From my discussions with customers all around the world, it has become very clear that for the last several years, they have been preoccupied with three main goals. First and foremost is productivity. There is no surprise here. 

Secondly, terminal operators are really concerned with safety, though it can be a difficult topic to bring up in conversation. Occupational safety is a major concern in our industry, because when something goes wrong, the consequences can be very serious. 

Thirdly, there is the ever-present topic of sustainability, or eco-efficiency as we call it at Kalmar. Almost all our customers face mounting pressure to improve their eco-efficiency, but the need to get through day-to-day operations and reach the next quarterly targets is so pressing that most operators don't really have the capacity to focus on the subject. What you hear is "we know we need to do something about this, but can we just manage another year and see what we can do later." Does this sound familiar?

Tackle all three

Productivity, safety and sustainability are the big three drivers that shape the operations of terminals and heavy logistics across the world. The reason they cause so many headaches is that traditionally, these three have been viewed as contradictory parameters to optimise. You can improve productivity by driving a little bit faster or installing bigger engines in your equipment – but then you run the risk of worsening your safety and sustainability records.

Now, here's where the world has changed when you weren't looking. With the technology and service capabilities that we have available today at Kalmar, productivity, safety and sustainability are no longer mutually exclusive targets. You can actually improve all three at the same time. This is what I mean by being able to break the laws of gravity. Something that was assumed to be a universal constant in our industry no longer holds true. 

Race to the top

What then does this mean in practice? It means that every time we go into a new project, these three goals need to be addressed at the same time: What are we doing to improve your productivity, safety and eco-efficiency? 

It is possible, and we have already done it successfully. Consider the new eco solutions that we have developed for Kalmar mobile equipment. All of a sudden, we were able to make the engine smaller and more efficient, but simultaneously capable of being driven in a more efficient way. So with one stroke, we could improve both the terminal's eco-efficiency and their productivity. Once these two are sorted, the customer can easily focus on what they need to do to also improve the occupational safety at their site.

Understanding the customer's reality

Introducing these three vectors into the conversation also requires a different way of working between all parties. It's an approach that is consultative, collaborative, and focused on your operations. We need to tie the discussion into your on-site reality and business goals.

When we are in this mode of doing business, we can support you over the entire lifecycle of your operations. We can bring to the table the data and insights that we have from your operations through digital solutions, such as Kalmar Insight. From the data that we have from your connected machines, we are able to show you how they are operating. We can show you how much diesel they are using – and how much you could save. 

I would like to encourage all of you to ask for this data, as we can help you break the laws of gravity, pursuing targets that previously would have been mutually conflicting. Kalmar can help you drive the three big development goals all at the same time. That is our unique strength and what we can offer you.

Building this way of thinking is a collaborative approach, both for us as a company and in our work with our customers. So I look forward to continuing the dialogue!

Stefan Lampa
President, Kalmar Mobile Solutions