Toyota Materials Handling opens new facility in Sydney

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has announced it has opened a new purpose built, state-of-the art facility for its branch in Orange, New South Wales.
The branch recently relocated from its former Cameron Place location to a prized position on a 2,000 square-metre site at the intersection of Northern Distributor Road and Astill Drive.
TMHA Orange branch manager Richard Bopping said the new premises is an improvement for staff and customers in every way.
According to Richard, the previous site’s workshop was also proving to be too cramped, given the branch’s growth in Central Western New South Wales.
“We operate across a massive area stretching as far out as Bourke, Cobar, Dubbo, across to Mount Vic and even occasionally Broken Hill and down to Cowra, and everything in-between such as Mudgee, Forbes, Parkes, Narromine,” he said.
“Our core business is our forklift rental fleet, which is over 200 units-strong and is serviced out of the branch. We have more than double that, again, with retail customers that we service and provide parts and repairs for.
“We also deal in warehousing equipment such as electric pallet jacks, stackers and also skid steers loaders. New products have come online recently – such as sweepers, scrubbers, scissor-lifts, vertical lifts and the Taylor Dunn product line – to name a few. These are opening opportunities for us to expand into other markets and with our new premises we are well-placed to support our expanding range,” he said
With a site (land) size of 2000m2 and a building of 880m2 – with office being 140m2 and another 140m2 for an office mezzanine level – TMHA Orange has ensured it has all the appropriate space it required, with the addition of future-proofing. “In the future we would be able to support a rental fleet double the size of our existing fleet of 200 units, we would have enough provisional space in our workshop to support that,” Richard said.
The new building has been built for TMHA with environmentally sustainable principles in mind. “We have greatly reduced environmental impact footprint with the new building. We have solar on the roof which will just-about negate any power bill and a water tank plus a greywater system for the building. And we were able to achieve all this at a similar cost to running our old one,” Richard concluded.

Kion completes Dematic acquisition

Materials handling company, the Kion Group, has completed its $2.1 billion dollar (A$2.86 billion) acquisition of automation and supply chain optimisation specialist Dematic earlier this month.
With the acquisition, the Kion Group will now feature a suite of products ranging from forklift trucks to AS/RS solutions.
“The transaction brings together the world’s most profitable manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse technology with one of the largest and fastest-growing warehouse automation and software solutions providers. Our combined global presence, intelligent and tailored material handling as well as comprehensive automation and software technology solutions, plus now more than 30,000 dedicated and highly skilled employees will enable us to deliver even more value for our customers,” said Gordon Riske, chief executive officer of the Kion Group, upon the completion of the deal.
The new Dematic operating unit will be led by John Baysore, previously CEO of Dematic North America, who will hold the role of president and chief executive officer.
“At Dematic, we are proud to move forward as part of the Kion Group, which even better positions us to assist our customers with supply chain performance,” Baysore said. He also added that the newly established solution portfolio gives customers the ability to accommodate their ever changing business requirements.
With Baysore’s appointment also comes the departure of CEO of Dematic, Ulf Henriksson with whom Riske thanked “for leading a smooth closing process over the last several months.”
In the newly created role of executive vice president international, Jeff Moss will head up Dematic’s international business outside North America, which will be a key focus for expansion.

DHL opens Asian hub in Singapore

DHL Express has launched a €85 million (AUD$121 million) 24-hour express hub facility located within Changi Airfreight Centre (CAC) at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
The 23,600 sqm facility is outfitted with the industry’s first fully automated express parcel sorting and processing system in South Asia, and is set to boost its operational capacity and efficiency, says DHL.
The opening of the new facility is timely as DHL has recorded healthy shipment growth in recent years, particularly in the southern part of Asia Pacific. Between 2012 and 2015, the average daily shipments for Oceania grew approximately 50 per cent, South Asia at 30 per cent and Southeast Asia rose 25 per cent. This facility is 33 per cent larger than the previous hub, providing DHL with additional capacity to handle the growing shipment volumes for regional and international destinations. The hub is said to improve the flow of goods between aircraft and the facility, and allows consignments to be shipped or transshipped within an hour.
“The DHL South Asia Hub is a significant milestone in further enhancing our multi-hub strategy in the region,” says Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific. “With four hubs in Asia Pacific – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok – this links over 70 DHL Express Gateways located throughout the region. Together, these facilities reinforce our customer commitment to provide the most efficient international express connectivity between key markets in the region. This will also allow us to add more network flights in and out of Singapore, such as the recent introduction of the Phnom Penh-Bangkok flight that adds to our existing Bangkok-Singapore service, as regional trade continues to grow.”
The facility processes up to 24,000 shipments and documents per hour and can handle more than 628 tonnes of cargo during the peak processing window.

Positioning technology for trackable pallets

Nikken Lease’s new trackable pallet, Transeeker is utilising positioning and cellular technologies from Swis-based specialist u-blox
Transeeker is a pallet equipped with u-blox’s cellular and positioning technologies for accurate tracking: u-blox cellular UMTS/HSPA(+) module LISA-U200-62S and u-blox 7 standalone GNSS module, EVA-7M.
Nikken Lease is offering their GNSS-enabled pallets as a rental service. Made of plastic, the pallets are reusable and therefore a good ecological alternative to the wooden counterpart.
When Transeeker was designed the manufacturer wanted to ensure that they could locate a pallet precisely and retrieve it nationwide at low costs for its customers.
Embedded in Transeeker, the LISA-U200-62S of the LISA-U2 series is equipped with CellLocate, u-blox’s proprietary hybrid positioning technology enabling stand‑alone location estimation based on surrounding GSM/UMTS cell information in conjunction with GPS positioning data.
The module also offers worldwide W‑CDMA(UMTS) and GPRS/EDGE coverage, and an easy migration to u‑blox GSM/GPRS, CDMA and LTE modules. Also found in Transeeker, the EVA-7M single GNSS module features the reliable performance of the u-blox 7 positioning engine (receiving GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and SBAS signals) and delivers high sensitivity and minimal acquisition times in the ultra-compact EVA form factor.
“This collaboration with Nikken Lease should help us strengthen our position in the Japanese market as a key player for IoT applications,” says Tesshu Naka, Country Manager of u-blox Japan. “We are looking forward to more collaboration with Nikken Lease.”

LiftRite Hire get Kobelco WA dealership

LiftRite Hire and Sales has become the Kobelco dealer for Western Australia, with Loadex withdrawing from this market.
LiftRite was founded in 1983 to provide materials handling solutions to the construction, mining and agricultural industries, and also operate in the compact construction equipment market.
While LiftRite has handled compact equipment, it is no stranger to large equipment, with some of the materials handling equipment that it carries having capacities of over 50 tonnes.
“With the size of our workshop and the three overhead cranes, we could handle 12 of the largest excavators Kobelco makes at one time,” said LiftRite Sales Director, Jack Przytula.
The support isn’t just in the facilities, Jack is proud that around 60 percent of the LiftRite staff is involved in service and support, and there are 12 service vehicles in the fleet.
Technicians and sales staff will be undergoing training in Kobelco equipment, including the new Kobelco Generation 10 excavators. General Manager – Sales and Service for Kobelco, Doug McQuinn, says the Western Australian market is bouncing back, and looks forward to taking this next step with LiftRite.
“Kobelco is proud to be partnering with LiftRite as they build their presence in the excavator market. With a reputation in Western Australia for outstanding service and reliability, it’s a natural partnership fit for both Kobelco and LiftRite,” says McQuinn.

Worker crushed by falling pallets

A 47-year-old man has died after several pallets fell on him at transport and logistics company Toll New Zealand in Onehunga, Auckland.
The incident occurred around 11.30am local today and the employee was pronounced dead at the scene, Stuff reports.
St John Ambulance spokesman Robbie Walker said paramedics worked on him after he was pulled from the pile, but were unable to revive him.
Royce Christie, Toll spokesman, said the company was “deeply saddened that the incident resulted in the death of an employee”, extending sympathies to the man’s family and friends.
“Our priority now is to offer support to the family of our employee and to our people at the site.”
WorkSafe New Zealand was informed of the incident, with investigations to be conducted by police.

Why Hanjin's ships are stranded around the globe

The collapse of South Korean company Hanjin Shipping has left ships, cargo and crews stranded around the globe. It highlights the complex consequences of a shipping company going bankrupt, with Hanjin’s creditors and customers waiting to see whether the business can be saved.
Hanjin Shipping Co is one of the world’s top ten container carriers, operating some 70 liner and tramper services, transporting more than 100 million tons of cargo annually. Its fleet consists of some 150 container ships and bulk carriers.
Increased competition and Hanjin’s own high debt levels have led to its demise, as it struggled to adapt to changes in the market. Demand for shipping has fallen since the global financial crisis, at the same time as technology has started to produce larger mega-ships. Over capacity is one major problem.
Container operators are also increasingly constrained by competition laws in the US, the EU, Japan and more recently, China. It is a scenario playing out among other shipping companies in what appears to be a major readjustment of the size and operations of the world’s shipping fleet.
The company’s financial woes have caused it to seek protection from its creditors through Korea’s corporate “rehabilitation” laws. This is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States. This is where the insolvent debtor restructures the debts it owes to creditors, according to a rehabilitation plan, while the company continues its operations.
Under South Korean law, the plan must be approved by the creditors and the court and it is then implemented by a nominated receiver. The receiver is now in charge of Hanjin’s operations, and its ships, worldwide.
In the meantime the chairman of Hanjin Group has transferred 40 billion South Korean won to the company to help unload cargo stranded on the its vessels, but regulators have warned securing further funds could take “considerable time.”
Ideally, the plan will give Hanjin sufficient breathing space while the receiver restructures its business into perhaps a leaner operation, or one in which others, including creditors, may take a financial interest.
Ships are unusual assets for a receiver or liquidator to deal with. A shipping enterprise can be extensive geographically – with ships at all points of the world, and difficult logistically – with those ships at various stages of cargo handling. A range of other players – the owners of vessels chartered to Hanjin, and bunker (fuel) suppliers and port agents in many different countries – all add to the complexity.
Typically, a liquidator takes possession of the fixed assets of a failed business – land, plant and machinery – assets that stay put and can be located and secured. While some of those assets may be overseas, shipping collapses invariably involve the application of cross-border insolvency laws.
Ships travel from place to place and can be hard to find and secure. Maritime law is unique for that reason; for example, the ship’s crew have a direct claim on the ship itself for their unpaid wages – a maritime “lien”. They can have a court marshal board the ship, to arrest and secure it under a court order.
Arrest involves the marshal attaching an arrest warrant to the ship’s cabin or mast, and taking steps to prevent the ship leaving its mooring. This right of a crew dates back to the days when unwanted and unpaid sailors might find that while on shore leave at a distant port, their employer, the ship owner, sails off.
Others also have rights to arrest a ship at various ports around the world, this is happening right now with Hanjin. The South Korean receiver will be resisting these arrests of Hanjin’s ships.
However one of the fundamentals of bankruptcy is that ordinary unsecured creditors owed money have to wait in line for the receiver to decide how best to deal with the insolvent business. This includes realising assets to pay and what can be paid in way of dividends to those creditors – in many cases only 10 cents in the dollar, if they are lucky. Some maritime liens and other claims give the relevant creditor a “secured” claim, one that is paid out first before the ordinary creditors.
It appears that the South Korean receiver Mr Tae-Su Seok is applying to various courts around the world for orders to challenge what may be secured claims. Well developed international cross-border insolvency laws will help him access to foreign courts to obtain orders protecting the ships in that jurisdiction. At the same time, he will be looking for funds to try to keep any profitable parts of the business going.
The shipping world is waiting to see how and whether the Hanjin rehabilitation succeeds. Other major collapses, for example in Korea with Pan Ocean and Korea Line Corporation, have resulted in creditors’ claims being considerably compromised. In these cases only a certain percentage of debts were repaid and over a period of time, or creditors took equity in the shipping company.
Given the state of world shipping, that outcome may occur here. The shipping industry suffers from an inherent inflexibility in responding to changing economic conditions. There may be a decline in demand for certain goods, leading to a drop in shipping rates.
A shipper taking delivery of a new vessel some long time after it was first commissioned may be left high and dry in finding that there is a much reduced demand for its services. On the other hand, a shipping company’s leaner world fleet may find that it does not have sufficient capacity when trade conditions quickly change.
While ships will always be needed, shipping is finding increased competition from air freight services, transporting many goods – food for one, and technology consumables – unsuitable for longer shipping delivery times. Demand for the latest iPhone 7s, or fresh fruit, would call for overnight air freight, rather than weeks. Pirate incursions are another current risk.
Still, the huge capacity of ships will never be offered by flight and this remains a major advantage. Ship design and technology is also improving – computer guided “crewless” ships are on the horizon. But shipping remains a business subject to the vagaries of international trade and economic conditions.

Mr Ryan Eagle, Partner, Ferrier Hodgson, Sydney, provided assistance in writing this article.
The Conversation
Michael Murray, Fellow, Queensland University of Technology
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Toyota Forklifts one part of the Asia-Pacific Warehousing

A specialist warehousing, distribution and supply chain business in Melbourne's western suburbs has relied on Toyota forklifts since its inception, and recently received an unexpected bonus when purchasing its latest forklift.

Asia-Pacific Warehousing managing director Rohan Meegama says he has used Toyota forklifts exclusively since establishing the business in 2008, and currently runs an all-Toyota fleet of nine forklifts at its headquarters at Truganina.

“I’d had positive experiences with Toyota forklifts before, so it made sense to stick with what you know and trust,” Mr Meegama said. “We’re all extremely happy with our Toyota forklifts and they’ve never let us down.”

Mr Meegama’s latest Toyota Forklift purchase, a battery-electric three-wheel 7FBE18, came after the company opened a new satellite warehouse to cater for a new business opportunity.

“After opening the new warehouse we had to consider how best to manage our forklift resources across the two sites. At one point I thought we might need another gas-powered forklift to unload containers and another reach truck for racking, but after talking to our TMHA sales manager it was brought to my attention that the 7FBE18 forklift could do both,” he said.

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) area sales manager Mike Johns said it was a good example of the diverse range of Toyota equipment available.

“It was an economical and convenient outcome for them,” Mr Johns said. “The 7FBE18 is a lightweight and highly manoeuvrable forklift that is able to make pivot turns, so was perfect for their requirements. The warehouse it will operate in is relatively small so there was no need for a larger, higher payload forklift or one with a high mast.”

And much to Mr Meegama’s delight, the decision to purchase the new 7FBE18 forklift came with an unexpected bonus.

“We had no idea that TMHA was running a promotion at the time, with a new Toyota Yaris as the prize. When I got the call to say we had won a new car I was thrilled. I was very surprised and happy to hear the news … it was a real bonus and we’re very pleased all-round,” he said.

As it turns out Asia-Pacific Warehousing is no stranger to Toyota’s cars, utes and SUVs.

“We already had a fleet of Toyota vehicles for our staff, including a HiLux, two Yaris – which has now become three – two Camrys and a RAV 4, with another HiLux soon to join the fleet as well.

“We’ve always been happy with the Toyotas. Just like the forklifts they are comfortable, easy to use and their reliability means they never let you down,” Mr Meegama said.

In an example of the broader ‘One Toyota’ offering that covers a range of business needs, all company vehicles are financed through Toyota Financial Services.

Asia-Pacific Warehousing is a family owned and operated business that provides a comprehensive range of warehousing, distribution and supply chain services, including wharf transport, storage, handling and distribution.

How operations and maintenance planning can improve port productivity

Ports are being challenged on many fronts. Globalisation has led to an increase in shipping and a corresponding increase in demand for port services. At the same time, competition between ports is intense and the nature of the market is changing.

TEU capacity and throughput remain important but now there are added complications, with operators of mega ships seeking suitably mega facilities, while other shipping clients demand flexibility in facilities, to cope with a mix of containerised and non-containerised cargo.

All of these factors have placed port and terminal operations under the spotlight. Considerations such as the time it takes to load or unload a ship, the type of assets a port owns, and the availability and reliability of this equipment have become critical to a port's competitive positioning.

In a bid to outdo others, operators around the world are discovering that the key to cost-effective port efficiency lies in driving value and productivity out of port assets.

The nature of assets

Typically, the assets owned by ports are costly. From forklifts to cranes, the assets are expensive to purchase and to maintain. The other fact about them is they are absolutely essential for revenue. Containers can't berth or be unloaded without the right equipment. But at the same time, no port can afford to tie up money or excess assets.

To avoid these pitfalls, it is important that ports have an integrated view of their operations and maintenance. The aim is to strike  a balance between the need to load and unload ships swiftly and efficiently, yet still have the ability to schedule essential maintenance.

Alignment with strategic objectives

The best and most accurate way of achieving this is by aligning operations and maintanance with the organisation's strategic objectives.

Begin by calculating anticipated TEUs for the year and consider how this number may grow. Then break the figures down to asset management objectives such as the number of berths and cranes that will be required to meet the expected throughput. 

If you expect to have the equipment in operation for 70 per cent of the time, that leaves a potential 30 per cent when no ships are coming in and when maintenance can be carried out.

Hopefully, this 30 per cent fits with the actual amount of time you require to conduct maintenance. If you need more time, that's when the juggling act between priorities -asset availability, reliability and cost -comes into question. Exactly how these needs are balanced will depend upon the priorities of each individual port operator.

It's all about balance

When trying to maximise productivity and contain costs, there's one other particularly helpful best practice. 

Analyse your assets in two distinct ways -in isolation and as a portfolio. It's important to know the costs, utilisation and productivity of a particular berth, for example, but it's equally essential to know the status of all the organisation's berths.

Their condition, capability and TCO not only points to capacity. It can also indicate risks, such as reliability, availability or exposure to upcoming replacement costs.

This latter risk is of particular relevance to companies that respond to the current increase in demand by suddenly investing in a variety of new assets.

An influx of new equipment ultimately creates an imbalance in the age of the asset fleet, which means maintenance demands will increase in sync and many of the assets will need to be replaced at a similar time.

This points to a significant cost burden in the near future. Good life cycle planning and clarity about priorities, especially in regard to operations, maintenance and costs, are essential in these circumstances. 

This is where asset management can make a considerable contribution towards business and profitability by reducing costs and increasing the productivity of assets.

The emergence of frameworks including PAS55 and ISO55000 have helped shift the thinking of how to manage assets from that of determining what cost to meet a level of service, to one of understanding the implications of the perforamnce, cost and risk trade-offs at various investment levels.

In many ways, the best examples of asset management involve balance. The balance between new and old equipment required to avoid risk. Balance between productive utilisation and maintenance, so that output is maximised and downtime minimised.

Balance between cost-cutting and investment, so that financial imperatives are met while keeping the fleet, and ultimately the company, competitive. 

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