KEEP GOODS MOVING THROUGH THE HEART OF THE BALTIC

Named after King Charles (Karl) X Gustav, the southern Swedish town of Karlshamn (Karl’s Port) was established in 1664. Today, nearly 360 years later, it’s home to one of Sweden’s largest ports, in a key central location for eastwest transport on the northern shore of the Baltic Sea. The port is currently engaged in several development projects, including an expansion of the ferry berths, a steady increase in freight capacity, the building of shipping connections through the EU’s South Baltic Transport Loops, and a new cargo railway link. With just 90 employees, the Port of Karlshamn offers a comprehensive range of expert freight handling services.

A mix of standard and specialized features

Specifically, the Port of Karlshamn provides for RoRo, LoLo, project and bulk cargo, heavy lifts, containers, general logistics and storage. It employs forklift trucks mostly to handle wood packages and paper pulp. The wood can be moved with a standard fork attachment, but pulp is normally wrapped in large bundles that need a bale clamp to keep them in position. Running on the tight schedule of a busy port, these unusual loads must be moved quickly. Precision is also important as careful packing helps protect the product from damage during transit and on-site handling.

In 2016, the port received their first Konecranes lift trucks, two SMV 15-1200 C forklifts, and were impressed enough by their productivity to follow it up with another one in 2017. They now operate a fleet of six of these high-performance machines, with a seventh order confirmed for delivery in 2021. These 15-ton forklifts have a short wheelbase for excellent maneuverability, making them ideal in the sometimes restricted spaces of a busy shipyard. Their firm stability helps keep non-standard or uneven loads steady, offering high flexibility for the handling of any incoming lightweight cargo.

All seven of the forklifts have an ergonomic cabin with easy-to-use controls, set a little higher with extra lights and two cameras - one on the front of the mast and one on the rear of the cabin roof - for maximum visibility. They also have automatic greasing in the steering cylinder on the chassis and in the tilt cylinders on the mast to minimise maintenance and downtime. One special feature on these lift trucks is a fourth gear that helps lower the rpm with an extra hydraulic pump to maintain lifting speed, a combination that both saves fuel and reduces noise across the long driving distances required in the expansive Karlshamn yard.

Quality always makes its mark

“Konecranes forklifts are high-quality machines that deliver outstanding performance, durability and driver comfort at a reasonable price,” says Johan Nordgren, Technical Director at the Port of Karlshamn. “We’ve seen a real increase in our productivity and on-site safety and a clear reduction in our downtime and operational costs.”

Planning for the future, port management is thinking about upgrades to their Konecranes equipment, including remote monitoring with Smart Connected Lift Trucks, to help keep an eye on performance and plan scheduled maintenance. They are also looking at hybrid and fully electric engines as their resources allow.

Mr Nordgren continues: "thanks to the advice and assistance of the local distributor, who helped broken the deal, train the personnel and follow up with after-sales service, Konecranes has provided exactly the lift trucks we need. We would certainly consider Konecranes again."

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