CHICAGO—As part of Combilift’s 25th anniversary celebration, the Monaghan, Ireland-based materials handling company announced the donation of its 75,000th truck—an Aisle Master articulated forklift—to Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit humanitarian and disaster relief organization. Combilift made the the announcement at a gala dinner during the ProMat 2023 trade show this week.
“The work that Convoy of Hope does is invaluable to relieve suffering around the world, and we wanted to make our own contribution by donating our 75,000th truck to this very worthwhile charity,” said Martin McVicar, co-founder and CEO of Combilift.
McVicar and fellow engineer Robert Moffett founded the company in 1998. Combilift claimed that it has been recognized as the fastest-growing and largest manufacturer of four-directional, side-loading, and articulated forklifts globally.
Aisle Master part of growing Combilift line
Combilift offers the Aisle Master narrow-aisle articulated forklift for handling pallets as well as larger loads in warehousing applications. Its products include the C-series multidirectional range of trucks for handling long loads safely, Straddle Carriers and Mobile Gantries for handling containers or oversized loads, and pedestrian operate stacker trucks.
The company's portfolio includes more than 50 models with capacities ranging from less than 1 ton to over 100 tons. From a total of 18 units produced in 1998, Combilift has sold over 75,000 units—most of which are customized to individual requirements— in more than 85 countries.
Combilift said it continues to innovate by investing more than 7% of its annual turnover to research and development.
Convoy of Hope uses lift trucks in growing operation
Convoy of Hope works alongside communities and its wide network of volunteers aim to alleviate poverty and hunger wherever they are most needed in the world. As this type of aid is always in demand, operational expansion has also seen a corresponding increase in the requirement for warehousing capacity to accommodate the vast volume of supplies that are stored and ready for delivery to areas in need.
The organization's World Distribution Center is in Springfield, Mo. From this location at the “crossroads of America,” truckloads of relief supplies and food are sent across the U.S. and further afield around the globe. Combilift supplied its first Aisle Master for this site four years ago, and a further three units were delivered last year.
“A lot of our exponential growth has been down to the Aisle Masters, as they enable us to get more loads in and out faster,” said Jeff Smethers, senior director for distribution at Convoy of Hope. “And thanks to Combilift’s free warehouse layout service and the Aisle Master’s narrow aisle capability we have achieved the best possible storage density and very efficient operation.”
Erick Meier, senior vice president for supply chain at Convoy of Hope, added: “We are so grateful that Combilift and Martin and the whole team have actually given us one of these trucks for our operations. This is going to help people for years— and ensure that every day someone in the world will receive aid—and that brings hope.”
Editor's note: For more about ProMat 2023, visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage page.