OPSMan monitoring program integrated into EastPack’s own warehouse management system, which provides the warehouse manager a real-time view of the vehicles’ movements and stock locations.  Because all activities are now being monitored to an accuracy of 5sq cm, the system can provide reports on vehicle use effectiveness, stock status and warehouse layout practicality, greatly assisting in the day to day operations of a high activity environment.

Additional OH&S benefits can be retrieved from this solution, including the ‘breadcrumb trail’ function that will identify the heavily congested sections within a warehouse. Proximity alerts can be added when approaching a pedestrian area, and even an optional speed limiter fitted to reduce accidents with pedestrians or other forklifts.

The system is scalable and will fit into any warehouse or distribution centre that requires around-the-clock inventory accuracy and above the norm return on investment.

Australian pallet management software to conquer the USA

Ithaca, NY, headquartered Ongweoweh Corp has this month signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding with Australian pallet management and reconciliation software developer 2ic.

The North American corporation will supply the 2ic solution to rental pallet users throughout the United States and Mexico.

Founded in 1978, Ongweoweh has developed a significant presence in the pallet supply business. It currently distributes, manages, recovers and recycles more than 17 million pallets yearly throughout North America. It has annual sales approaching $US80 million and is one of the 50 largest minority-owned companies in the USA.

With other corporate offices in Rochester NY and Dallas TX and Atlanta GA, Ongweoweh manages pallet pools and packaging procurement for many Fortune 500 companies, as well as medium to small organisations requiring professional pallet management services . 

The organization’s founder and CEO, Frank C Bonamie, said: “from its inception, the company’s mission has been to reduce material handling costs for its customers. We are committed to exceeding customers’ expectations through product quality, technical innovation, and exemplary service. A philosophy that will now be significantly complemented by 2ic’s pallet management and reconciliation software.

“This was originally developed to meet the requirements of the demanding Australian market, where use of the system is now widespread. In mid-2007 distribution began in the United Kingdom and Canada, with initial installations having been quickly achieved. In both those locales, there are also many other large logistics and distribution-focussed companies now trialling the application.”

2ic Software CEO, Andrew Whittam, said: “The cost and time savings that the software can deliver are ideally suited to the way that pallets are used in North America. Particularly as more and more users move from plain pallets to pooled pallets.

“We are delighted to now be partnering with the Ongweoweh team. They have vast experience in the pallet business. And are highly skilled in removing the many challenges associated with the arduous, time consuming and error prone process of pallet management. Challenges that include the major financial risks that all too often occurs if shared pallets are not effectively transferred or are lost.”   

For further information:

Please contact:

Chris Merta


+1 (607) 266 7070  x822




Andrew Whittam

2ic Software

+61 (8) 8132 1455



Melbourne to get better rail links to Sydney

Victoria’s north-east rail corridor will be standardised to create an interstate rail freight link between Melbourne and Sydney.

The $500 million joint project between the Victorian and Federal Governments, the North-East Rail Revitalisation Project, will entail removing the rail line from Wodonga and converting broad gauge to standard gauge to match the rest of the Sydney to Melbourne rail corridor.

Victorian Premier John Brumby said the state and Commonwealth Governments had come to an agreement after months of negotiations on the infrastructure upgrade project that would not only provide a boost to Victoria’s rail freight network but also enhance passenger rail services.

“It will generate major improvements for rail freight operations and comes on the back of our $133.8 million buy-back of the regional freight network and $43 million investment to upgrade priority major freight lines,” Mr Brumby said.

He said the project will also make V/Line and interstate CountryLink services accessible to people living in regional centres such as Seymour, Wangaratta, Benalla and Albury-Wodonga.

Federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said: “New rail freight infrastructure gets goods to markets more efficiently, helping to alleviate the capacity constraints on our economy.” 

He said the Melbourne-Sydney route’s freight volumes are projected to increase by 70 per cent in the next 20 years.

Beginning later this year, the Commonwealth Government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation will deliver the three-year project under the Southern Improvement Alliance.

During the track work, train services between Melbourne and Albury will cease and be replaced by buses for about a year. 

Interactive website for Melbourne’s supply chain

A new online platform has become available for supply chain businesses working with the Port of Melbourne.

Victorian industry and trade minister Theo Theophanous has launched the Port of Melbourne Supply Chain Awareness Interactive Website to provide online resources, including printable supply chain maps and text detailing the main activities undertaken within the export/import supply chain.

The web project, developed by Transport and Distribution Training Victoria, was funded by the State Government as part of the Victorian Supply Chain Excellence Action Plan.

Mr Theophanous said achieving supply chain excellence would put the state ahead in the global marketplace.

“The website aims to help companies operate more efficiently along sea freight logistics chains,” Mr Theophanous said.

“The content is based on input from all key stakeholders and includes exporters, importers, stevedores, Australian Customs and AQIS, freight forwarders, custom agents and shipping lines.”


Port of Melbourne Corporation has announced record trade growth in April, boosted by containerised exports, which increased 15.3% to 65,654 TEU.

The company’s CEO Stephen Bradford said all cargo types showed strong results in the month with total port trade growing by 12.7% over the same month last year.

Dexion, MIKOH to deliver security and automation

MIKOH Corporation Limited, a specialist in providing high-security RFID solutions, has entered into an agreement with Australian specialist logistics and integrated systems company, Dexion Limited.

The agreement provides for MIKOH to be the exclusive supplier of high-security RFID-based solutions to meet the requirements of Dexion’s customers in supply chain, logistics, and distribution markets, while Dexion has been granted exclusivity for the use of Smart&Secure-based solutions in these markets in the geographies in which it operates, being Australia, ASEAN, China, Korea, and the Middle East.

MIKOH works with customers to design and implement physical security systems to track, seal and/or monitor valuable assets. Both RFID and non-RFID in nature, MIKOH solutions align proper business processes and labelling technologies to ensure assets are effectively managed with certainty.

MIKOH’s Smart&Secure tamper-evident technology provides physical security certainty for RFID tags. Physical security for RFID is vital in applications where the compromise of sensitive assets results in commercial and/or revenue loss. These applications include government asset tracking, vehicle identification, pharmaceutical distribution and more. Smart&Secure is flexible, scalable and easily integrates into any RFID system.

The company has offices in Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and McLean, VA and New York, NY in the USA.

Dexion is an Australian integrated storage and automated systems provider. The company was founded in 1947, and listed on the ASX in 2005. It is based in Sydney, with operations spanning the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. Revenue in 2007 exceeded $250M.

Goulburn mega-hub a step closer

Mariner Financial Limited, through its joint venture subsidiary Southern Distribution Hub Pty Ltd (SDH) has announced the settlement of its 263ha land acquisition of the Southern Distribution Business Park (SDBP), located on the south side of the Hume Highway in Goulburn.

The 263ha SDBP project will have 1.5 million sqm of approved distribution / logistics building area with an end value of over $2 billion. Infrastructure will be developed over 15 years, expected to contribute approximately $170 million annually to the NSW state economy. SDH is a joint venture between Mariner Financial and local Goulburn investors, which will help promote local businesses and trades as the project is developed.

50-year lease options have been executed over the Up Siding Wheat Yards at the Goulburn Rail Yards with Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). Engineering is currently being undertaken that will facilitate access between the rail yards and the SDBP. The lease will provide a vital link into the integrated industrial, logistics, services, warehousing and distribution hub, providing direct access to the main north-south line. 

The project is a direct response to the NSW Government’s policy of promoting regional logistics centres and will act as a catalyst for preferred logistics industry development along the Sydney-Canberra corridor. The SDBP project will service the growing freight movements between Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra along the Eastern Seaboard.

During the initial stages of construction the project will employ some 300 workers over a period of 2 years, with an ongoing on-site construction workforce of 150 over the next 10 to 15 years. It is estimated that the project will directly generate over 2,500 new jobs and sustain associated local industries supporting the Southern Distribution Business Park.

A number of environmentally sustainable solutions are planned to be incorporated into the project, including water self-sufficiency and full onsite sewerage treatment. Council will be involved in this process so that the best ESD options for the site are implemented to attract leading national users for the facility.

ESD principles have been adopted in the planning process and an ongoing management plan will be implemented so that the project uses acceptable strategies to reduce greenhouse emissions, manage water, minimise waste, use renewable energy sources, and provide environmentally responsible workplace training and practices.

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