Rajesh Wazarkar, MD – India, Hyster-Yale Lift Trucks India Pvt Ltd, shares the challenges, opportunities, and growth drivers in the Material Handling industry against the backdrop of GST, a fast developing infra sector, and rising demand from end-users.

What is your view of the Indian Material Handling industry, including its growth drivers and challenges?

The Indian material handling Industry is relatively small when compared globally. In 2018, the Indian market of Industrial Trucks/MHEs was approximately 16,500 units vs the Chinese market of over 430,000 units or the USA market of approximately 256,000 units. This low penetration in India means that there is a significant opportunity for growth of MHEs in India; the old ways of material movement are still being used in India; and material handling efficiencies/productivity is not yet fully embraced by the market.

Having said this, in 2018, the market of Industrial Trucks increased by 39% in India and we believe that it will continue to grow in the coming years. Some of the growth drivers are:
  • With implementation of GST, there is consolidation taking place in the warehousing sector, which needs more MHEs.
  • India is one of the fastest growing economies and the higher economic activity leads to increased requirements.
  • The Indian infrastructure sector is in the midst of a growth phase, presenting a promising market for material handling equipment – especially given the impressive line-up of big-ticket infra projects like Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), and Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) for handling containerized cargo.
  • Increased focus on reducing waste by way of palletization, cold stores, etc.
However, there are challenges as well. In our bid to ensure higher productivity and customer profitability, the primary challenge for equipment makers will be to deliver quality machines at an affordable price. Next is matching supply with demand, i.e. as demand witnesses a sudden upsurge, keeping in step with it through timely delivery will be a test. Availability of trained operators, whose demand is likely to increase in sync with equipment, has to be kept in mind as well.

It is almost a decade since TIL forged an alliance with Hyster; how has this alliance strengthened since then and created a brand leadership?

‘Strong Partner Tough Trucks’ is the tagline of Hyster, and we do have a very strong partner in TIL Ltd. Since 2009, the Hyster-TIL® brand has represented a partnership between two leading companies with complementary visions and technologies, reinforced by a shared commitment to enhance customer profitability. This unrivalled partnership has a singular objective – to meet all material handling needs of customers. Hyster-Yale Group is able to source world-class fabricated components and fully built machines, leveraging TIL’s manufacturing cost advantage and Hyster-Yale Group’s global distribution network. It is a win-win partnership on all counts.

ReachStackers built by TIL at its Kharagpur factory are fully compliant with the same stringent design and quality standards followed at Hyster’s Nijmegen plant in the Netherlands. More than 300 ReachStackers are manufactured in India to date for local and Asia-Pacific markets. Many of these machines, working in India and the Asia Pacific region, have already clocked more than 20,000 hours and are working successfully. The Hyster-TIL® ReachStackers has become a preferred choice for customers in India and have garnered a significant market share in the ReachStackers market in India within a short span of time.

ReachStackers manufactured by TIL in India are also sold by Hyster in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Malaysia and we have secured repeat orders from customers in these markets. We have a lot of confidence in the quality of TIL-built ReachStackers and are happy to place the Hyster brand on these products.

What are Hyster’s complete solutions offered by TIL in Material Handling and sectors that are being catered to?

HysterTil

Hyster-Yale Group is a global leader in counterbalance forklift trucks, container handlers, ReachStackers and warehousing solutions, as well as quality parts, worldwide. We are committed to the Indian market, having our own office in Pune since the last 13 years, which now has more than 150 engineers. We have an exclusive partnership with TIL to offer a comprehensive range of high-capacity (above 8T) forklift trucks, empty and laden container handlers and ReachStackers to customers in India, Nepal and Bhutan. These machines are ideal for port, terminal, heavy manufacturing, steel industry etc.

What are the locally manufactured RS45 ReachStacker’s technical attributes, competitive advantages, and the ROI to users?

The RS45 series of ReachStackers manufactured by TIL at their state-of-the-art factory at Kharagpur, West Bengal, sets a new standard in low cost of ownership, without compromising on Hyster’s principles of durability and toughness. By virtue of their outstanding maneuverability and superior handling speed, the Hyster-TIL® range of ReachStackers has been designed to optimize space utilization in container terminals. These trucks offer the same quality components, durability and toughness as any Hyster® Big Truck, and a longer tyre life.

To optimize effectiveness, the new truck has a powerful Cummins QSL9 engine in combination with Spicer off-highway TE-27 transmission. The machine features cooling on demand, load sensing hydraulics with Variable Displacement Pump (VDP) technology, automatic throttle-up, integrated power train and optional empty seat operation cut-off. The durable frame and boom have been developed using extensive analysis and testing with the RS45-31CH model giving 45T in first row, 31T in the second row, and 15T in the third. The longer wheel base with 5% reduction in total weight results in extended tyre life. Reliability, which is a prime requirement for safe and fast handling of containers, is enabled by Cummins QSL9 industrial, six-cylinder, 8.9-liter inline turbo-charged diesel engines.

The cooling on demand and load sensing hydraulics only use power when needed. TIL’s telescopic container spreader for handling 20 and 40 feet standard, ISO containers feature a widely spaced boom head to provide strong support to the spreader. The free non-powered sideways articulation of +/-2 degrees facilitates easy handling of containers on/off sloping trailers. Local manufacturing by TIL provides distinct competitive advantages to customers by reducing delivery lead times and improving total cost of ownership.

For potential customers, a key factor is the company’s after-sales, aftermarket support and value-added services; how does TIL look on these aspects?

All Hyster-TIL® machines are backed by TIL’s unmatched product support and aftermarket solutions to ensure higher return on investment by way of definite gains in productivity. Managing equipment downtime by way of smooth availability of spares and faster and efficient service has always been a prime imperative for TIL. In addition, customers can access doorstep aftermarket support through TIL’s pan-India network of trained service engineers and parts’ warehouses in Kolkata, Chennai, and Delhi.

Internet of the thing (IoT), artificial intelligence and machine control systems are finding acceptance in India; how are you looking at these futuristic technologies to stay ahead of competition?

Hyster and TIL consider the safety of operations to be paramount in container handling operations. To aid operations, Hyster and TIL equip their machines with state-of-the-art features that employ telemetry and onboard machine diagnostics. Telematics (IoT) is the technology of the future that seeks to improve all aspects of fleet management – machine productivity, total cost of operations and operator performance – in addition to operational safety, by way of wireless asset management.

Hyster TIL Range

There is also the added flexibility of retrofitting the telematics application into older models and allied equipment from other manufacturers. Key features include remote management of key performance indicators of the equipment, impact sensing, tracking regular preventive maintenance schedules, tracking & reporting aggregate costs, GPS tracking, access control, automatic shutdown, operator pre-shift checklist, etc. There is increased requirement by customers for equipment fitted with telematics and Hyster-Yale Group has been supplying many equipment with telematics factory-fitted into them.

In addition to Telematics, considering the requirement of reducing emission footprint, Hyster-Yale Group is also working on electrification of big container handling equipment. Currently, Hyster-Yale Group has electric forklifts upto 9 t capacity using Lithium-Ion battery.

How would you summarize the key focus of Hyster-TIL® in the current market scenario?

Rising demand for efficient container handling equipment at ports, rail yards and air-cargo centers owing to increasing volume of goods being transported, is a major factor boosting growth of the market. Hyster and TIL will continue to work with customers in various sectors to understand the requirements and provide solutions to help customers improve productivity. The Hyster-TIL® partnership remains committed to leveraging these emerging opportunities and enhancing value for customers by way of technologically advanced and cost-effective offerings.

Currently, TIL manufactures two models of ReachStackers in India with technology licensing from Hyster-Yale Group. As the market evolves, we continue to evaluate various options.
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