Impact Handling has been appointed as a nationwide distributor for the Konecranes range of heavy-duty lift trucks, extending its materials handling portfolio from the smallest pallet trucks to specialist port-based machines with lifting capacities of up to 80 tonnes.
The agreement follows three years after Konecranes signed Impact Handling’s parent company, Eqstra Industrial Equipment, as a distributor in South Africa – a deal which has already seen R197 million (South African rand) worth of port machinery delivered into market.
Commenting on the UK opportunity, Terry Kendrew, Managing Director of Impact Handling, says: “In 2012 UK ports handled more than 500 million tonnes of freight*, bringing with it a huge requirement for lift trucks which can handle both empty and loaded containers.
“We already do significant business in the ports sector, but we’ve not previously been able to supply machines larger than 28 tonnes. Having a container handling capability is hugely important to our continued growth and focus on port-centric logistics.”
The arrangement with Konecranes positions Impact Handling perfectly to respond to the demand it’s seeing for the supply of larger heavy-duty lift trucks – not just from coastal ports, but from the developing dry ‘inland’ ports in the Midlands and Doncaster, as well as rail freight terminals nationwide.
Lars Fredin, Vice President and Head of BU Lift Trucks at Konecranes, which has headquarters in Markaryd, Sweden, says: “Working together with Eqstra Industrial Equipment has seen us drive significant growth in South Africa in a short space of time. It’s a natural step to work with other divisions of the Eqstra Group, and we are keen to build on the long-established relationships Impact Handling has with the industrial sector and UK ports.”
The Konecranes Lift Trucks range consists of three major product families – the company’s forklift trucks offer outstanding performance over a long working life, with models spanning the 10 – 65 tonne sector. They are joined by reach stackers with an innovative load-sensing hydraulic system which ensures an optimum balance between engine power and hydraulic demand for any given lift between 10 – 80 tonnes, plus container lift trucks, with capabilities of 8 – 10 tonnes for empty containers and 33 – 45 tonnes for laden containers. Production of the machines is shared between the company’s two modern manufacturing facilities in Markaryd, Sweden and Lingang, China.
Impact Handling’s 150-plus service engineers include specialists trained to work on heavy-duty lift trucks, and the company holds multiple service contracts with UK-based ports. It will support its new venture with specific Konecranes training, and a comprehensive review of its parts stockholding.
In addition to being the sole UK and Ireland supplier of Cat® Lift Trucks warehouse equipment and counterbalance trucks, Impact Handling is a dealer for Carer, MAFI, Combilift, Lancer, Narrow Aisle Flexi, JLG and Hako.