Asia business review

1 July 2022


Over the upcoming years, APAC countries are forecasted to offer major opportunities for crane operators, particularly with the construction sector in Indonesia expected to record over 7.2% growth in 2022 surpassing pre-pandemic output levels, according to GlobalData. Jenny Eagle takes a look at the latest news in this region.

The Crosby Group and Kito Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to combine both businesses, expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

The deal is expected to allow the two companies to better serve customers; with additional investment in products, people, and facilities; a broader portfolio of products across a global landscape and increased levels of service, support, and training worldwide.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together two companies with differentiated, industry-leading capabilities, to create exceptional value for all stakeholders: team members, channel partners, end users, and communities. We have long respected Kito Corporation as they exemplify our core values of safety, reliability, and innovation and are thrilled to combine with them to provide best-in-class products, solutions, and services for customers worldwide,” said Robert Desel, CEO, The Crosby Group.

“The strategic wisdom and industrial logic of this combination are compelling. It will pair the highly complementary product portfolios of The Crosby Group and Kito Corporation and allow customers access to a broad selection of lifting and material handling solutions from one trusted manufacturer. Together, the companies will be able to accelerate innovation through increased investment in new product development and enable end users to achieve higher levels of efficiency and safety through better technical, application, and training support from a combined business,” he added.

Yoshio Kito, CEO, Kito Corporation believes combining the two companies ‘delivers tremendous value for all stakeholders’. “We couldn’t have imagined a better partner and we are confident that this combined business will build upon its great brands to best serve our customers, team members, and communities. We will work together to develop and expand our product offerings, differentiate ourselves based on our customer first principle, and enhance our presence as a global leader.”

Kito also said in a statement: “Kito and Crosby have historically faced similar trading conditions including a Covidled market disruption, and longer-term demand volatility.

“More recently, in the current supply chain environment, in which Covid has led to a slump in capital investment in infrastructure, industrial enterprises, and the like, while there are cost increases due to the impact of inflation on labor costs, raw material pricing, transportation costs, and the like, they have faced and understand the importance of navigating similar challenges, including shortages of raw material such as steel, and inflation leading to increased raw material costs, repair componentry costs, and freight and packaging costs.

“The parties believe the combination of the [two companies] would provide more stable operational resources and flexibility to help manage these dynamic headwinds in the form of capital to invest in the business after the Business Combination, sharing practices from each of the companies of Crosby Group and Kito Group to ensure even better safety practices, and product innovation and sharing of ideas by employees, positioning the combined company to be better equipped to serve customers, employees, and communities in the face of supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures.

“As a result, the parties believe the Combined Group would be able to maintain better quality created from sharing manufacturing practices, and achieve better customer service from sharing talent and greater combined experience with servicing customers than the parties could achieve on their own.

“Additionally, the Combined Group would likely be able to utilize their complementary capabilities in new product development to create innovations for new and existing customers of the parties.”

Specifically, Kito Group has expertise in crane applications and The Crosby Group has expertise in rigging hardware applications (meaning hardware attached to products for use in ensuring safety and in lifting and hoisting), which are complementary product areas within the lifting and securement hardware industry.

Moreover, the parties believe the Combined Group can use their complementary geographic presences such as Crosby Group being headquartered in the US and Kito Group being headquartered in Japan, giving the Combined Group a better presence globally to service customers across the globe to add further value to employees, customers, suppliers and communities, and to promote sales of the products across a broader geographic landscape to better serve customers.”

In Kito’s fiscal results for 2021 (ended March 31, 2022), it reported that despite intermittent constraints on economic activity in certain countries and regions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, overall demand recovered sharply centered on Western countries, while the Japanese market continued to recover at a moderate pace.

“Looking at the current external environment, the international situation in Europe and elsewhere is increasingly uncertain. The appreciation in material costs and raw material costs stemming from the rapid recovery in economic activity following the coronavirus pandemic, and constraints on supply chains such as logistics disruptions, is also expected to continue,” it said in a statement.

“At the same time, demand in the North American and European markets remains firm, while in the Japanese market, where recovery has been relatively moderate, orders to meet capital investment plans are steadily increasing. Asian markets are also showing signs of a turnaround. In addition, government policy measures around the world are expected to continue to drive infrastructure demand.

“Kito Group will continue to invest in manufacturing equipment for its production facilities in order to firmly capture all this widespread demand.”

The Crosby Group and Kito were not the only ones to announce new partnerships recently, as The CMA CGM Group, and PSA Corporation (PSA), a subsidiary of PSA International, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly create and implement sustainable solutions relating to CMA CGM’s port and terminal handling activities in Singapore, through the joint venture partnership in CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal (CPLT).

One of the focus areas is to adopt PSA’s Opt- E-Arrive digital solution to reduce carbon emission through optimisation of bunker consumption.

Opt-E-Arrive is programmed to enable CMA CGM vessels to skip the anchorage stop and arrive just-in-time at berth at CPLT. The solution synchronises transparent real time activities and automates data exchange between the carrier and port operator. The intelligence enables CMA CGM vessels to optimise vessel speed to be timely for berth.

This technology is set to reduce greenhouse gas emission through further optimisation of bunker consumption.

An annualised bunker savings of 4% to 7% for CMA CGM vessels arriving in Singapore is expected to be achieved with the digital solution.

“The CMA CGM Group is delighted to take sustainable shipping forward with PSA through digital and operational solutions. As we advance in our energy transition to be a net zero carbon company by 2050, we shall continue to pursue energy efficiency; optimise network; design containerships to progressively operate with zero-carbon energy; and develop a supply chain for new zero carbon energies,” said Laurent Olmeta, CEO, CMA CGM Asia Pacific.

Opt-E-Arrive will be complementary to CMA CGM’s existing Fleet Centers, which can be described as vessel control towers with smart decision support tools for the Group’s 566 vessels and their crews. Backed by 26 team members in Marseille, Miami and Singapore, the Fleet Centers provide round the clock support to ensure the safety of the Group’s crew, vessels and cargoes, and also offer real time data to adapt vessels’ routes and speed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The collaborations demonstrate the shared commitment between the CMA CGM Group and PSA to drive excellence and decarbonise shipping through the joint venture partnership in CPLT.

In February this year, the CMA CGM Group launched biofuel bunkering at CPLT, as part of its global trial to scale-up the wider adoption of clean energy.

In March 2021, CPLT hosted Asia’s first ship-to-containership LNG bunkering undertaken by CMA CGM in Singapore. This paves the way for CMA CGM’s LNG powered vessels to refuel LNG during container operations in the Port of Singapore, reducing transit times and their stay in the port.

The CMA CGM Group is committed to the energy transition and has set itself the goal of Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2050. To do this, the CMA CGM Group has chosen to invest in dual-fuel vessels that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), avoiding up to 99% of atmospheric pollutant emissions.

LNG is an important first step in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the engine installed on these vessels is capable of using BioLNG (reducing 67% in CO2 emissions).

In the coming years, those engines will use synthetic methane (including e-methane). The CMA CGM Group already has a fleet of 28 “e-methane ready” vessels in service and will have a total of 44 such vessels by the end of 2024.

“PSA aims to create an Internet of Logistics through building a connected system of nodes and platforms together with our customers and partners. We are delighted to embark on this collaboration with our partner CMA CGM through various initiatives to enhance service excellence. With greater visibility, closer cooperation and enhanced cargo flow with digital solutions, we can move the world together sustainably, and with greater agility and efficiency,” said Ong Kim Pong, regional CEO Southeast Asia, PSA International.

In other news, MyCrane, the Dubai-based digital disrupter for cranes and construction equipment has announced plans to launch the world’s first online crane rental platform in key Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets including Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

MyCrane’s crane rental service allows users to save time and money by entering details of their lifting requirements on a web portal. Registered crane rental companies can then respond with their commercial offers for users to choose from.

The platform also offers a variety of other services including engineering support, a free-to-use tool to identify the right crane for the lift, and a marketplace to post equipment, rigging equipment, spare parts, auxiliaries and industry vacancies.

The company’s franchise rights in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia were acquired by Singapore-based Allan Taylor.

“We are delighted to welcome Allan at a time of great opportunity for those serving the thriving cranes and construction industry in Asia. APAC is often seen as an exciting region for business development and with good reason,” said Andrei Geikalo, CEO, MyCrane.

Over the upcoming years, APAC countries are forecasted to offer major opportunities for crane operators, particularly with the construction sector in Indonesia expected to record over 7.2% growth in 2022 surpassing pre-pandemic output levels, according to GlobalData.

The Indonesian government has allocated $27.1bn for infrastructure development, including six new airports, 6,624 kilometres of railway and 205 kilometres of road.

Taylor said he is looking forward to helping equipment suppliers in the three countries to “increase the utilisation of their fleets, while also working with contractors to help them save time and money on the crane procurement process.”

The MyCrane platform is currently operational in the UK, UAE, Oman, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

HashiCorp, multi-cloud infrastructure automation software, says its HashiCorp Cloud Platform (HCP) is also now available in Asia-Pacific and Japan.

HashiCorp Consul, Vault, and Packer are available as managed service offerings for organizations across the APJ region, with hosting sites in Australia and Singapore.

HashiCorp currently provides three products on its cloud platform.

HCP Consul, a cloud service networking and service mesh offering; HCP Vault, a cloud security automation product; and HCP Packer, a multi-cloud build management product.

Each solution is offered as a fully managed service operated and supported by HashiCorp experts, designed to help reduce the operational burden for enterprises and accelerate their transition to the cloud.

“Running applications on cloud infrastructure helps enterprises transform their businesses, but creates challenges from infrastructure complexity, skills shortages, and the new types of security threats they face,” said Armon Dadgar, cofounder and CTO of HashiCorp.

“Our customers and community in Asia-Pacific have been asking us for help to make it easier to get started with and to operate our products.

“With the HashiCorp Cloud Platform, we do the heavy lifting for them, making it much simpler for customers to get up and running with our products. We expect HCP to help organizations across the region to more quickly achieve their digital transformation initiatives.”

For enterprises working to deliver the business value of cloud but struggling with these skills and staffing shortages, HashiCorp products on HCP are designed to minimize operational burden, and allow organizations to focus on feature delivery and subsequently deliver more value to the business faster.

“We are pleased to support HCP Consul and HCP Vault on AWS,” said Deepak Singh, VP, compute services, Amazon Web Services. “Customers can immediately realize automation benefits with HCP Consul, a production-ready, fully managed service mesh solution, which help users to connect and secure connections between AWS workloads faster and with fewer resources via push-button deployment of fully managed clusters pre-configured for development and production.”

MOU Signing Ceremony, (L to R): Laurent Olmeta, CEO, CMA CGM APAC and Ong Kim Pong, regional CEO, Southeast Asia, PSA International.
A Kito crane in a food processing factory.
Kito’s cranes are used in construction.
Robert Desel, CEO, The Crosby Group.
CMA CGM Jacques Saade at the CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal
Crosby’s Longview facility in Texas.
(L to R); Andrei Geikalo, CEO, MyCrane and Allan Taylor.