Often regarded as the preferred fertilizer partner, the company handles and packs an impressive 800 000 tonnes of fertilizer per annum.
The business calls for heavy investment in warehousing facilities, machinery and information technology to ensure that customer needs are met in a timely fashion. “Choosing the right equipment is essential for our business,” says Yap Boon Chin, Managing Director at Yal Bulk Packing Services Sdn Bhd.
“We could see that with some further investment in equipment, we could transform our business. In 2016 we took the decision to add four new Steelbro sidelifters to the operation.”
A sidelifter is a semi-trailer fitted with two hydraulic cranes capable of lifting a shipping container onto the trailer or transferring the container to another trailer.
Over the years Steelbro has developed a deep understanding of the needs of the Malaysian operator. It’s this knowledge that helped Steelbro design the SB450 sidelifter. According to Steelbro, this model is a rugged unit with a robust construction for heavy duty use. It has proven to operate in the most extreme conditions.
“Knowing fertilizer containers are particularly heavy, we needed something that was capable of lifting a heavy load,” says Yap “It’s easier for the Steelbro sidelifter to handle the loads with its 45 tonne capacity. Furthermore it has a durable steel chassis for heavy lifting.”
“Our sidelifters are mainly used on short haul freight from customer premises to the port or vice versa, or for shunting. Loads are mainly 20ft or 40ft sized containers filled with heavy fertilizer.”
The YAL Group has seen some changes since it was established back in 1982. At first the company rented warehouses to provide storage services and contractor services for mixing and rebagging fertilizers for customers. In 1989 the company purchased its first warehouse.
Today there are three modern well equipped warehouses located at Northport, Westport and Port Klang with a total storage capacity of 600 000 square feet. All facilities have sophisticated equipment, inventory management and integrated logistics services, managed by a dedicated team.
But the company does much more than just warehousing the fertilizer. Within the group, Yal Bulk Packaging Services Sdn Bhd provides forwarding services, while Elite Team Logistics offers freight forwarding services. The operation now transports fertilizers in bulk bags from the port to the warehouse. They provide specialist warehouse services such as crushing, sieving, blending, mixing and re-bagging of fertilizer and transportation to customers.
“It’s fair to say that the sidelifters have changed our operation and the way we work,” states Yap. “We can attribute the new sidelifters to some of the growth we’ve experienced.”
“We can now transfer containers from trailer to trailer and from trailer to wagon without having the landing leg on ground which gives more stability.”
According to one of their sidelifter operators, “it’s a reliable unit that’s helped the way I work.”
Mr Yap was impressed with the two joysticks that provide customized control over the cranes. Steelbro call this proportional control. According the Steelbro, “proportional control” helps to achieve smoother, more stable container loading and unloading. It gives more refined speed control, allowing for higher speeds, and reduced stress fatigue on the crane arms. This is all achieved using a joystick controller which can send varying amounts of signal depending on how far the operator moves the joystick. The result is that the sidelifter can be operated with safe and speedy precision.
When choosing Steelbro as the supplier, the company looked at price, safety, durability and return on investment. “We also considered longevity and aftersales,” Yap elaborates. Steelbro has been around for almost 140 years and has a long history of providing transport solutions.
“We’ve had great service from the Steelbro service centre. Azlin the foreman has 20 years experience and is careful to explain clearly any faults and the repairs required. We have managed to get quick appointments for after sales service and great support from the Steelbro team”.
With the new sidelifter equipment on board, Yal Bulk Packing Services is now well positioned for the next stage and looking forward to enjoying a period of further growth and expansion.
First published in Asian Trucker Malaysia – Trailer Tech.