Panama Canal Expansion Spurs Material Handling Demand in Florida


Florida News

Long one of the world’s engineering marvels and a boon to American industry for almost a century, the Panama Canal is now poised for a major expansion sure to trigger a significant increase in demand for material handling products and services, especially in south Florida.

“It’s perfect timing for us,” says Andersen Material Handling Vice President, Florida Division, Bob Didia . “We’ve recently launched a major expansion into south Florida, taking advantage of our 50 years in the material handling business, especially our experience working with the steel and auto industries.”

Headquartered in Detroit, Andersen offers a broad array of customized material handling solutions, including integrated system engineering and installation, lift trucks and utility vehicles, and storage and storage-related products. That means in Florida, besides the steel industry, Andersen is already working full tilt with a variety of partners in the manufacturing, warehouse and distribution sectors to help them boost supply chain productivity.

“We call it ‘power to move’,” says Tom Compau, CEO “providing our customers with just the right material handling tools to substantially increase their efficiencies and cut costs wherever they can. And we can usually help them dig out the ROI data to prove it.” Compau offers as an example the automated order picking technology provided by one of Andersen’s subsidiaries, Integrated Systems Design. “Several horizontal carousels integrated with pick-to-light software and batch picking work stations can increase manual picking systems performance by up to 500% and throughputs up to 575 lines per hour while providing up to 66% space savings and reducing labor by 2/3,” he says.

With the surge of imports sure to follow the upcoming Panama Canal expansion, those kinds of smart, incremental material handling solutions could offer just what many south Florida businesses need to stay competitive.