Solent Stevedores. Working in Partnership.

Sector: Port operations (Southampton)

Company: Port services for around 370 cruise ships. Handling around 1.5 million passengers, 2.7 million suitcases and loading more than 100,000 tonnes of ship’s stores.

Challenges: Safety improvement, increase efficiency, reduce environmental impacts and emissions.

Solution: Fully electric, next generation forklift trucks with the latest safety technology

STILL products: RX 20 electric counter balance trucks, FleetManager™ fleet management software.

Solent Stevedores Ltd provides a range of services to cruise operators including P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines at the Port of Southampton. 

It is estimated that the company will provide in-port services for around 370 cruise ships handling around 1.5 million passengers, 2.7 million suitcases and loading more than 100,000 tonnes of ship’s stores, cementing the company’s position as one of the top cruise suppliers globally. Solent Stevedores has recently taken delivery of thirty-five fully electric counter balance forklift trucks from STILL Materials Handling in preparation for the 2019 cruise season at the Port of Southampton.

Tom Dynes (Operations Director at Solent Stevedores) commented on the partnership: "We have been in partnership with STILL for many years but this latest investment (which currently provides a service for over 80% of the cruise vessels calling in Southampton) has been made to further improve the safety of our operators, increase efficiency for customers and reduce environmental impacts and emissions."

The fully electric, next generation forklift trucks are equipped with the latest safety technology, as well as additional driver enhancements designed to improve comfort and reduce fatigue. This £1 million investment by Solent Stevedores will help ensure that the company can maintain their excellent level of service delivery and reliability as record growth in Solent’s cruise operations at the Port of Southampton continues.

The new electric counterbalance trucks, including thirty-two new RX 20 machines has been well received by all the operating staff at Southampton. Richard Gill-Martin (Forklift Operator at Solent Stevedores) said: "We absolutely love the STILL equipment, the cabin is more spacious than before and the controls are easy to use, we are all really impressed with the new display unit. We are able to programme the machines to our needs which is important when it comes to health and safety."

The electric counterbalance trucks are completely silent in operation which is beneficial when the cruise liners arrive into the Port of Southampton and passengers are resting or asleep. Thanks to the new, compact design of the RX 20, these trucks are agile when operating in Solent’s confined spaces. The trucks are responsible for running luggage in and out of the baggage halls, whilst loading and unloading lorry loads containing the ship’s stores. The new combination axle on the RX 20, ensures the smallest turning radius in its class, providing Solent with phenomenal manoeuvrability when moving products around the docking area.

Perry Dack (Cruise Manager at Solent Stevedores) said: "The STILL trucks leave a first and last impression on passengers. They look smart in their appearance which is so important to our brand. These trucks are safe, functional and reliable which is absolutely integral to the operations which we run here."

Like STILL, Solent Stevedores have a huge focus on workplace safety, so the increased visibility with the RX 20’s oversized windows and slim mast ensure the best all-round view for optimal work safety. With a fully dedicated compliance team covering all their port operations, workplace safety is critical for company. Their ISO accreditations fundamentally underpin how their operations run and is an important shared value when it comes to their choice of suppliers.

Tom Dynes (Operations Director at Solent Stevedores) commented: "STILL take our H&S concerns and ethical obligations very seriously. Our port community collectively work together to reduce emissions and procure all our equipment responsibly."

Solent Stevedores also continue to work closely with ABP (Association British Ports) to further reduce the amount of emissions generated by their port operations, this commitment is now further enhanced by the entire fleet of 100% electric forklift trucks operating across all four cruise terminals.

Scott Vidler (STILL UK Area Sales Manager) remarked: "We are immensely proud that Solent Stevedores continue to partner with STILL. This latest delivery highlights their ongoing commitment to the safety, efficiency and overall productivity of their operation."

Nick Smith (STILL UK Managing Director) added: "We are constantly striving to improve our environmental impact through the use of recyclable materials in non-harmful manufacturing processes, energy-saving products and environmentally friendly work places. For many years we have worked in partnership with Solent Stevedores and are delighted to once again announce the latest delivery of thirty-five electriccounter balance trucks. We are immensely proud to be able to support Solent Stevedores in their commitment to driving down their environmental footprint. The importance of this shared value is one of the primary reasons for our long-standing partnership and we look forward to working with them now and in the future."

What made you choose STILL?

The previous service levels we’ve received from STILL have been exceptional. The quality and reliability of the products are world-class.

What were your requirements?

STILL’s forklift trucks play an important role in the efficiency of our operations. Within a turnaround call, on average we move over 500 pallets, 10,000 items of luggage and facilitate 8,500 passengers...we needed a reliable and robust product that wouldn’t let us down.

Are you happy with the level of service?

Extremely happy with the service. This is our 10th season and over the years our employees have built excellent relationships with the team at STILL.

Are there any areas that stand out for you?

Keeping our employees’ safe is paramount, and the new safety features on the RX 20 electric counter balance truck are industry-leading. We are also excited to have FleetManager™ installed on the trucks to improve our transparency and overall monitoring of the MHE operation.

Would you recommend STILL?

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend STILL. Our team have built a great relationship with both sales and after-sales. The reliability of the product is key for us and STILL provide outstanding support which means we can run a hassle-free operation at all times.