Fast Freight Srl is one of the first companies in the world to take delivery of a new product launched by Combilift – the Combi-CSS Container Slip Sheet, designed for the faster loading of containers. Based in Constanta in Romania and with an office in Castellon, Spain, the family owned business is a leading freight forwarder providing global door to door deliveries. To ensure that it can handle any type of cargo, the company has invested substantially in equipment for its bonded Constanta Port terminal in the past couple of years, much of which was supplied by Combilift, the Irish specialist manufacturer of handling solutions.
The goods that pass through Constanta Port are diverse in type as well as size and weight. They include sheet materials, logs, profiles, marble blocks and containers as well as project cargo such as paper reels, steel coils and machinery, many of which are oversized or of non-standard dimensions. Fast Freight uses around eight Combilift products, each suited to the specific requirements of individual loads.
Loading goods into containers was a procedure that the company wanted to improve upon in terms of safety and efficiency, leading to a joint project with Combilift which resulted in the Combi-CSS. “Safety and the reduction of risk across all operations is a major priority for us,” said Ms Ioana Nedu, Export Sales Representative, “and I believe our collaboration, experience and input has been crucial to the success of this new product. It has also enabled us to increase capacity and margin per load.”
Using the mechanised Combi-CSS system to load products such as steel pipes or timber into containers avoids a combination of forklifts and manual labour. It significantly speeds up the process while increasing safety to operators and minimising product damage. A full load can be assembled on a steel sheet, which is hydraulically guided into the container. A barrier then swings across the container opening and is locked in place. This holds the material within the container while the metal sheet is slipped out from underneath it. With a 30,000 kg capacity, an entire load cycle can be performed by a single operator and a 20’ container can be fully loaded in just three minutes.
The other Combilift machines working on the 7,500m² site at Constanta resemble a showcase of the diverse solutions the manufacturer can offer. Two telescopic Straddle Carriers with automatic 20/40 spreader bars handle containers, a Combilift Tipper loads 20” containers with bulk materials such as cereals, multidirectional 5t and 8t forklifts are used for handling long loads and an Aisle Master articulated forklift works indoors for space saving storage, as well as inside containers. Some of the models are fitted with specialist attachments such as a C-Hook for the Straddle Carrier for steel pipes and a heavy duty fork attachment for loading and unloading blocks of marble.
“We first became aware of Combilift at a trade fair and realised that the ability to source such a wide range of customised handling equipment from one single supplier would be a great advantage,” said Ms Nedu. “The company uses common components on a lot of its models which simplifies maintenance for example, and the high level of cooperation between the two companies means that we can offer the best quality service for our customers’ individual needs.”