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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be the keynote speaker at next year’s Rental Show in New Orleans.

The Rental Show will be held February 22 to 25 at the Ennest N. Morial Convention Center, which is just a few blocks down Canal Street from the Mercedes Benz Superdome, formerly known as the New Orleans Superdome, where Manning’s father, Archie Manning, played as quarterback for the Saints from 1975 to 1982.Although the senior Manning started playing for the Saints in 1971, the Superdome wasn’t completed until 1975.

During his address, Peyton Manning — the NFL’s only five-time winner of the Most Valuable Player trophy — will share his thoughts on developing qualities of leadership, making the right decisions, and what it takes to become a champion in our own lives, according to a trade show news release.

Manning — whose younger brother Eli is the starting quarterback for the New York Giants — led his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, to win Super Bowl XLI. He has been named to 13 Pro Bowls and has 13 4,000-plus passing yard seasons so far. Both Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated have named Peyton Manning the NFL Player of the Decade for the 2000s. He is known for his hurry-up, no-huddle offense.


Germany Wins Forklift World Cup, Too!

30 Sep 2014

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Fresh off their victory in the FIFA World Cup in soccer this past summer, Germany has now won the coveted Stapler Cup, also known as the World Cup of forklift driving.

A team of German forklift operators competed against other driver teams from all over the world during the Forklift Cup World Championships, held earlier this month in Frankfurt, Germany. Second place went to a team from China and third went to Hungary. The forklift driving team from the USA did not finish in the money.

The competitions was held September 18 to 20 at the home of Linde materials handling, located in Aschaffenburg, Germany. In addition to the German National and Company Team Championship events, this year’s competition featured a World Team Championship and, for the first time ever, a Singles Forklift Driving Championship.

More than 2,000 competitors from countries all over the globe attempted to qualify for the competition in national events. The winners traveled to Germany to compete against world-class forklift operators. In addition to the home nation of Germany, nations represented included Austria, Belgium, China, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain and the US.



Bayonne Bridge Raising

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons (in the public domain)

A $1.3 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge — which connects New Jersey with Staten Island — has been delayed at least six months as a result of last winter’s harsh weather, officials announced last week.

The project will increase the height of the bridge’s road platform 215 feet above the Kill van Kull in order to accommodate larger Panamax cargo container ships which will soon be traveling to the Port of New York and New Jersey thanks to the widening and deepening of the Panama Canal.

Up until now, these cargo container ships — most of which are coming from Asia — could only dock at West Coast ports. But with the Panama Canal improvements, ports up and down the East Coast are being deepened and undergoing other upgrades in anticipation of the bigger vessels.

Work Delayed Last Winter

Unfortunately, last winters bone-chilling temperatures and frequent winter storms has caused unavoidable setbacks on the Bayonne Bridge project, said Joann Papageorgis, bridge project manager for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“It wasn’t just snow,” Papageorgis told the website “We have cranes that can’t operate in heavy winds. Steel workers don’t work in the rain.”

The bridge raising now won’t be completed until summer of 2016. But a full restoration of the two lanes of traffic in each direction is still projected to be finished by 2017.

Quieter Nights, Longer Commuter Delays

Despite the delays, the project is still coming in on budget, which includes a $743 million contract with a consortium that includes Skahska Koch Inc. and Kiewit Infrastructure Company.

One side benefit of the delay is that much of the loudest work on the bridge will now shift to daytime hours rather than overnight, which should come as a relief to residents living near the construction site.

But the move also means that off-peak motorists traveling over the span could face longer delays, including intermittent “traffic holds” in either direction which can last up to 20 minutes. And in some instances, the entire bridge will need to be shut down in both directions between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis said he expects his constituents to be patient and understanding of the delays.

“We appreciate the effort to reduce nighttime noise,” Davis said in a statement. “We will continue to meet with the Port Authority, monitor th situation closely, and raise our residents’ concerns about the impact of the construction on Bayonne neighborhoods.”

A Race to Be First

The area’s shipping community would like to see the project completed as quickly as possible so that the port can be among the first on the East Coast to accept the larger, more financially lucrative cargo containers.

Panama voted by referendum in 2006 to improve the 100-year-old canal by deepening it, widening it and upgrading its locks and other facilities. When it is completed, Panamax ships — which have a 13,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) compared to standard cargo ships that typically max out at 5,000 TEUs — will be able to pass back and forth through the canal, which bisects the North and South American continents.

Currently, these super-sized ships had to use West Coast ports such as Long Beach, Portland or Seattle — which already have naturally deeper trenches to accommodate them — when transporting cargo to and from Asia.

East Coast ports such as Charleston, Savannah, Baltimore and even Philadelphia are preparing to welcome the gigantic cargo ships by deepening their trenches and upgrading their infrastructure. Even inland ports — such as those found in Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Columbus — are preparing for an increase in cargo traffic as a result of the changes.




Here’s a special sneak preview of some of what you will find this week on the Bahrns blog:

  • The materials handling industry is booming, especially in areas such as high-tech solutions and after-market parts. We’ll give you one industry analyst’s rosy outlook that lasts at least through 2018 …
  • You may have already forgotten about last winter’s harsh weather, but builders working to raise a bridge connecting New York with New Jersey haven’t. That’s because problems caused by the severe cold and heavy snow earlier this year are still causing big delays today.
  • While robotics and automation are becoming more common, one university professor says human workers have nothing to worry about: Robots can never fully replace humans in industry.

Plus, the winner of the World Cup for forklifts, a keynote speech by football great Peyton Manning, and National Manufacturing Day. All this and much, much more can be found this week on the Bahrns blog … so stay tuned!

delivery man

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons (in the public domain)

Carriers that offer less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping have been among the hardest hit by the most recent economic downturn, with thousands of small companies filing for bankruptcy in the past few years.

But many LTL carriers that have survived so far are betting that a new pricing strategy could save the industry.

Until recently, most LTL shipper charged simply by the weight of the package and how far it was being shipped. The problem is that the standard 53-foot trailer will usually “cube out” — meaning all its available room will be taken up by packages — before it “weighs out”, or reaches its maximum weight requirement, which usually is 80,000 pounds.

Three-Dimensional Scanners

But new technological breakthroughs has resulted in dimensional pricing, which uses three-dimensional scanners to measure the size and shape of a package, which is then used to calculate how much the shipper should charge based on how much space the package will take up in the vehicle. That allows shippers to charge more and still be able to maximize the space in cargo holds.

“Dim” machines already are being tested by some of the world’s biggest carriers, including FedEx Freight, YRC Worldwide, Old Dominion and Saia. And smaller carriers are following suit.

Bill Logue, CEO of FedEx, said dim pricing is essential if the LTL industry is to be saved.

“We need to simplify this process,” Logue told Logistics Managment. “It’s not going to happen overnight. Different customers will have different needs. It will be a long-term, dual type environment. It will take a long time.”

US Postal Service Goes Against the Flow

Both UPS and FedEx have said that they will implement dim  pricing in their small package units starting next year. But the US Postal Service very publicly announced that they would not be using the pricing system. Industry observers have said the move came because the USPS was seeking to capture a larger share of shipping from online retailers.

Yet Logue said FedEx thinks it can transition to dim pricing without losing a large portion of its LTL customers.

“The LTL industry is complicated because it’s tied to class pricing system,” he said. “We use zone density based pricing that is very clear. A large portion of our business is small to medium customer that wears many different hats. Simplification is very important. They are used to it on parcel side.

“There is a large customer base that could move to simplified process as you build it,” Logue said. “Others could migrate to it. Whatever is right for that customer.”

FedEx Freight is already testing overhead dim machines in its regional centers to capture dimensions. For the time being, that information is simply being used to build the costing models the company will use when it shifts to dim pricing next year.

The tricky part will be convincing customers that dim pricing is actually a smarter way to go, Logue admits.

“If you can make the customer process more time effective and easier, customers will migrate to it,” he said. “There are challenges. But if you can give an expedited solution that works, they will migrate to it. That small- and medium-sized customer is looking to reduce time and improve value. If you put it out there, it will be well received.”




UPS announced that for the first time in the company’s 107-year history, it will operate all air and ground pickup, delivery and sorting networks on Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving, which this year falls on Nov. 28, is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season. Online retailers, hoping to cash in on this phenomenon, have started offering special “doorbuster” discounts and other deals to try to appeal to bargain hunters and capture a larger share of the gift-buying public.

But up until now, UPS has only operated its domestic air-delivery network on that day. And last year the company was widely criticized for major problems that plagued its overburdened delivery system. By having all of its systems operational on Black Friday, the company is hoping to try to resolve some of those issues, according to Mark Wallace, UPS VP of engineering for US operations.

UPS hired a team of team of engineers and invested about $500 million in additional infrastructure — including about 6,000 new delivery vans 00 in an effort to avoid the problems that hurt the company’s reputation during last year’s holiday season.

Last year, a huge surge in shipments that came from online retailers as late as Dec. 21 strained the UPS network, causing millions of holiday packages to be delivered after Christmas Day.




More than $6.8 billion in bonds earmarked to fund the first expansion of the Suez Canal in its 145-year history have sold out in just 10 days, according to officials from the Central Bank of Egypt, the bonds’ issuer.

The money will be used to fund a country project that will nearly double the capacity of the canal, which links the Red Sea with the Mediterranean. The expansion project is schedule to be completed by 2023.

Currently, the Suez Canal is the primary waterway connecting the Indian Ocean with the Atlantic. But in some parts it is so narrow that vessels are not able to pass through in either direction at the same time. Waiting times for ships seeking to pass through the canal are an average of 11 hours.

The widening of the canal hopes to cut or even eliminate those wait times. A separate project which would create a completely new waterway that would run parallel to the canal’s 45-mile course is expected to be completed next year.

While the improved canal will be wider, there currently are no plans to make it any deeper. That means that super tankers carrying crude oil to the West from the Middle East and the huge Panamax cargo carrier ships — which currently are being used to carry much of the freight between Asia and North America — still will not be able to pass through it.



A reachstacker manufactured by the Swedish heavy equipment maker Kalmar recently set a new world’s record for load lifting. 

Super Gloria reachstacker

Super Gloria (Photo courtesy of Kalmar)

Nicknamed “Super Gloria”, the heavy duty reachstacker lifted a load of more than 220,000 pounds during a demonstration before a group of VIPs at the companies multi-assembly unit in Lidhult, Sweden, on Friday, September 12..

A reach stacker is a vehicle used for handling intermodal cargo containers in small terminals or a medium-sized ports. Reach stackers are able to transport a container short distances very quickly and pile them in various rows depending on its access. They are commonly used  in intermodal yards worldwide.

World’s Largest Reachstacker

Super Gloria’s technical name is the DRG 1000-92 ZXS, but her nickname is a lot easier to remember. She is the world’s largest reachstacker and just the latest model in Kalmar’s successful Gloria product line. The Super Gloria has a completely new design that was developed for customers seeking to lift super heavy loads.

The Super Gloria has a specially raised cab to allow operators to have improved visibility. The vehicle has a wheelbase of more than 30 feet to provide maximum stability.

A Historic Event for a Small Swedish Town

Stefan Johansson, sales director for Kalmar’s reachstacker and empty container handler division, said it was appropriate that Lidhult be chosen for this historic event.

“Lidhult is the home of Kalmar reachstackers,” Johansson said in a company news release. “The small village, deep in the forests of Småland in southern Sweden, serves as the product development centre for Kalmar mobile equipment. Given the local involvement in developing this world record-breaking machine, it is fitting that the team involved share in making a little history.”

The VIPs who had been invited to witness the event also participated in a factory tour and met with Kalmar engineers and other officials. They also were shown the full line of Kalmar reachstackers, empty container handlers, and forklift trucks that are built by the company.

Kalmar offer a wide range of cargo handling solutions and services to ports, terminals, distribution centres and to heavy industry. Kalmar is one of the the industry global forerunners in terminal automation and in energy efficient container handling. One in four container movements around the globe being handled by a Kalmar solution.

Super Gloria Already at Work in Germany

The Super Gloria is already on the job at Egon Evertz KG, located in Solingen, Germany. The reachstacker will be based at Salzitter Flachstahl andused to handle hot and cold steel slabs.

Super Gloria will be handling new 50 tonne mega steel slabs, measure 2.7 m (8.9 feet) wide, 12 m (39.4 feet) long and 350 mm (13.8 inches) thick. The machine is equpped with both an electric lift magnet for handling slabs in cold conditions and a hydraulic slab grab device for hot conditions — up to 800 degrees Celsius or 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Evertz Group specializes in serving steel mills worldwide and has been in business for more than 50 years. Kalmar’s solution was designed to meet the company’s increasing requirement to handle heavier loads.


Toyota Industries Corp. announced Friday that it is purchasing the forklift operations of Tailift Co., a Taiwanese maker of forklift and machine tools. The acquisition is aimed at increasing sales in China and other emerging markets, the Japanese machinery maker said in making the announcment.

Under the deal, Tailift will spin off its forklift operations into a new firm and Toyota Industries will acquire a 55 percent stake in the new firm for about 9 billion yen, which is about $83 million, according to the website 4-Traders.

Before the deal becomes official, it needs to be reviewed by the Chinese and Tiawanese governments to make sure it does not violate either of the nations’ anti-monopoly laws.

Tailift’s forklift operations posted sales of about 16 billion yen — or $147 million — in 2013. The firm has production bases in Taiwan and China.


Chicago Pneumatic — a manufacturer of construction equipment — has added two new dealers in the Eastern European nation of Estonia in order to expand its presence in the region.

Melker Baltik OÜ, which will distribute handheld compaction equipment and handheld hydraulic tools, and Alas Kuul AS, which has been appointed to handle sales of portable compressors and handheld pneumatic equipment, according to Ralf Majchrzak, Chicago Pneumatic’s business development manager for Scandinavia and the Baltics.

“With these strategic appointments, Chicago Pneumatic has further strengthened its burgeoning presence in Estonia and Eastern Europe as a whole,” Majchrzak told the materials handling website HUB. “Both (new distributors) have a real depth of experience and knowledge of working with construction companies in Estonia, which we fully expect will boost awareness and sales of Chicago Pneumatic’s durable and reliable construction equipment solutions in the country.”

In a related move, Chicago Pneumatic recently appointed Melker Baltik as an authorized distributor of its line of handheld compaction equipment and hydraulic tools. The company is a leading supplier of machinery and equipment to Estonia’s road construction and maintenance industries. The company, which is based in the Estonian city of Tallinin, also operates a fully equipped workshop and two mobile service vans.