The Intermodal Equipment Exchange (IEE) located a stone’s throw from the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina, offers a number of unique features, one of the most significant being longevity. This in itself says a lot for an independent, pushing solely used container handling lift equipment. The mortality rate in the trade can be quite high unless you are also representing a manufacturer and taking in used equipment while selling new.
Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Intermodal Equipment Exchange Dennis Connors has worked both sides of the street, as a pioneer dealer of import forklifts, General Sales Manager for a major international lift truck manufacturer and in the wholesale forklift truck trade and then new and used container handlers. While working for a forklift factory as National Sales Manager, Connors gained a unique understanding of the industry, marketing newly imported forklift trucks and working with used equipment taken in trade. Through this link, Connors established valuable international contacts, especially with companies in the Far East.
International Equipment Exchange
In 1985, Connors broke stride to create his own sales company, International Equipment Exchange (IEE). He realized that there was an opportunity developing for an independent used equipment resource, utilizing the experience and contacts he had gained with dealers, distributors and factory management from both the Far East and the US. He began to develop a unique business plan. Eventually, IEE branched out, also working with leading European manufacturers of larger, specialized forklifts and container handlers as well. At this time, Connors also realized the potential of a newer product, the then developing container handler called a reach stacker.
Through the 1990’s, the International Equipment Exchange became one of the most recognized names in the used container handling equipment market in the Americas. Specializing in forklifts over 15 tons capacity and container handlers, IEE began working with terminal operators looking for specialty lift equipment that included rubber tired gantry cranes and yard tractors.
Realizing the importance of the services he could provide his customers, Connors developed a unique approach to the used cargo handling equipment business. As his experience handling used equipment developed, he realized that success in this facet of the equipment sales business would require a great deal more than finding the equipment, showing it and closing the sale. Realizing of course that these three elements were important, Connors has focused on a “turnkey” approach delivering and installing buyer purchases. IEE aims to “make it easy” to obtain container handlers and reachstackers installed and operating in customer facilities with one order.
IEE has developed a healthy list of customers and provides consultation and technical support for new customers who know they need a machine, but are not sure what they want to purchase. Connors has also added equipment inspection and reporting services to his company’s list of capabilities. IEE will also arrange to provide spare parts, disassembly and load out of the equipment, on-site assembly, worldwide door to door delivery and export logistics services, transport of the equipment and large parts that may be available. IEE will provide relocation services if required after the fact.
With over two decades of hands-on experience in the lift-truck business, Connors and his associates are recognized for not only the company’s longevity, but most importantly, their expertise and reliability. IEE has become the used container handling lift equipment specialist to go to. The firm’s diversity provides a comfort level that attracts port operators and customers involved in container handling depots, roll-on/roll-off, rail intermodal operations, and general breakbulk cargo such as, steel and lumber.
A prime example of IEE’s stature in the used equipment market is repeat business. This encompasses not only sales of additional equipment, which happens frequently, but requests for disassembly, load-out, transport, unloading and reassembly of equipment previously sold by IEE. Companies frequently reposition equipment to other terminals and know that IEE will do the job. Federal Marine Terminals, headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada has utilized IEE frequently to move equipment purchased from them from one terminal to another. IEE will handle the complete package.
IEE will also coordinate transportation whether truck, rail, or water transport requiring an intermodal move for customers who have not necessarily purchased the equipment from them. IEE Vice President Hal Gardner has worked for the firm for a number of years. His expertise includes inspection and approval of potential purchases for IEE or for a potential customer. He is the lead for disassembly, load-out, discharge, and reassembly. Gardner has developed associations with customers, transport firms and mechanics around North America that he may call upon at any time. His range of knowledge of lift trucks, including reach stackers is respected by everyone with whom he has worked.
As an example of the details that often face IEE when working with a customer, Delaware River Stevedoring (DRS) is a case in point. DRS wanted to purchase a used Hyster reach stacker that was not your everyday heavy lift machine. This model was set up with an extension from the boom tip down to the spreader for additional lift capability at ports with a wide variation of tide. Located in Europe, the path that the machine took to destination, included ocean transport to the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, a barge shuttle from Gloucester New Jersey to DRS’s Philadelphia terminal and coordination between the original owner of the machine, the ocean carrier, the barge operator, the local U.S. Hyster dealer, IEE and DRS to complete delivery, assembly and commissioning. With the cooperation of this contingent, IEE was able to deliver the machine, now working regularly at Tioga Marine Terminal in Philadelphia.