Kalmar moves production to China

By Euan Youdale17 March 2009

Kalmar aims to strengthen its global presence in the ship-to-shore (STS) crane market by starting production and engineering in China.

Until now, Kalmar's STS cranes have only been manufactured in Europe. "Our customers have asked us to consider delivering STS cranes to terminals outside Europe. We decided that now is a good time to target increased volumes by starting to offer our STS cranes in all continents," said Jorma Tirkkonen, president of Cargotec's Kalmar container crane systems division.

"The decision supports our strategy of growing our business and presence in the Asia Pacific region and the Americas, where we also have a strong local service network for our customers. Naturally we also value the lower production costs in Asia that makes it possible for us to maintain competitive pricing," Tirkkonen continued.

The Kalmar STS unit in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is changing its use from manufacturing to global marketing, sales and product support, as well as custom engineering. The regional organisation in Europe continues to provide spare parts and services including maintenance, inspection and training.

The global approach to manufacturing has led to improvements in product design, said Tirkkonen. "We have changed our cranes so that it is easier to make the final assembly on the customer's site. This makes transportation simpler and less expensive. Some customers may still need to have the cranes fully assembled before delivery, especially if they lack space for assembly at the terminal, but most will value the cost-effective logistics."

All Kalmar STS cranes will be delivered with a new Kalmar crane control system that includes crane control, crane management and fault diagnostics.

Kalmar has delivered more than 100 STS cranes to Europe under the brand names Kalmar and Nelcon. Recent deliveries include two super post-Panamax cranes with an outreach of 24 containers to the MSC Home Terminal in Belgium, four Twin-Lift post-Panamax cranes to Finnsteve in Vuosaari, Helsinki and to two wide-span monobox design STS cranes to Rotterdam Shortsea Terminal (RST) in the Netherlands.

Kalmar is finalising a location for its new China facility.

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