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A distinguished heritage

The foundations of a modern success story

Kalmar’s foundations lie deep in Finnish and Swedish engineering expertise, yet our organisation is made up of many great businesses from around the world – all of which have contributed to the knowledge and expertise that got us where we are today.

Our story began with crane manufacturing in the Netherlands in the 19th century and continued with our successful distribution tractor business in the middle of the 20th century in North America. As we entered the 21st century, our focus turned to Asia-Pacific, the region that has become more and more important for the future success of our business.

Our milestones

1883


Ship-to-shore (STS) crane manufacturer Nelcon BV founded in the Netherlands

1921


State Aircraft Factory (later Valmet Ltd) established in Helsinki, Finland. Factory moved to Tampere, Finland in 1936

1931


Suomen Autoteollisuus Ab (later Sisu Ltd) established

1940s


First industrial straddle carrier manufactured by Valmet in Tampere

1948


First Valmet lift truck manufactured in Finland

1949


Lidhults Mekaniska Verkstad (LMV) manufactures first forklift truck in Sweden

1953


Nelcon manufactures first mobile gantry crane (yard crane) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

1955


First aftersales unit established in Tampere.

1958


First terminal tractor manufactured in Ottawa, Kansas, USA.

1959


First forklift exported from Sweden to Austrian sawmill Weinberger.

1960s


First sideloader and container lift truck manufactured in Lidhult, Sweden.

1970s


First Kalmar machine, a lift truck, delivered to Asia, to Port of Singapore Authority (PSA).

1973


LMV and Ljungbytruck merged into Kalmar LMV in Sweden.

1975


First container straddle carrier manufactured in Tampere.

1976


First container STS crane manufactured in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

1985


First generation of Kalmar reachstackers, called ContChamp, launched.

1989


First fully automated container-stacking crane manufactured for ECT’s Rotterdam terminal.

1990s


Important steps in terminal automation were taken, including the launch of the first automated container straddle carrier and the Kalmar Smartrail® system for rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes.

1991


Kalmar delivers what were - and, as of 2014 remain - the world's largest forklifts, with a capacity of 90 tons

1994


Valmet’s material handling business in Finland and Ottawa Trucks in the USA acquired by Sisu, the Finnish state-owned concern.

1997


Kalmar starts to take shape when Partek Corporation acquires Sisu, which focused on container handling, heavy-lift trucks and terminal tractors. In the same year, Partek acquired a major shareholding in the container handling equipment producer Kalmar Industries Ltd, combining it with Sisu Terminal Systems. Kalmar Industries had been listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange since 1994.

1999


Kalmar starts to take shape when Partek Corporation acquires Sisu, which focused on container handling, heavy-lift trucks and terminal tractors. In the same year, Partek acquired a major shareholding in the container handling equipment producer Kalmar Industries Ltd, combining it with Sisu Terminal Systems. Kalmar Industries had been listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange since 1994.

2000


Kalmar Industries becomes wholly owned by Partek Corporation and is delisted.

2001


Kalmar strengthened through acquisitions of Dutch STS crane and straddle-carrier manufacturer Nelcon and maintenance company Groot-Hensen.

2005


Cargotec Corporation formed when KONE Corporation demerges into Cargotec and KONE to be delisted. Cargotec comprises the Hiab, Kalmar and MacGregor businesses.

First fully automated straddle carrier terminal using Kalmar equipment opened by Patrick – part of Asciano – in Brisbane, Australia.

2006


Kalmar cooperates with HHLA in Hamburg, Germany to automate Container Terminal Burchardkai.

2008


Kalmar AutoShuttleTM launched for automated picking, placing and transporting of containers between STS and stacking cranes.

Kalmar electric forklift (5–9 ton) and first-generation hybrid-drive straddle carrier introduced.

2010


State-of-the-art multi-assembly unit opens in Stargard Szczeciński, Poland.

2011


US-based terminal operating systems provider Navis acquired, strengthening Kalmar’s position as the industry forerunner in terminal automation.

Kalmar Ottawa manufactures its 50,000th terminal tractor.

Kalmar launches the EGO cabin for mobile equipment to enhance ergonomics and safety.

2012


Rainbow-Cargotec Industries Co. Ltd (RCI), a joint venture established in China, becomes operational. RCI manufactures Kalmar RTG and STS cranes.

Together with the AutoStrad™ trademark, automation technology related to straddle carriers is transferred from Asciano to Kalmar.

Kalmar SmartPort portfolio introduced, featuring process and equipment automation solutions for terminals.

New technology and competence centre opened in Tampere, focusing on the development of energy-efficient, safe and intelligent machinery and automation solutions.

APM Terminals orders world’s largest quay cranes for the Maasvlakte II terminal expansion project in Rotterdam, to serve modern supersized container vessels.

2013


Cargotec launches new operating model, in which our business and products are called Kalmar. Other independent business areas in the group are Hiab and MacGregor.
Siwertell bulk handling business transferred from MacGregor to Kalmar.
5,000th Kalmar straddle carrier – an electric AutoStradTM – rolls off the assembly line.
Kalmar Gloria, the fifth generation of reachstackers, launched.
Kalmar Care modular service contracts launched.
New-generation Kalmar hybrid straddle and shuttle carriers launched.

2014


The new-generation terminal tractor, Kalmar Ottawa T2, launched in North America.


DP World’s London Gateway terminal in the United Kingdom and Brisbane terminal in Australia opened, featuring Kalmar automated stacking cranes, manned shuttle carriers and the Navis terminal operating system.

The world's biggest industrial reachstacker, Super Gloria, makes a record lift of 103 tons