Lift trucks: Solving the financial puzzle
Own, lease, or rent? According to lift truck consultants, the method that businesses pay for lift trucks tends to be a sound economic indicator. Here’s how distributors are working to solve the complex needs of today’s fleet owner.
If an analyst told you that a market was in recovery, you’d probably think that was good news. Not so fast. If you were talking about the lift truck market you’d have to get beyond the complexity first. In fact, some business analysts see recovery being as problematic as the recession when it comes to lift trucks.
George Keen is one of those. Keen’s a senior consultant with Currie Management Consultants, a Worcester, Mass.-based firm that specializes in distributor business enhancement strategies. Keen sees the lift truck market as a remarkably complex puzzle, as challenging to understand for sellers as it is for buyers.
According to Keen, customers’ purchasing philosophy and behaviors evolve over time as a market matures.
The problem with lift trucks is that although they are mature products, they employ some of the most leading-edge technologies around—from computers and sensors to alternative power sources.
This leads to unpredictable buying patterns and competing approaches to selling. Depending on their needs, buyers may make their lift truck selection based on product innovation, price, total value, or total cost of ownership. Keen sees these as phases.
About the Author
Tom Andel is a Contributing Editor to Logistics Management
Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine
FTR says both spot rates and contract rates are heading up in a full capacity environment and with the fall shipping season rapidly approaching, it explained conditions for shippers could further deteriorate.
Read how others are using Business Process Management to achieve ERP success with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Download the free white paper now.
Now that Congress has issued another highway funding Band-Aid – a $10.9 billion highway bill through next May that former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blasted as “totally inadequate” – what can we expect as the infamously do-nothing 113th Congress winds down in the next month before taking yet another recess to prep for the mid-term elections?
Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in July headed up 1.3 percent on the heels of a 0.8 percent increase in June. The ATA’s not seasonally-adjusted (NSA) index, which represents the change in tonnage actually hauled by fleets before any seasonal adjustment, was 133.3 in July, which outpaced June’s 132.3 by 0.8 percent, and was up 2.8 percent annually.
Volumes for the month of July at the Port of Long Beach (POLB) and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) were mixed, according to data recently issued by the ports. Unlike May and June, which saw higher than usual seasonal volumes, due to the West Coast port labor situation, July was down as retailers had completed filling inventories for back-to-school shopping.