Kalmar has delivered four diesel-electric straddle carriers, ten heavy-duty RoRo terminal tractors, four light forklift trucks and two heavy forklift trucks to Suomen Satamatekniikka Oy, a subsidiary of Finland's leading port operator Steveco. Delivery took place during the latter part of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

Steveco employs approximately 700 people and has annual revenues of close to EUR 140 million. The company operates four ports in Finland: Mussalo and Hietanen in Kotka; Hamina; and Vuosaari in Helsinki. The new machines join an extensive fleet of Kalmar equipment that includes 39 straddle carriers, 50 terminal tractors, 80 forklift trucks and 10 reachstackers.

Round-the-clock reliability

The port of Mussalo, Kotka, is kept busy by container traffic nearly 24 hours a day throughout the year. As the manager of Suomen Satamatekniikka Oy's machinery unit, Matti Harju is responsible for the maintenance of the company's rubber-tyred equipment. His team of 28 mechanics works two shifts, overseeing of approximately 350 machines, most of which are Kalmar units.

"Our main goal is to ensure maximum availability of the port's mobile equipment," Harju says. "The time was right for a fleet upgrade investment, and Kalmar equipment was a natural choice since we know Kalmar's machines well, spare parts availability has proven to be excellent, and we have a long history together."

"Kalmar equipment is easy for us to operate – we know the brand, service and spare parts are easily available, and the needed expertise is always accessible.”

The port's earlier generation of equipment has also been impressively reliable. "We originally estimated a service lifetime of 12 years and 30,000 hours for the SISU straddle carriers that we purchased in the late 1990s. Today, we have been running them for 20 years and 50,000 hours, and they are still going strong. On the other hand, keeping the older machines running has also demanded a lot from our maintenance team, so this was a good time to upgrade to a newer generation of equipment," Harju says.

Ensuring peak capacity

The Mussalo port is Finland's largest container terminal and the country's number one export port, currently handling some 30,000 containers per month. Container traffic is based on regular schedules for shipping lines operating from Europe, but in the winter, the ice situation in the Gulf of Finland can occasionally cause delays. "Congestion at other container ports can also result in schedule changes," Matti Harju notes. "This naturally places added pressure on our container handling, so we need to ensure that our equipment fleet always operates at maximum availability."

Mussalo handles an increasing number of empty containers due to the radical decline in recent years of the transit traffic to Russia. Despite this, the port still handles more containers per year than when transit traffic was at its highest.

"Kalmar equipment is easy for us to operate – we know the brand, service and spare parts are easily available, and the needed expertise is always accessible," Harju says.

Latest-generation equipment

Steveco Ltd's order comprises four Kalmar ESC440 straddle carriers, ten Kalmar TR618i terminal tractors, four Kalmar DCF80-6 light forklift trucks with a lifting capacity of eight tonnes, and two DCG180-12 heavy forklift trucks with a lifting capacity of 18 tonnes. Additionally, in August 2017, Kalmar will deliver a further four diesel-electric ESC340 straddle carriers.