As BCTN celebrates 30 years of operation in June 2017, Hyster Europe will receive a new order for an Empty Container Handler. BCTN first used Hyster® products 30 years ago and remains a loyal customer thanks to reliable and “green” container handlers, and exceptional service support, proven time and again at its inland terminals.
“Time is the single biggest challenge at our seven inland terminals,” says Wim Busser, Purchase & Support Director Benelux at BCTN BV. “We must load and unload barges as quickly as possible so they can get back on the waterways to the seaports.”
BCTN is the main inland container terminal network in the Benelux region offering an excellent alternative to the transport of containers by road, with daily services to the seaports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and via Duisburg hinterland Europe and China. The company handles all types of containers and currently operates a number of Hyster® Empty Container Handlers and ReachStackers of different ages, and their reliability plays a critical role in the success of the operations.
“We have always experienced good performance and support throughout the life of the trucks, which is why we keep coming back to Hyster,” says Wim. “We are very happy with the reliability of the Hyster® trucks and have certainly put it to the test over the years.”
Each year the Hyster® Empty Container Handlers work for between 2,500-3,000 hours and BCTN replaces them after about 15,000 hours, or 5 to 6 years. Throughput ranges from 10,000 containers per year to 100,000 containers per year depending on the site, with intense 24/7 operations.
The fleet is spread across the seven inland container terminals located in Alblasserdam, Den Bosch, Nijmegen, Venray, Roermond in the Netherlands, and also Meerhout and Geel in Belgium. BCTN offers a range of additional services including storage, transport and gas measurement.
Wim explains that the footprint of the Hyster® equipment and double-handling capability of some of the empty container handlers enables efficient handling, even where space is limited.
“To support BCTN operations in both countries, we work closely with Hyster and its dealers, Heffiq in the Netherlands and B-Close in Belgium,” says Wim. “They provide exceptionally fast service support, usually within an hour of a call. The pro-active support, ongoing maintenance routines and fast parts supply are critical factors for avoiding downtime and keeping our customers happy.”
BCTN received its first Hyster® container handler in 1987 with the opening of the terminal in Nijmegen, now one of the main intermodal container transport operations in the Netherlands. The proximity of the terminal to the factory where Hyster® Big Trucks are produced in Nijmegen made it an obvious choice for BCTN. Today, it is also the European distribution centre for Hyster® parts.
“Hyster® container handlers were deployed when we opened in Meerhout in 1996, the first Belgian inland terminal. Today it has grown to become the largest container terminal in the Benelux where we are handling over 800 trucks per day,” he says.
Hyster has helped support this growth as volumes have increased, while helping to reduce operating costs for BCTN. Initially, empty container handlers reduced the cost per container moved when compared to using a ReachStacker. Now the company has significantly reduced fuel costs with some of the latest and most fuel-efficient models, leading to the latest order for a Hyster® H23XM12EC Empty Container Handler, for use in Belgium.
The most recent Hyster® ReachStacker was introduced in 2015 and features the Stage IV engine also helping to reduce the environmental impact and support BCTN’s commitment to sustainability.
In 2008, BCTN achieved a “Lean and Green” award, and in 2015 received its first star. This star is given when an organisation achieves a 20pc CO2 reduction within five years as part of Europe’s leading program for sustainable logistics. In May 2017, BCTN achieved a second star, which only 20 other companies have achieved, and it continues to explore more sustainable options and solutions. Working with Hyster has helped BCTN achieve these awards.
“Intermodal container transport by barge is not only reliable and cost efficient, but also the greenest form of transport. It easily results in a CO2 reduction of 20 to 40pc compared to transport by road, partly because transport by barge reduces traffic congestion,” says Wim. “We expect inland terminal throughput to increase significantly over the next few years with more containers being moved by water in the Benelux. Hyster continues to be part of our strategy to ensure a fast turnaround in our terminals.”