Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  26 Jun 2011

MATERIALS HANDLING: Goscor The Master Of Heights


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC), now part of the Imperial Group of Companies, is the sole distributor in South Africa of some of the most famous brands in the forklift truck industry including Crown, Doosan and Bendi, aiming to offer a world-class sales and support service in the logistics end warehousing industries.

This array of products has proven to be key in the success GLTC experienced during the past years, says Western Cape operations director John Petrie. “Two years ago the total number of forklift trucks sold in South Africa was down 70% due to the onset of the recession. But thanks to our strength in the warehouse segment of the economy, the downturn left us virtually unscathed”, he says.

He points out that retailers like Makro, Pick n Pay, Shoprite and Spar continued to trade energetically and thanks to GLTC’s leadership position in warehousing forklifts (Petrie reckons GLTC holds around 40% of this segment, which makes it the acknowledged dominant player), the company pulled through handsomely.

It’s especially the very narrow aisle (VNA) segment that is now growing strongly, and not all of GLTC’s competitors have the same capabilities to offer the market, Petrie says. Since the turn-round in the economy, his division has outgrown the market average in growth.

To better understand GLTC’s opportunities, let’s run through the following: Crown is the world leader in the manufacture of electric materials handling equipment. Catering to the ever-changing demands of warehousing, Crown has equipment to suite every conceivable warehouse application. Its range of products in South Africa include: hand-pallet trucks, powered forklifts, powered stackers, low-level and mid to high order pickers, rider pallet trucks, wave mobile ladders, reach trucks, counterbalanced trucks and more.

Crown is one of few counterbalanced forklifts which can operate in a 3 metre aisle, with a reach of up to 7 meters. The SC4200 three wheel counter-balanced forklift, for example, is available with a four stage mast to give 6 metres of height and a closed height of only 2 metres, allowing use inside a container also.

Doosan (formerly Daewoo) is a world-class manufacturer of one of the finest selections of lift trucks. The company made world-wide headlines in the industry when it introduced its ‘brakes for life’ system – an oil-cooled disc brake system, which, being totally enclosed, eliminates all outside contamination of any humid, abrasive or corrosive dust particles.

GLTC’s most recent initiative is Bendi, a revolutionary counterbalanced, articulating forklift, which can work in very narrow spaces. GLTC reports significant interest in this product, which is not surprising. The rising demand for narrower aisles as the cost of space spirals makes the Bendi, with its unique ability to articulate and operate in narrow spaces, perfect for the situation.

Even in widths of just 1.8m, the Bendi articulated forklift helps the operator work faster, safer and more accurately. Globally, Bendi users also report that racking damage is significantly less.

The Bendi’s ability to pick indoors and load outdoors with equal dexterity, precludes the requirement for two machines thus enhancing efficiency. The typical reach truck requires aisles of 2.5 to 3m for storage and racking, but reach trucks typically have small, harder wheels and low ground clearance, making outdoor use impractical. The Bendi, because of its unique counterbalanced design and its ability to articulate, is able to handle a similar load to a common forklift truck and work in aisles that are much narrower and space saving.

Partnership is the key concept in GLTC’s success. Excellent and productive relations with its customers, principals and suppliers have enabled the company to show exceptional growth every year and become one of the leading suppliers in the materials handling industry.

Service and after-sales support requires dedication in this industry and GLTC has proven through the years that it is up there with the best in this sphere. “That’s where we intend to stay”, Petrie says.

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