Material handling is constantly on the rise

Logistics and sourcing has had a vital role in business during the last few decades.  Optimal planning and sourcing strategies has become an important weapon for competitive advantage between companies. We still have a lot of products coming out of Asia and especially being shipped from China to both Europe and North America. This means that goods need to be moved quickly and in a cost effective way both via ships through containers and then via roads by attaching the containers to semi-trailer trucks for land transportations through our road networks to logistic terminals. Where they goods can be re-distributed to smaller shipments for direct deliveries to its final destination.

There are a lot of touch points with vehicles that require high performance tires. It basically starts with the trucks picking up products from a factory or a logistic terminal and delivering it to a harbor port for being loaded on a container ship across the ocean for it to later arrive again to a port, being unloaded and put again on a semi-trailer truck for a further land based journey to a logistic hub closer to its final destination. Most of the tire interaction will be on the semi-trailer trucks, where the truck tires will have to be of premium heavy truck tires, that have low wear, long operating life and low rolling resistance. The tires will be so called haul tires that have the perfect properties for continuous driving across the nations and still be able to handle the heavy loads.

The ports will also need to have a lot of equipment that will need tires to ensure an agile operation. You will have RTG-cranes and terminal tractors, for getting the containers organized once they have been taken off the ships. RTG-tires and terminal tractor tires both have to be able to handle the very high loads as well as being able to maneuver in tight areas. This means that the tires have to have low resistance for turning and still be very precise and exhibit good control. Durability is key as tire failures especially for the RTG-cranes can be costly and cause big delays. Tires might be costly, but tire failures outweigh any costs and should be avoided at almost any costs, by investing in the best tires initially and undertake proper tire maintenance.

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Operate your terminal with minimum downtime by proper tire selection

Within the big shipping and container terminals you tend to have a combination of tracked cranes as well as rubber tired gantry cranes and straddle carriers. You also have in addition to all the trucks and trailers, a lot of terminal tractors and loaders and stackers. Most of the machines need to be able to carry very heavy loads and need precise driving response. For the truck and trailer tires, these tend to be haul tires and are low wear tires that you get you through the long distances without problems.

When carrying heavy loads, tire failures could cause major problems and damages, that is why it is important to select tires that can handle heavy loads and still have high wear resistance. Despite quite similar looking equipment they might still need very different tires and properties. A telescopic loader will have very different tires than a reach stacker, so the tire selection process is critical. You might first wan to assess the technical tire manual to ensure that you find the correct RTG tires and the correct terminal tractor tires.

In the technical tire manual you can find all the necessary information regarding all the tires for materials handling, so that you can make sure that you find right tire for the right equipment and the right use case. Since tire selection is so important to ensure that you eliminate problems and get the necessary properties that you will need. For ensuring that the terminals reach their targets of reduced operational productivity and reduced delays, tire related problems should be avoided through proper tire maintenance.

Tire maintenance that thoroughly checks the tires and plans for their replacement as they wear out and check for cracks or cuts. The more that you can detect during the scheduled maintenance and thus avoid having to do unscheduled maintenance, the more time and money you will save in your operations. Having to deal with problems that can also cause costly delays. Goods often need to be delivered within short timelines and from the ports or terminals they often still have a long way to travel, so the faster they can be loaded on the right trucks for further delivery, the better it is. So as mentioned already, use the tire manual to check for the optimal tires so that you can operate smoothly.

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How Container Shipments Became Dominant

The container transport has revolutionized transport and has definitely helped globalization. The ability to move products quickly and at low cost has been crucial in this development. From before having goods packed at the docks and then onto the ships. It took a long time until the containers that we have today and it was basically the US Army that started the trend of being able to ship large quantities of military supplies and by the time of the Vietnam war the containers were in heavy use. Today we have containers that can be used on ships and then further transported by rail or road in trucks. The containers don’t have to be opened during the transport, saving a lot of time throughout the process

Containers have made a lot of the previous manual labor obsolete. Theft and damages along the way has drastically been reduced. This has made the cost and time to drop drastically; both these factors have had a fundamental role in the globalization. These containers can be stacked and easily loaded and attached to trains and to chassis for trucks for further transportation, as the size is standardized.

The pressure is now on speedy and reliable services at the ports to be able to manage the high capacity and loads, as well as getting it to and from the ships to the final destinations. The main equipment used today is a crane at the docks and the trucks driving the goods along the highways to its final destinations.

Tires have become increasingly important in this process to ensure that you can get the goods quickly and most importantly safely to its final destination. Tires are involved in more or less all stages from the RTG tires at the dock to the terminal tractors tires on the equipment moving things around the terminal to the haul tires on the trucks destined for the final destination. All these tires have to be highly durable and be able to manage heavy loads. The different tires will have specific needs, but they all have in common that a tire failure will be very costly Causing the ships to be delayed due to equipment failures including tire failures are the most costly impacts, but also a truck breaking down on the highway or even worse being in an accident is costly or dangerous enough.

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You Don’t See Equipment With Tires In Cargo Terminals, But A Few Exist

Within the terminals of cargo shipments, you will find a lot of heavy equipment. Due to the heavy loads that these equipment deal with in a daily basis, most of them are fixedWith the increased global shipping, with especially demand to and from China, the global shipping has been constantly growing and more and more ports are being built or existing ones expanded. Truck tires you will of course see, as the trucks enter the terminal to pick up the containers. A process that can be as described below:

The container ship arrives to the port and the containers are taken off and new are loaded. Once they have been taken off the ship they are transported around the terminal and then distributed by road in long haul trucks.

Empty or full containers are taken of the chassis by a yard equipment, most likely a telescopic loader. He then proceeds to a pick-up spot to pick up an import container from the container yard. An RTG will need to locate the container from the stack of containers and retrieve it by maybe moving several other containers.

Refrigerated containers, the process is different, as they will be waiting at the refeer-yard already on a chassis, so the truck can hook up to the chassis and drive away.

To move around containers already on a chassis a terminal tractor can do it faster within the terminal than a normal truck, so they can speed up the operations within the terminal.

The RTG-tires have to sustain a very high load while moving back and forth to deliver the right container to the truck. With unique tread pattern you can easier move the wheel despite standing still, you will need this to reduce the forces the actuator will have to absorb.

The terminal tractors will need similar functions to easily turn and move around the containers, thus the terminal tractor tires need the easy ability to turn even small areas and be very precise. They also need to be able to carry massive loads around the terminal.

Low heat build up resulting in low wear of the tires is a key component of getting more operating hours out of the tires before change. Any tire maintenance in a terminal will be costly.

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