In 2004, Konecranes acquired SMV Lifttrucks and formed what we now know as Konecranes Lift Trucks. With a new and stable owner in place, the company embarked on a journey towards global success in heavy material handling. In this interview, we sit down with Andreas Falk, SVP of Konecranes Lift Trucks since 2018, for his insights into what defines the company today.
1. Building a strong global network
When the revitalized Konecranes Lift Trucks emerged in 2004, it already boasted a well-developed product line and market offer. However, something was missing to further empower its expansion.
From my perspective, three historical milestones have significantly contributed to shaping Konecranes Lift Trucks into a global player. The first was the acquisition in 2004 when Konecranes took ownership. This not only secured the business with a financially strong owner but also brought along a crucial network. This network included a well-developed service and maintenance organization, as well as a sales network targeting the manufacturing industry. Both aspects are equally important for offering global solutions to major customers, says Andreas Falk.
2. Acquisition of Linde Container Handling
In 2013, Konecranes Lift Trucks took another significant step towards becoming the global partner customers needed and wanted. Once more, it involved an acquisition.
The second milestone for Konecranes Lift Trucks materialized in 2013 when we successfully acquired specific assets of Linde Material Handling's container handling business. This move allowed us to expand our spare parts and service business, further enhancing our global competitiveness in the container-handling truck segment. From that point forward, Konecranes Lift Trucks could offer an extensive distribution network for the combined reach stacker and empty container handler offering, all for the benefit of our customers, explains Andreas Falk.
3. The Terex MHPS acquisition
Another critical step in realizing Konecranes Lift Trucks' aspirations of becoming a world leader in heavy material handling occurred in early 2017.
Konecranes Lift Trucks had already established itself as a significant player, but in 2017, we took one more crucial step. A milestone in the company's history was the acquisition of Terex MHPS. Merging Konecranes and MHPS was a remarkable achievement, enabling us to deliver substantial value to our customers. This merger unlocked a host of synergies in global service operations, positioning us as a world-leading technology company ready to usher in the next generation of lifting solutions, says Andreas Falk.
Toward the future
One thing is certain – more milestones will come. In the year 2023, Konecranes Lift Trucks continues to evolve and innovate, staying one step ahead of the competition.
The past has helped us to grow and expand, and allowed us to continue with our mission to make the best lift trucks and solutions for our customers’ worlds. But we keep moving forward. We focus on driving for better, on how we can help our customers in ways they haven’t yet thought about. Sometimes the world throws challenges at you, like COVID19 and the material disruptions that we all experienced, and I’m proud to say we have been able to continue to grow. We launched our renewed Konecranes Liftace reach stacker line and our award-winning electric forklift E-VER. Our employees’ and distributors’ dedication to their work keep us moving forward every day. We have a clear plan for the future, and I can’t wait for you to see our coming milestones, concludes Andreas Falk.
Perhaps the next milestone will revolve around sustainability. The company has strategically committed to having fully electric variants of its entire product portfolio by end of 2026. What defines a company is a moving target, but Konecranes Lift Trucks will continue to forge ahead with bold ambitions.