Greenville, N.C. - With the expansion of the Panama Canal almost complete, ports in the eastern United States are bracing for additional port traffic and increased cargo volumes. The Canal’s expansion will allow passage of ships with up 14,000 TEUs, almost three times the current 5,000 TEU capacity. The Port of Virginia, the only U.S. east coast port with congressional authorization for 55-foot depth channels, took delivery of five new Hyster® H450HD-EC empty container handlers this week, fulfilling the need for additional high-capacity equipment to handle increasing port volume. Gregory Poole Lift Systems, the local Hyster dealer, worked closely with port authorities to understand their long-term operational goals and secured a 10-year contract to fulfill the Port’s empty container handler requirements.

“This long term agreement with Gregory Poole and Hyster, which has been a reliable mainstay in the Port of Virginia, is representative of our commitment to safety, quality, innovation and sustainability,” said Bill Pierangelino, Vice President, Terminal Support and Engineering, Virginia International Terminals.

“We value our longstanding relationship with the Virginia Port Authority as a full-service provider of materials handling equipment and services,” added Hal Ingram, Group Vice President - Lift Systems, Gregory Poole Equipment Company. “We are committed to rightsizing their fleet with the most compatible equipment and working around the clock to maintain uptime and drive efficiency savings.”

The Hyster H450-EC is part of the full range of container handlers and ReachStackers offering material handling capacities up to 105,000 lbs., together with high reliability, exceptional performance and a low cost of operation.

Hyster® H400-500HD-EC series empty container handlers are versatile trucks designed for up to 7/8-high stacking in applications such as sea ports and sea terminal operations. These trucks provide superior performance in all aspects of empty container handling, lowering the cost of a container move. The trucks feature a Cummins diesel engine and EPA Tier 4 Final compliance, delivering as much as 22 percent lower fuel consumption over Tier 3 products. The unique mast design and curved tempered glass windshield create the best all-around visibility available.

“The completion of the Panama Canal expansion and the new high-capacity Post-Panamax vessels are going to shift maritime traffic across vital international lanes,” said Brett Schemerhorn, President of Big Trucks for Hyster Company. “We understand the potential direct impact this will have on U.S. ports and the necessary modernization and expansion required to accommodate these new economies of scale. Hyster® big trucks play a pivotal role in moving cargo at ports worldwide and are designed to ensure we are delivering the best, most dependable lift trucks to meet our customer’s needs.”