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Hyster ReachStackers are the ‘backbone’ of Packing Center Hamburg operation

New Hyster® RS46-36CH ReachStackers are considered to form the backbone of the operation at Packing Center Hamburg (PCH). Every year, approximately 35,000 TEUs are loaded and unloaded for import and export at the PCH container packing station – and that number is growing.

From the major ports in New York, Vancouver, New Delhi, Singapore and Shanghai, the containers arrive at PCH in the heart of the port of Hamburg, where the company unloads mainly consolidated cargo, also known as LCL (Less-than-Container Load). At PCH the goods, which include crates of toys, pallets of insulation materials, barrels, steel, tractors, printing presses, luxury cars, helicopters and marine propellers, are turned over and transported by hauliers to recipients across Europe.

Up to 350 HGVs leave the 100,000 square metre facility at Wollkämmereistrasse, in the Hamburg suburb of Wilhelmsburg, every day. An especially secure hazardous materials area that meets all requirements of the Federal Immission Control Act allows even highly flammable goods to be stored. The company also processes FCL (Full Container Load), flat-rack and open-top containers for over-width and over-height heavy goods when required.

Total operating cost significantly reduced

PCH now uses the latest generation of Hyster RS46-36CH ReachStackers, which meet the Stage IV/Tier 4 final emission standards, to transport containers on its premises. Currently, PCH has three of these big trucks in use, including the 1000th ReachStacker Hyster produced at its factory in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

"The first few months under tough operating conditions have shown us that the new Hyster ReachStackers really do use up to 25 percent less fuel than their predecessors – while delivering the same performance," says PCH managing director, Klaus Wachsmann.

Thanks to the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology used in Hyster engines, combined with selective catalytic reduction (SCR), these models require only a relatively low amount of urea (AdBlue). "The combination of technology and lower fuel consumption has allowed us to significantly reduce the operating cost of our trucks," he adds.

A Cummins QSL9 engine delivering up to 370 hp / 276 KW provides the necessary power in the Hyster ReachStackers.

"So far, we are very pleased with the ReachStackers. Based on our positive experiences we will be increasing the number of our container handlers to a total of six Hyster machines," he says.

The ReachStackers are also used to stack the 20- and 40-foot marine containers in the first, second and third row at the company’s empty depot.

PCH switches completely to Hyster

This expansion of the company’s truck fleet is urgently needed. In September 2013 PCH moved into new premises together with Sacco Shipping GmbH and, at peak times, the seven warehouses on the premises are operating at full capacity. When moving goods between containers, warehouses and HGVs, every minute matters and highest efficiency is the order of the day.

In addition to the ReachStackers, PCH currently uses a total of 23 Hyster® trucks to handle its goods – from hand pallet trucks such as the P2.0 through diesel trucks from the H2.5 FT Advance series and four-wheel electric lift trucks like the J2.5 XN Advance+, to the R1.6 reach truck.

Ensuring high truck availability

"In the future, we will only be using materials handling equipment from Hyster, as it is reliable and robust enough to withstand the demanding challenges of shift operation here," says Mr Wachsmann. "In addition, we have been working closely with the experienced Hyster distribution partner, Norgatec, since 1996, and they guarantee that our machines are always 100 percent available."

Norgatec managing director Andreas Küstermann adds: "When the trucks are serving up to 44 loading ramps at the same time, nothing can be allowed to go wrong."

Norgatec also ensures that the trucks at PCH are optimally adapted to the operating conditions.

Air-cushioned seats give the drivers additional support and help to prevent fatigue. Intelligent locking systems ensure that each truck can only be used by its authorised driver. Every employee is given their own electronic key with a transponder that authorises them to use the truck.

In addition, the system, which is similar to the Hyster® Tracker, can be used to control and monitor the entire fleet.

Duramatch® transmission prevents wheelspin

To reduce operating costs for the trucks and protect the goods against soiling, the materials handling equipment is carefully adapted to its use at PCH. Take, for example, the tyres. In the Hyster® Fortens H2.5FT Advance+ diesel trucks, the Duramatch® transmission prevents wheelspin when accelerating and loading/unloading. "This significantly reduces friction, which quickly saves a set of tyres that costs around 1,500 Euros", says Küstermann. In addition, PCH uses white tyres that are free of soot particles on many of its trucks, thus avoiding black tyre abrasions settling on and soiling the goods. To save money and energy, the trucks switch off automatically if they are not used for two minutes.

"With the large number of trucks we use, keeping operating costs as low as possible is a very important factor for us", says Uwe Zemelka, managing director at PCH. "That’s why we are increasingly using electric trucks from Hyster. Compared to trucks with combustion engines they use less fuel and allow lower maintenance intervals, while delivering the same performance."

With over 140 different models, Hyster has the selection the company needs. PCH has approximately 120 industrial and commercial staff who must be able to rely on dependable trucks at all times, especially with growing deadline pressures. Sometimes the window from "gate arrival" of the containers to goods dispatch is no more than eight hours, including customs checks. "We need trucks that are robust and always available," says Zemelka. "A flexible service provider like Norgatec, who works with Hyster to implement our particular requirements quickly and easily, helps us achieve that."

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