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Towards a more efficient future: Kalmar’s Heavy Terminal Tractors play a vital role in Finnsteve’s Ro-Ro operations

Towards a more efficient future: Kalmar’s Heavy Terminal Tractors play a vital role in Finnsteve’s Ro-Ro operations

Commitment to innovation and efficiency

Kalmar has collaborated closely with Finnsteve for decades. This long-standing partnership has enabled both companies to grow and develop, especially when it comes to testing and implementing new innovative solutions.

Finnsteve, part of the Grimaldi Group, is a major port operator in Finland. Finnsteve companies (Finnsteve Oy Ab, Containersteve Oy Ab, FS Terminals Oy Ab) offer services including RoRo and LoLo stevedoring, stuffing terminal, container depot, temperature-controlled storage, and documentation.

“Kalmar continuously strives to improve its products and services to meet customer needs,” says Tommi Haavisto, Sales Development Lead at Kalmar Terminal Tractors.

Efficient solutions for complex operations

“Kalmar terminal tractors are specifically designed for trestle use, as frame height needs to be low to operate trestles,” says Mika Niskanen, Senior Manager at Finnsteve.

Kalmar’s machines allow Finnsteve to handle automatic trestles that replace manual ones, simplifying the process by allowing the semi-trailer to be attached to the trestle and then moved as a unit, which is then secured to the deck. “In Finland, we use a patented automatic trestle design that interlocks with other trestles, creating a stable unit without additional securing to the ship. While the process is slower and requires precision, it saves on manual labor,” Niskanen adds.

 

The beginning and development of the collaboration

Kalmar and Finnsteve have been working together for over 30 years. This long-term relationship has been built on trust and common goals. The maintenance and servicing of Finnsteve's equipment is often handled within their organization, but Kalmar provides ongoing technical support and development assistance as needed.

“Long-term relationships have been crucial,” Haavisto says. “For example, Mika Niskanen from Finnsteve and Riku Vuorinen from Kalmar have been in their roles for a long time, helping to create deep trust and understanding on both sides.”

 

Innovation testing platform

Finnsteve has acted as a pilot customer for Kalmar in many development projects. One of the most significant innovations has been the implementation of Finnsteve’s trestle operation. It allows for efficient loading and unloading of trailers on the ship's deck without separate securing chains. Kalmar's Heavy Terminal Tractors, offering the best maneuverability on the market, have been key to the success of this operation.

Kalmar has also tested new exhaust gas treatment systems on Finnsteve's equipment. “Finnsteve gets new technologies as soon as they are ready, and Kalmar receives valuable feedback to support development work,” explains Haavisto.

 

 

Challenges and solutions

 

Haavisto points out that Ro-Ro efficiency consists of three factors: fast latching and unlatching enabled by trestles, quality equipment specified precisely for customer operations, and ensuring equipment uptime.

“If there are issues with the equipment, the Kalmar team is close by in the Vuosaari workshop to solve any challenges and maximize uptime.”

 

The future is electric

“Currently, we are working with Kalmar to make their tractors more versatile. Though they primarily manufacture and sell machines, they listen to our feedback and collaborate on improvements,” adds Niskanen on the continuous R&D.

Haavisto emphasizes that the future looks very electric. “Both Kalmar and Finnsteve aim to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency,” he says. “The challenge is to find the most effective solutions, whether it is electrification or hydrogen use. Kalmar is actively working on these new technologies, and feedback from Finnsteve is an essential part of this development work.”

 

Durability and maintenance

Finnsteve’s oldest Heavy Terminal Tractors by Kalmar date back to 1999, proving their durability. Maintenance is crucial, and Finnsteve handles most repairs themselves, only occasionally seeking Kalmar's help. The collaboration has been beneficial, ensuring long-lasting, reliable equipment. “Our oldest machines have been in service for nearly 25 years, a testament to their durability and the quality of Kalmar’s engineering,” says Niskanen.

 

The story continues

The long-term collaboration between Kalmar and Finnsteve has brought significant benefits to both parties. Innovative solutions, such as the straddle operation and new emission control systems, have improved operational efficiency and reduced costs. In the future, electrification and emission reduction will be key themes, and the collaboration to achieve these goals will continue.

“Shared values make Kalmar an ideal partner for Finnsteve, and that relationship works both ways,” Haavisto concludes. “We plan to constantly improve our efficiency and sustainability.”

 

 

 

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