An example of a Manitex custom-built transporter designed for shipyard applications

An example of a Manitex custom-built transporter designed for shipyard applications

Manitex International is increasing its global presence with a new set of orders for boom trucks and specialized transport units totalling US$6.6 million.

The US-based company said 10 boom trucks in the 30 tonne capacity range will be supplied to the Middle East during 2009. In addition, two custom-built specialized transporters, ordered by customers outside the country, will be produced for shipyard applications in the US.

The vehicles have two drive wheels and eight supporting steering wheels, with a control system in the cab. "Our specialized transporters are capable of handling extremely large loads efficiently and safely within the shipyard. These loads comprise entire ship sections ready to be assembled into the latest container ship or oil tanker," said Andrew Rooke, Manitex International president and CEO.

"Each section could weigh up to 300 US tons (272 tonnes) which is why a computer controlled platform is essential to maintain a level and steady load, along with precise steering control and effective braking. An underslung operator cab allows for maximum load area and operator safety," Rooke added.

The new orders include a range of material handling equipment. Bob Litchev, president of material handling operations and business development added, "During the past 12 months we have allocated product development and sales resources towards specific growth markets, such as the Middle East, that are especially well suited to our product."

"The receipt of this order for delivery in the first half of this year is another step towards further penetration and growing market share outside North America. The order was secured through our recent acquisition, Crane and Machinery, which has become our centre for international sales," added Litchev.

Restructuring

The Company has also provided an update to its restructuring activities commenced in the third quarter of 2008.

"Anticipating the impact of economic conditions and longer sales cycles, we determined that swift additional management action was necessary to ensure we balance operating activity with current demand levels. Since the end of the third quarter 2008, we have implemented across the board cost reduction activities that we estimate will yield approximately $5 million in annual expense reductions," explained Andrew Rooke.

Actions taken to achieve the cost reductions include headcount reductions of salaried and hourly employees, virtual elimination of overtime, suspension of additional hires, reduction in executive and salaried pay, bonus and benefits, as well as the introduction of shortened working hours. "These actions, although difficult, are required to ensure the company adjusts to current conditions and is positioned to respond quickly when the market recovers," Rooke added.

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