When the claws of the gantry crane grab the container, it is time for “terminal tractors” to do their job: Graepel will now start supplying safety components made of cold-formed perforated sheet metal for the leading supplier of internal logistics vehicles, which are a common sight in ports and logistics centers around the world.
The new business from Kalmar was recently confirmed by Graepel's plant in Omaha, USA. Kalmar is considered the world's largest supplier of cargo loading solutions. On average, 25% of all container shipments have been handled by a Kalmar machine.
Operating as a company under the Cargotec Group from Finland, Kalmar employs a staff of 12,000 and offers cargo solutions in more than 100 countries. Their portfolio includes ship-to-shore cranes, container cranes and stackers. Also featured in their product range are gantry cranes and terminal tractors, which make up their signature vehicles at every large port.
Graepel will now equip the terminal trucks with their safety gratings, keeping operators protected against accident from missteps while moving about the fifth-wheel deck on the tractor. The vehicles are a hallmark at German ports such as the Port of Hamburg. Kalmar's products are utilized by industry leader BMW, who uses Kalmar vehicles for internal logistics at their parts center in Wackersdorf, Germany. Graepel's gratings are coated in different color paints to improve their visibility in adverse weather conditions.
Recently another manufacturer of terminal tractors, Autocar, placed orders for similar components with Graepel. Autocar is one of the oldest vehicle manufacturers in the United States.
The supplier has split production between their two transatlantic locations. The blanks are made at the German factory in Seehausen/Altmark, while the manufacturing is completed at the US plant, which was founded in 2006. Graepel is no stranger to the industrial vehicle industry: Graepel has specialized in perforated and formed metal fabrication since 1889. Their products are widely used across the vehicle industry: in commercial vehicles, construction machinery, tractors, railway vehicles as well as buses and even exotic sports cars.
Further development has already led to an enhanced generation of safety gratings called “Graepel ColorGrip”. This innovation has solved the problem of retaining the slip resistance of gratings after they have been painted by applying a special coating. The slip resistance is equal to or better than that of (unpainted) hot-dip galvanized gratings.