The future is electric

Zowell’s electric materials handling solutions are set to arrive in Australia through a new partnership with agriculture specialist Vin Rowe. 

The global forklift truck market is high-growth industry, with an anticipated 6.4 per cent growth forecast for the period of 2019-2024, according to the Global Forklift Truck Market – Technologies, Market Share and Industry Forecast 2024 report by ResearchAndMarkets.

One of the key trends that is positively influencing the growth of the forklift truck market is technological advancements which help improve forklifts efficiency and productivity.

Geographically, Asia-Pacific dominates the global forklift market due to a rise in urbanisation and industrialisation, according to ResearchAndMarkets. China’s fast-growing e-commerce sector is leading to a significant drive in the demand for more technologically and economically advanced forklift trucks.

A key aspect of these advancements is the rising adoption of the electric forklift truck, which is a major contributor to this growth as more and more businesses make the switch to electric solutions.

Graham Rowe, Director  at Vin Rowe recognised this industry as a significant growth sector, with an emphasis on electric materials handling solutions.

“Our initial interest in this sector was the electric forklifts as we believe that as this technology advances there will be requirements for any warehouse to operate an electric only fleet,” Graham says.

Graham’s background is in agricultural machinery distribution, and his business, Vin Rowe, has been operating since 1961. “We are primarily an importer and distributor of agricultural machinery but we started to become interested in the materials handling sector as a lot of our customers were using forklifts in their sheds,” Graham says.

The business currently provides a large range of the latest agricultural equipment to the Australian farming community. They have more than 50 years’ experience servicing this industry. “We understand the importance of a fast and reliable parts service and stock extensive range. Our fully qualified service technicians service all models of machinery and equipment,” Graham says.

Vin Rowe is now moving into the materials handling sector, with the backing of more than three generations of expertise, experience and reputation. Having been trusted by the best European agricultural manufacturers for many years, Vin Rowe is now entering a new venture with Zowell, a Chinese manufacturer of electric materials handling equipment.

A new collaboration

In late 2017, Vin Rowe initially trialled some of Zowell’s best-selling electric forklifts to get an idea for how the products perform. “We trialled them as we didn’t want to put them straight out to the market. After a few months of using the product we were really impressed and Zowell then approached us to work with them in presenting the range at an exhibition in Melbourne,” Graham says.

Zowell has more than 15 years’ experience in the materials handling sector and is focused on research and development. The products are designed with comfort, stable operation and efficiency features.

The range that Vin Rowe will bring to Australia covers a series of products that includes electric counterbalance forklift trucks, electric reach trucks, electric reach stacker, electric power pallet jack, electric lift stacker and electric tugger. The products are used in a variety of warehouse applications across almost every sector including automotive, food and beverage and medical.

Made in China, serviced in Australia

The Vin Rowe team pride themselves on their ability to offer a great service to any product that they distribute here in Australia, something that the business has been doing with agricultural products for more than 50 years.

“One of our technical engineers went over to China to be trained on the entire products that we will be distributing here in Australia. We now have staff who can service and repair the Zowell products locally,” Graham says.

Vin Rowe is Zowell’s only distributor in Australia and is responsible for introducing, selling and offering the after-service for the full range of Zowell’s material handling equipment.

Zowell will continue to support Vin Rowe in training its engineers so that they can continue to offer ongoing service and sales support. In addition, Zowell will visit the Vin Rowe team in Warragul, Victoria twice a year to continue training and development.

So far Graham has been very impressed with the way that the relationship with Zowell is developing and he is excited to get the products out to market.

“We can see that the future is electric and we wouldn’t want to be left behind. We’re excited to bring these new products to Australia,” Graham says.