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Working in partnership with Solent Stevedores

06 March 2019

Solent Stevedores has taken delivery of 35 electric counterbalance forklifts from STILL Materials Handling in preparation for the 2019 cruise season at the Port of Southampton.

Tom Dynes, operations director at Solent Stevedores, commented on the partnership: “We have been in partnership with STILL for many years but this latest investment (which currently provides a service for over 80% of the cruise vessels calling in Southampton) has been made to further improve the safety of our operators, increase efficiency for customers and reduce environmental impacts and emissions.”

The fully electric, next generation forklift trucks are equipped with the latest safety technology, as well as additional driver enhancements designed to improve comfort and reduce fatigue. This £1 million investment by Solent Stevedores will help ensure that the company can maintain their excellent level of service delivery and reliability as record growth in Solent’s cruise operations at the Port of Southampton continues.

The new electric counterbalance trucks, including thirty-two new RX 20 machines has been well received by all the operating staff at Southampton. Richard Gill-Martin, forklift operator at Solent Stevedores said: “We absolutely love the STILL equipment, the cabin is more spacious than before and the controls are easy to use, we are all really impressed with the new display unit.

We are able to programme the machines to our needs which is important when it comes to health and safety.”

Silent operation

The electric counterbalance trucks are completely silent in operation which is beneficial when the cruise liners arrive into the Port of Southampton and passengers are resting or asleep. Thanks to the new, compact design of the RX 20, these trucks are agile when operating in Solent’s confined spaces. The trucks are responsible for running luggage in and out of the baggage halls, whilst loading and unloading lorry loads containing the ship’s stores. The new combination axle on the RX 20, ensures the smallest turning radius in its class, providing Solent with phenomenal manoeuvrability when moving products around the docking area.

Perry Dack, cruise manager at Solent Stevedores said: “The STILL trucks leave a first and last impression on passengers. They look smart in their appearance which is so important to our brand. These trucks are safe, functional and reliable which is absolutely integral to the operations which we run here.”


Solent Stevedores have a huge focus on workplace safety, so the increased visibility with the RX 20’s oversized windows and slim mast ensure the best all-round view for optimal work safety. With a fully dedicated compliance team covering all their port operations, workplace safety is critical for company. Their ISO accreditations fundamentally underpin how their operations run and is an important shared value when it comes to their choice of suppliers.

Tom Dynes added: “STILL take our H&S concerns and ethical obligations very seriously. Our port community collectively work together to reduce emissions and procure all our equipment responsibly.”

Solent Stevedores also continue to work closely with ABP (Association British Ports) to further reduce the amount of emissions generated by their port operations, this commitment is now further enhanced by the entire fleet of 100% electric forklift trucks operating across all four cruise terminals.

STILL UK MD Nick Smith concluded: “We are constantly striving to improve our environmental impact through the use of recyclable materials in non-harmful manufacturing processes, energy-saving products and environmentally friendly work places. For many years we have worked in partnership with Solent Stevedores and are delighted to once again announce the latest delivery of 35 electric-counter balance trucks. We are immensely proud to be able to support Solent Stevedores in their commitment to driving down their environmental footprint. The importance of this shared value is one of the primary reasons for our long-standing partnership and we look forward to working with them now and in the future.”