Archive for July, 2012

Listless June for Service Centers’ Steel, Aluminum Shipments

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Listless June for Service Centers’ Steel, Aluminum Shipments

Robert Brooks

07/18/2012

North America’s metals service centers, which have struggled to achieve steady growth for monthly shipping volumes of steel and aluminum products over the past 12 months, slid through June with generally flat delivery levels. The six-month results for 2012 have been modestly positive, though the recent month’s shipments show a sharp decline in activity. Just as confounding, months of listless steel and aluminum prices have done little to trim inventory volumes.

The shipping and inventory data is included in the Metals Service Center Institute’s Monthly Activities Report, which is based on actual data provided by participating service centers in the U.S. and Canada.

U.S. service centers’ June 2012 steel shipments totaled 3,511,200 tons, a drop of 8.6% from May (3,842,200 tons), and a decrease of 1.9% from June 2011 (3,579,500 tons.) Through the first six months of this year, service centers’ steel shipments have amounted to 22,089,200 tons, a rise of 5.9% over the comparable period of 2011.

As for inventories, U.S. service centers reported 9,020,300 tons of steel in stock at the close of June 2012, a 0.67% decrease from the May inventory total (9,080,300 tons) but an increase of 13.6% over the June 2011 inventory level (7,936,900 tons.)

At the current shipping rate, U.S. service centers have steel inventories equaling 2.6 months of supply, an increase of 15.9% over the 2011 total at the comparable time.

June aluminum shipments from U.S. service centers totaled 128,900 tons, down 5.3% from May (136,100 tons) and down 4.0% from June 2011 (134,300 tons.) January-June 2012 service center aluminum shipments have totaled 793,100 tons, a 3.9% rise over the total for the first six months of 2011.

U.S. centers’ aluminum inventories stand at 376,900 tons at midyear 2012, slipping 2.3% from the May volume (385,700 tons), but rising 7.3% over the June 2011 inventory total (351,200 tons.)

At the current shipping rate for aluminum products, U.S. service centers have the equivalent of a 2.9-month supply in inventory, an 11.9% increase from June 2011.

In Canada, service centers’ steel shipments totaled 531,200 tons in June, a drop of 7.3% from the May shipment total (573,100 tons), and a decrease of 0.8% from the June 2011 result (535,600 tons.) The 2012 year-to-date steel shipment total is 3,303,400 tons for Canadian service centers, a 2.0% rise over the January-June 2011 total (3,239,000 tons.)

Canadian centers’ steel product inventories amount to 1,602,800 tons as of the end of June 2012, which is a decline of 2.6% from the May total (1,645,300 tons) and an increase of 2.8% from June 2011 (1,559,600 tons.)

At the current shipping rate, Canada’s service centers have a 3.0-month of supply steel available, an increase of 3.6% over the June 2011 inventory level.

Canada’s service centers’ aluminum shipments declined 7.5% from May to June, from 14,600 tons in the preceding month to 13,500 tons currently. The new total is an increase of just 1.1% from the June 2011 total (13,400 tons), and brings the year-to-date shipment total to 83,400 tons of aluminum, an increase of 11.9% from the January-June 2011 total.

Inventories of aluminum products at Canada’s service centers stand at 36,700 tons at the midpoint of 2012, an increase of 1.6% from last month’s inventory level (36,200 tons) and a 14.6% increase over the June 2011 total (32,100 tons.) At their current shipping rate, Canada’s service centers are holding the equivalent of a 2.7-month supply, an increase of 13.4% over last year’s comparable inventory total.

Unloading New Loading Dock Solutions

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Unloading New Loading Dock Solutions

    Tue, 07/17/2012 – 11:34am
    Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO

This article first appeared in IMPO’s July 2012 issue.

The loading dock: an essential yet often overlooked link in the supply chain. Valuable product enters and leaves a facility through this dynamic, integral, and potentially hazardous warehouse portal. Trailers need to be secure, workers need to be comfortable, and facility managers need to be able to effectively manage loading dock activity even as they look to cut costs and increase efficiency.

Worldwide economic turmoil and increasing energy costs are forcing facility managers to maximize profitability, and the loading dock presents an ideal area to cut costs. Energy solutions like LED dock lights and door perimeter seals, as well as new yard and dock management software can help workers at the loading dock do more with less, preventing a material handling standstill.

Comfortable Efficiency

“The basic needs of the material handling industry have not changed in recent years,” says John Carroll, director of U.S. sales at 4Front Engineered Solutions, manufacturer of truck and loading dock equipment. “We are still seeing a major focus on safety, efficiency, and low maintenance costs as the top needs that customers are seeking to have their dock equipment meet.”

While basic loading dock needs remain unchanged, the ways in which those needs are being met are changing. State of the art technology is creating new and improved methods of energy savings and sustainability, creating a safer—and more comfortable—loading dock for workers. Advances in dock door and seal materials and engineering now allow companies to realize increased energy efficiency and savings year round. “A universal change that has affected the material handling industry over the last few years is the interest and sense of urgency to find energy efficient warehouse solutions,” Carroll says. TKO Dock Doors are designed for efficiency and are able to withstand “moderate to severe” panel and track damage, and high winds. Carroll adds, “with a patented track, panel, plunger, and weatherseal system, TKO doors help facilities realize substantial energy savings and reduced maintenance costs.” Tight perimeter weatherseal helps eliminate air and light infiltration and the seals are attached to the door panel instead of the door jam, keeping them out of harm’s way to provide a consistent seal. An effective air barrier can also contribute to employee comfort.

“Comfort of employees at the dock is paramount,” says Carroll, “and now more than ever, companies are learning that comfortable employees are more productive employees.” He explains that ventilation and air circulation at the loading dock are two areas that can increase employee comfort through the use of truck cooling fans like the HV-ES™ and HVLS fans for cooling entire warehouse spaces. “The HV-ES Air Exchange Fan creates a focused column of air that forces hot, cold, or musty air from the trailer replacing it with fresh air.” HVLS fans, designed to create a comfortable environment while maintaining an efficient facility, produce large, cylindrical columns of air inside the facility.

Focus On Safety

“A big safety issue warehouse and distribution facilities face is keeping a trailer securely restrained at the dock door while loading or unloading is occurring,” says Carroll. To prevent vehicle creep/dock walk (premature vehicle departure) accidents, vehicle restraints can be used to keep the trailer tightly encased at the dock. Available in both mechanical and powered models, an electronic vehicle restraint system incorporates other loading dock equipment such as dock levelers, dock seals, overhead doors, and signal lights to ensure clear communication to loading dock workers and drivers.

“Safety on the loading dock involves clear communication between dock workers and trailer drivers,” Carroll adds. Utilizing communication lights reduces the potential for serious accidents from drivers pulling away before the loading or unloading process is complete. LED dock lights are bright and effective and can save a significant amount of energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.

Running your loading dock with inefficiencies can lead to a whole host of problems—shipment delays, product damage, accidents, and injuries. “Customers are striving to do more with as little as possible,” Carroll says, “which puts more pressure on the dock workers, truck drivers, and equipment to perform at their peak levels at all times.” New software can interface with loading dock equipment to help facility managers monitor activity in the yard. Carroll explains, “4SIGHT Dock and Yard Management System uses state-of-the-art technology to provide facilities with increased visibility, productivity, and sustainability in their yard, loading dock, and warehouse.”

“From the moment a trailer enters your yard to the time it leaves, you’ll know exactly where it is, what’s on it, where it needs to be, and how to get it there as efficiently as possible.” Utilizing RFID and GPS data, 4SIGHT provides real-time information to help facilities keep track of all activities within their yard, and is able to monitor a variety of critical performance analytics, including temperature-sensitive loads; overflow yard areas; and trailer status, storage dwell time, and inventory.

“From scheduling to reporting,” Carroll explains, “4SIGHT Yard helps you increase productivity from the time a trailer enters the yard until the time it leaves.” The system produces an image of current loading dock status, allowing users to see the entire loading dock operation on one screen. Tracking inbound and outbound product locations, users can improve yard and dock management by minimizing data errors and time consuming calls with dispatch personnel and truck drivers by reserving loading dock doors for completed trailers. The priority doors can also be activated offsite—loading dock doors can be opened with an iPhone/iTouch interface.

“4SIGHT Yard and Dock Management System can help eliminate bottlenecks at the dock and in the yard to greatly improve efficiency and assist facilities in safely doing more with less,” says Carroll. Able to be integrated into existing loading dock equipment, 4SIGHT tracks loading dock usage and can notify a maintenance manager when loading dock equipment is due for maintenance. “4SIGHT’s Dock Management System keeps the dock running at optimal efficiency by collecting critical equipment analytics that no other systems can provide,” he explains.

“Now, see the entire loading dock, discover areas to increase efficiency, and keep your facility running at peak performance.”

Mobile computing equipment furnishes real-time data

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Mobile computing equipment furnishes real-time data

City Furniture installs forklift-mounted computers to track inventory in real time and honor its promise of same-day, seven-day-a-week delivery to customers.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor

July 01, 2012

City Furniture is one of Florida’s fastest growing furniture retailers. Headquartered in Tamarac, Fla., the company currently has 15 stores and nine Ashley Home Store showrooms that sell quality home furnishings in a fun environment.

But it wasn’t fun for the staff in its one-million-square-foot warehouse when the aging data collection hardware mounted to the fleet of lift trucks needed repairs. The trucks operate 23 out of 24 hours every day, and “users aren’t always gentle in a rugged industrial environment,” explains Ricky Maharaj, network administrator at City Furniture. 

Unreliable equipment posed a risk of downtime in the warehouse. Since City Furniture promises its customers same-day delivery seven days a week, the company couldn’t take that risk. It uses a Web-based warehouse management system (WMS) to maintain real-time inventory and keep the flow of merchandise moving smoothly. And, associates use the computers to access the system as they are directed to specific aisles to put away new inventory or pull it for delivery. 

City Furniture’s evaluation team chose a new supplier (Glacier Computer, glaciercomputer.com), and since implementing the new units, they have seen a lot of improvement. Maharaj reports the new units have faster boot times and include built-in smart battery technology that allows the system to operate while employees perform battery changes.

“The improvements allow us to focus on other aspects of the company, as well as increased warehouse productivity with increased equipment uptime,” says Maharaj. “In our fast-paced, rugged environment we depend on equipment that is durable, can sustain rough usage and still maintain great uptime. The new system has delivered for City Furniture.”

About the Author

Lorie King Rogers Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Lift trucks: Understanding the economic lifespan

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Lift trucks: Understanding the economic lifespan

More savvy lift truck fleet managers are realizing that buying, renting or leasing practices set the tone for future savings.
 By Josh Bond, Editor at Large
 July 01, 2012
 It can be said that the recent economic downturn was the catalyst of modern fleet management, forcing lift truck fleet owners to analyze their operations in ways they never had before.

Not only has the market seen tremendous advancements in fleet tracking and monitoring technology, but it has also witnessed the evolution of lift truck financing options. Savvy customers have developed an understanding of a truck’s economic lifespan, and lately more are focusing on the beginning of that life—the moment when a signature finalizes a purchase, rental or lease.

Because that moment can make or break a company’s efforts to optimize its fleet over the coming years, Modern spoke with industry analysts and lift truck finance experts to help readers prepare for that pivotal stroke of the pen.

“When a business considers acquiring a new piece of lift equipment, that’s akin to a consumer considering whether to buy, lease or rent a new car,” says Jonathan Kipp, relationship manager with GE Capital. Few consumers would rent a car just to get to work, or lease a backup vehicle, and fleet owners would be wise to avoid these situations as well.

Currently, many more lift truck customers lease rather than rent or buy outright, according to Kipp. “Many of the benefits of leasing apply just as much to small businesses as to Fortune 500 companies,” he says. “Leases can be structured to maximize cash benefits in addition to helping address a maze of tax and accounting rules, while mitigating many risks and expenses of asset ownership.”

Although the affordability and predictability of leasing offers improved cash management and flexibility, some customers still cling to the historical perception of leasing as a restrictive agreement destined to produce huge end-of-term bills.

However, as customers become more devoted to squeezing each and every penny from their fleets, so have equipment finance partners developed products around the same goal. Along with the fairly straightforward processes of buying, renting and leasing, customers can now pursue pay-by-the-hour leases, unconventional term lengths, negotiable lease provisions, and on-the-fly term extensions or monthly payment adjustments.

None of these options is a guaranteed success, but with a comprehensive understanding of the lift truck’s application and a working relationship with a finance partner, fleet owners will be ahead of the curve.

When and how to buy Not long ago, more customers were buying outright than leasing, says Jeff Bailey, director of Crown Credit Company. “It has been a very trying last few years,” says Bailey. “During the recession, there wasn’t a lot of anything going on.”

There was pent-up demand, he says, and a lot of companies had cash built up—so, many bought outright. Government incentives for capital expenses contributed to the recovery. “Now we’re trending differently,” says Bailey. “Now it’s flip-flopping again, and more customers are leasing.”

For Brian Markison, senior manager for national accounts at Nissan Forklift, the decision of whether to buy or lease hinges on how quickly the customer will consume the economic life of the asset. If the answer is “quickly,” then lease. If the lift truck will only be used 1,000 hours per year, don’t lease. Instead, the customer might buy or rent long-term.

Another consideration, says Markison, is whether the asset in question is a specialty item or has a robust secondary market. If not, it might be best to buy.

Bill Buckhout, marketing manager for Raymond Leasing Corp., says the customer niche that buys equipment should have an application where equipment will last a long time, maybe as much as 20 years. “For all the right reasons, a customer who would like to pay in cash should not buy outright,” says Buckhout. “They might consider a single-payment lease, but then they’ll have to plan for that equipment to go away at some point. All kinds of bad things can happen when people try to buy something with a finite economic life.”

When and how to rent Rentals for any length of time, whether one day or one year, require the customer to pay a premium for the convenience of returning a lift truck at their leisure. While rentals can provide great flexibility, they are also more costly.

“Short-term rentals must be just that—no more than two to three months,” says Markison. “A customer who keeps renewing these agreements can spend as much in one year as the asset would cost to buy outright.”

Some customers slip into this cycle accidentally, he says. Rental expenses might come from a different budget than capital expenses, and might be subject to less scrutiny as a result. “I’ve seen operations with rental trucks that corporate didn’t even know about,” says Markison. However, if a company is strongly averse to a commitment of more than 12 months to 24 months, a long-term rental might be appropriate, he says.

Tina Goodwin, director of financial services for NACCO Material Handling Group, has a different rubric. “When I look at renting, I think of a customer with seasonal peaks who needs a truck for just a month or two at a time,” she says. “That’s the only time I would recommend renting.”

Realistically, however, customers often end up in long-term rentals if they can’t find the right lease agreement to satisfy internal provisions, or if for any reason a rental is not subject to the same internal scrutiny, as in the case of Markison’s customer.

“Otherwise, there are essentially no advantages to the customer over a lease for the same term,” says Goodwin.

When and how to lease Back when businesses were flush and lift trucks languished at the bottom of the list of priorities, lease agreements were executed hastily as a matter of housekeeping. Canned agreements rarely lined up with the disparate realities of the lift truck’s application, and leasing ended up with the reputation it is still working to shed.

“The lessee’s viewpoint was that leasing was just a ticket to get taken at the end of the deal,” says Bailey. “Now it’s a very desirable program. We quote leasing options on every sale.”

According to Kipp, the equipment finance industry continues to be a powerful engine for the U.S. economy, driving manufacturing and service sector supply chains across the country. In fact, the Equipment Leasing and Financing Association (ELFA) estimates that last year U.S. businesses, non-profits and government agencies financed $628 billion of capital goods or fixed business investments, up 21% from the year before.

“Companies that are in business today have worked hard, made smart choices, and navigated many challenges to get to this point,” says Kipp. “In my opinion, companies are carefully managing their working capital and they’re aware of the need to keep sufficient liquidity on hand. One of the ways they can manage their cash is by taking advantage of the benefits of leasing equipment rather than buying it.”

Leasing today looks very different than the landscape even a decade ago, when Bailey says some customers “had no idea a lease was expiring until a salesman came out to visit.” Especially after the credit crunch, customers are looking for consolidated services—equipment, maintenance, and financing—from the suppliers.

“Customers are starting to get smart about tracking their fleet, and that’s changing things,” says Bailey.

Eric Gabriel, senior manager of sales operations for MCFA, says customers should begin with an application survey and structure the lease around the available data.

“We want to bring precision to that agreement for our customer, and the more precisely they know the application, the better,” says Gabriel. “Replacement should be happening at the exact right moment.”

Now, instead of traditional three-, four-, or five-year leases, customers can enter a 39-month term, says Markison, if that’s what works for their application. Still, too many customers rely on faulty—and costly—assumptions.

“It’s common for customers to sign an agreement for 2,000 hours per year and end up returning a really nice piece of equipment with 5,000 fewer hours than they paid for,” says Markison. “Unfortunately, customers assume that because an operator is paid for eight hours a day that magically the forklift will be used for 2,000 hours per year—when in reality it is probably much less.” Goodwin says she sees customers on almost a daily basis who keep lift trucks far too long. One customer averages about 4,000 hours per truck per year. They requested a five-year lease, which means they’ll return equipment with 20,000 hours on it.

“That’s just unheard of,” says Goodwin. “The whole purpose of leasing is to use the truck for its economic life. The maintenance costs in that scenario would be huge, and the monthly payments for the lease are going to be comparable to buying the truck outright.”

That customer should be on a 36-month term, says Goodwin, but is fixated on the lowest possible monthly payments. The same fixation can lead customers to shop different leasing companies for the lowest payment despite huge differences in the structure of the lease. “That customer comes back to us within a couple of years and says they got a huge bill for all sorts of nickels and dimes at the end of the term,” says Goodwin.

Signing the contract According to Rhonda Endo, product marketing and development for Toyota Financial Services, just 10 to 15 years ago, the local warehouse or operational managers made the buying decisions for purchasing or financing equipment in their areas. They might have been in the habit of swapping entire fleets every so often, as opposed to establishing staggered replacement cycles that are key to cost management.

“Today, customers are moving toward more centralized procurement models that bring a higher level of sophistication into the buying process,” says Endo.

But that doesn’t mean operations should be kept out of the process. Markison recommends operations personnel consult with the CFO during lease negotiations to ensure the customer has a thorough understanding of their obligations, such as return provisions. What is acceptable end-of-term damage? What about overtime, relocation or early termination?

“So many people sign a document without reading it,” says Buckhout. “Lease contracts require more than legal overview. Someone who understands the operation must look it over in advance of signing, and should negotiate with the lease company to ensure a good fit. In fact, if you’re dealing with a leasing company that does not work with you to tailor the agreement, you’re dealing with the wrong company.”

Kipp recommends that lift truck customers expand from local or regional banks to financing companies and specialty lenders, where they will gain more than alternative sources of funding.

“They gain a trusted financial adviser and a valuable ally who can suggest additional leasing scenarios that may offer improved capitalization strategies over the long term,” he says.

When the end of the lease term arrives, Gabriel says it’s generally not ideal to extend the lease, which can often result in unplanned costs. However, lease extensions can also be used strategically, he says, instead of as an emergency alternative to careful planning.

“I’ve seen customers that have gone as long as 24 months defaulting to monthly or quarterly renewals,” says Gabriel. “You should be well-prepared to make a decision at least six months before the lease expires.”

For instance, if utilization were slow over a two-year period of the lease, a 12-month extension might be just the thing to ensure the customer gets value for their money.

Future trends Endo predicts the economy will continue to improve, as will customers’ equipment expenditures. Leasing is flexible and convenient, she says, and could remain the ideal choice for many businesses. But now that the traditional three-, four-, and five-year structures have been broken down, what other innovative approaches lie ahead?

In early June, NAACO Material Handling Group formally launched a new product called “Power Advantage,” according to Goodwin. The program features pay-per-hour leases that can be paired with pay-per-hour maintenance. Under the program, the lease company tracks and bills for hours used. Those administrative functions, as well as the risk associated with lease/sub-lease arrangements, are lifted from the dealer’s shoulders, says Goodwin.

This sort of new, more flexible structure resembles a “material handling as a service” model, although that’s currently a term without a definition, says Buckhout. The concept could allow fleets from 1 to 100 to purchase the use of equipment. As far as the customer is concerned, the truck has no serial number and might be new or used. Buckhout says that this approach began in the 3PL industry, which is constantly pushing for more flexibility.

“It is very difficult for even a large company to make a five-year commitment these days,” says Buckhout. “These sorts of tools will allow customer to confidently scale their fleets.”

Buckhout also mentioned some potential changes to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the standards for the preparation of financial statements. Though currently in the proposal stage, the new initiatives are designed to put assets back on balance sheets in an effort to make a statement a more honest depiction of the organization.

Currently, many lease expenses do not appear as capital assets on these balance sheets, he says. The ramifications of such a move include a potential reduction in a company’s return on assets, on which some bank loans and employee incomes are predicated.

“These changes could be three to five years out,” says Buckhout. “Those companies that prepare financial statements three years in arrears are likely listening closely, but it remains to be seen how new leasing products will fit into any new standards.”

As leasing structures evolve, attentive forklift customers will likely find themselves with as much flexibility, predictability, and liability as they might like. In the meantime, they can prepare themselves by shedding outdated practices, mining for data, and finding the right business partners for equipment, maintenance, and financing.

If they’re lucky, they might be able to get all three from the same source. “After all,” says Goodwin, “Fleet and finance go hand in hand.”

About the Author

Josh Bond Editor at Large

Josh Bond is a contributing editor to Modern. In addition to working on Modern’s annual Casebook and being a member of the Show Daily team, Josh covers lift trucks for the magazine.

30 PNEUMATIC TIRE FORKLIFTS – IN STOCK

Thursday, July 12th, 2012
From Subject (Thread Messages) Date Size
30 PNEUMATIC TIRE FORKLIFTS – IN STOCK
*PICS & CONDITION REPORTS AVAILABLE CALL BETH (574) 231-0094

MANUF

MODEL #

CAPACITY

SPECS

YEAR

ASSET#

FUEL

HOURS

PRICE

TOYOTA

7FDU25

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2006

2550

DIESEL

1512

$13,900.00

TOYOTA

7FDKU40

9,000.00

199″ FFT, SSFP, CAB

2004

2467

DIESEL

3368

$18,500.00

KOMATSU

FG30HT-16

6,000.00

186″ FFT, S/S

2007

2628

DUAL

1221

$13,900.00

KOMATSU

FG25T-14

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2005

2562

DUAL

1969

$11,900.00

KOMATSU

FG25T-11

5,000.00

170″ FFT

2000

2601

LPG

5611

$5,500.00

CAT

P5000D

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2008

2650

DIESEL

2861

$15,900.00

CAT

GP25K

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2002

2642

LPG

5662

$8,900.00

CAT

DP40K

8,000.00

159″ STD, S/S, CAB

2007

2319

DIESEL

4167

$13,500.00

CAT

DP40K

8,000.00

159″ STD, S/S, CAB

2007

2320

DIESEL

5441

$13,500.00

CAT

GP40

8,000.00

187″ FFT, S/S

2000

2436

LPG

6848

$12,900.00

HYSTER

H50XM

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2005

2480

LPG

3316

$11,900.00

HYSTER

H50XM

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2000

2632

LPG

—–

$7,500.00

HYSTER

H50XM

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2000

2633

LPG

—–

$7,500.00

HYSTER

H50FT

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2006

2416

LPG

2756

$12,900.00

HYSTER

H80XM

8,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2005

2613

LPG

8700

$11,900.00

NISSAN

MUG1F2A30LV

6,000.00

187″ FFT, SSFP

2008

2627

LPG

—–

$13,900.00

NISSAN

UGJ02A30PV

6,000.00

188″ FFT,  4 WAYS

2001

2363

LPG

5841

$8,900.00

LINDE

H20T

4,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2004

2464

LPG

5214

$7,900.00

LINDE

H30D

6,000.00

192″ FFT, S/S, CAB

2006

2583

DIESEL

7941

$10,900.00

LINDE

H35T

7,000.00

187″ FFT, S/S

2005

2600

LPG

8714

$13,900.00

LINDE

H45T

9,000.00

178″ FFT, FP

2006

2393

LPG

7911

$11,900.00

LINDE

H45D-600-4

10,000.00

227″ FFT, SSFP

2000

2573

DIESEL

8041

$8,900.00

LINDE

H50D

10,000.00

185″ FFT, S/S, CAB

2004

2539

DIESEL

5411

$13,900.00

LINDE

H70D

15,000.00

191″ STD, S/S

2006

2151

DIESEL

7416

$19,500.00

DAEWOO

G30E-3

6,000.00

186″ FFT, S/S

2000

2563

LPG

3451

$7,500.00

DOOSAN

G30E-5

6,000.00

186″ FFT, S/S

2006

2571

LPG

5541

$11,900.00

CLARK

GPX25

5,000.00

188″ FFT, S/S

1990

2555

LPG

8774

$6,500.00

MITSU

FG18N

3,500.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2007

2371

LPG

—–

$9,900.00

MITSU

FG18N

3,500.00

188″ FFT, S/S

2007

2372

LPG

—–

$9,900.00

MITSU

FG25N

5,000.00

188″ FFT, SSFP

2006

2644

LPG

2886

$11,900.00

 

         

                          ASSET # 2467                                            ASSET # 2363

Racks Designed for Lean Initiatives

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Racks Designed for Lean Initiatives

Jul 12, 2012 10:01 AM

  • Akro-Mils, a Myers Industries, Inc. company
 

Akro-Mils’ 18-inch-deep pick rackfeature angled shelves for easy access and visibility of parts and supplies and are designed for 5S Lean and other productivity initiatives. These racks provide up to 50 percent more storage capacity than 12″ deep pick racks and include single-sided, double-sided and mobile options. The racks are constructed of 16-gauge steel and offer a weight capacity of more than 100 lbs. per shelf when secured to a wall or floor. The single-sided rack has a total capacity of 900 lbs. and the double-sided rack has an 1,800-lb. capacity. The double-sided rack, when used with the optional heavy-duty mobile kit, also has an 1,800-lb. weight capacity.

Akro-Mils, a Myers Industries, Inc. company

 

Work Stress Could Negatively Impact Families’ Nutrition

Friday, July 6th, 2012
July 5, 2012

Work Stress Could Negatively Impact Families’ Nutrition

By Laura Walter

The study, conducted by researchers at Temple University, focused on food preparation and nutrition among working parents. It is one of the first studies to look at work/family conflict for both parents, not just mothers, and to focus on families of adolescents.

“Our work underlined the need to take into account the competing pressures that so many families – especially those that are lower income – are experiencing,” said lead author Katherine Bauer, an assistant professor of public health and researcher at Temple’s Center for Obesity Research and Education. “There’s a great need to help parents find realistic and sustainable ways to feed their families more healthfully while taking into consideration all of the stresses on parents these days.”

Researchers studied 3,709 parents of adolescents, many of whom were from a racial or ethnic minority group and lower income. Sixty-four percent of fathers and 46 percent of mothers were employed full-time.

Mothers employed full-time “reported fewer family meals, more frequent fast food for family meals, less frequent encouragement of their adolescents’ healthful eating, lower fruit and vegetable intake and less time spent on food preparation, compared to part-time and not-employed mothers,” said Bauer.

The study also examined fathers – in particular a population of urban fathers, who face higher rates of unemployment and under-employment. Study results showed that the only difference among fathers by employment status was that full-time employed fathers reported significantly fewer hours of food preparation than part-time or not working fathers.

Regardless of employment status, mothers spent hours on food preparation than fathers.

Stressing Out

When looking at the role of work-life stress, greater stress levels appeared to interfere with healthful eating opportunities for both moms and dads. For example, parents experiencing high levels of work-life stress reported having one-and-a-half fewer family meals per week and eating half a serving less of fruits and vegetables per day, as compared to parents with low levels of work-life stress.

Bauer noted that over time, these differences can add up and a big impact on parents’ and children’s health. She added, however, that the burden of this problem should not fall solely on mothers, and instead be approached holistically by the whole family, the community and society.

She suggests that spouses, partners and teenagers chip in to help with grocery shopping and preparing and serving healthy family meals.

“We need to teach kids how to cook,” said Bauer. “We know if kids have cooking skills and good eating habits, not only will they be healthier, but as adults they’ll put those skills to use to feed their own children more healthfully

PALLETS: A CORE PROBLEM

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Pallets: A core problem

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By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor

July 03, 2012

A report in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal said that prices for commodities are plunging around the globe.

Try telling that to anyone who has tried recently to purchase a truck load of cores. That’s the industry term for a used 48 X 40 wooden pallet, the most common shipping platform in North America. In recent years, many CPG, food and beverage manufacturers have relied on cores as a money-saving alternative to new hardwood pallets – known as white wood pallets – and as an alternative to participating in one of the third party pallet pools operated by the BIG Three of CHEP, PECO or iGPS.

Not only are cores in short supply, the prices that pallet operations pay for used pallets that are repaired for the cores market are going through the roof. That is driving up the cost of shipping a load of finished goods, especially for manufacturers who can’t charge their end customer for the pallet.

“The volume of cores available to us is down 25% from 2008,” says John Swenby, the president of Paltech Enterprises, a large pallet operation serving Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Arkansas. “We have fewer cores to repair and sell.” Meanwhile, Swenby says the cost of raw cores for repair has increased about 33% in the last year, especially in urban areas. “Prices are especially high in Chicago, where there’s a lot of competition for pallets,” Swenby says. “In Iowa and other rural areas, we haven’t seen as many problems because there isn’t as much competition.”

While every pallet market is unique, the shortage of cores was confirmed by conversations with the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association and pallet makers in other regions.

There is no one factor driving the shortage. Instead, it appears to be a confluence of events related to what happened in the pallet market during the recession.

Replenish the pool: Historically, manufacturers used a mix of new white wood pallets and cores. Eventually, those new pallets were used to replenish and maintain the quality of the pool of cores. With the recession, the demand for new pallets hit the skids, and there were simply fewer new pallets to freshen up the pool.

Increased exports: Over the last few years, pallet manufacturers saw an uptick in the demand for heat-treated new and used pallets for export shipment. As Swenby points out, that’s great for business, but pallets shipped out of the country don’t come back, further depleting the pool.

Cores put to other uses: From 2008 to 2010, there was a dramatic drop in manufacturing. With fewer people shipping product, pallet repair operations like Swenbys were sitting on pallets that were costing money as they sat in inventory. “I had a bunch of lesser quality number 2 pallets that I used to make remanufactured number 1’s because they were worth more,” says Swenby. “I know of other manufacturers that ground them up and sold them for mulch or boiler fuel to generate cash flow.”

The Costco effect: Costco’s decision 18 months ago to only accept block pallets like those used in pallet pools has also resulted in the production of fewer new stringer pallets.

The success of PDS: In one sense, the pallet industry is a victim of its own success with the Pallet Design System. The pallet design software program has enabled pallet manufacturers to design less expensive pallets that get the job done, especially for customers shipping one way. By removing lumber from the pallet, however, the new designs simply don’t last as long once they hit the used market. “PDS has been fantastic for pallet users,” says Swenby. “But, it’s contributing to a shortage of cores in the used market.”
The shortage may be cyclical. Until then, shippers have a few options.

Buy new: If you are a manufacturer who passes on the cost of the pallet to your customer, that may be a tough sell. But with the delta between new and quality used pallets shrinking, new pallets may be an option. What’s more, that will improve the pool of used pallets in the long run.

Switch to a pallet pool: Costco’s move to block pallets was a boon to the Big Three pallet pool operators. Whether or not the core shortage has been a similar boon is difficult to guage – CHEP did not return calls. Anecdotally, however, Modern has heard of several leading CPG manufacturers that are considering a switch to pooled pallets. That comes with its own set of challenges. They include the fact that a pooled pallet is heavier than a used 48 X 40 and that some customers will not stock pile pooled pallets for return.

Consider an alternative pallet: Niche solutions like presswood and corrugated pallets aren’t appropriate for every application, but they are cost effective when they work.

Consider a combo pallet: All hardwood pallets have been the defacto standard for new pallets, especially east of the Mississippi, for as long as there have been pallets. However, some manufacturers are now offering pallets newly manufactured pallets from a mix of used components and new lumber as well as a mix of softwood decking and hardwood runners. The lumber for either configuration is readily available and the cost is less than a new whitewood pallet.

Create a pool: Some shippers that don’t want to participate in a third party pool but who can control their distribution are creating their own managed pools. If you’re shipping within a 100 to 200 mile radius of your plant and can get the pallets back, a private pool may make sense. For manufacturers shipping across country, the freight may be prohibitive. 9BLOC, a new consortium of pallet manufacturers may provide an answer to this issue.

 

About the Author

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Bob Trebilcock Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484 and robert.trebilcock@myfairpoint.net