Kalmar offers industry shaping, more sustainable cargo handling equipment and automated terminal solutions, software and services
Kalmar’s foundations lie deep in Finnish and Swedish engineering expertise, yet its organisation is made up of many great businesses from around the world.
The Kalmar story began with crane manufacturing in the Netherlands in the 19th century and continued with distribution tractor business in the middle of the 20th century in North America. As Kalmar entered the 21st century, its focus turned to Asia-Pacific, the region that has become more and more important for the future success of its business.
Today, Kalmar is the industry forerunner in port automation and energy-efficient cargo handling - unique in its ability to enable seamless integration of different terminal processes.
Cargotec's Kalmar business area started to take shape in 1997 when Partek Corporation acquired the Finnish state-owned Sisu Ltd. This was an important move strategically, as Sisu had acquired the materials handling business of Finnish Valmet Ltd only three years earlier. The business activities of Sisu focused on container handling, heavy lift trucks and terminal tractors.
In the same year, Partek acquired a major shareholding in Kalmar Industries Ltd, a container handling equipment producer. Sisu Terminal Systems was combined with Kalmar Industries, which had been listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange since 1994.
Kalmar Industries became wholly owned by Partek Corporation in 2000 when it was also delisted.
In 2001, Kalmar business area was further strengthened by the acquisitions of Dutch ship-to-shore, straddle carrier manufacturer, Nelcon B.V., and the maintenance service company Groot-Hensen B.V. Nelcon, founded in 1883.
One of the most important events of 2011 was the closing of the acquisition of US-based terminal operating systems provider Navis. Navis’s technology further strengthens Kalmar’s position as the industry forerunner in terminal automation.
Another significant step in 2012 was the introduction of the technology and competence centre in Tampere, Finland. Centre allows Kalmar to focus strongly on the development of energy-efficient, safe and intelligent machinery and automation solutions.
Cargotec's Rainbow-Cargotec Industries Co Ltd (RCI), a joint venture established in China, became operational in 2012. RCI produces rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) and quay cranes for Kalmar’s customers.
In 2015, Kalmar and Navis introduced the industry’s first integrated automation solution, Kalmar OneTerminal, that combines software systems, equipment and services for seamless deployment.
In 2016, Cargotec acquired software company Interschalt to support the future growth of XVELA as the leading collaboration platform for the maritime industry.
In 2018, Cargotec established a joint venture specialised in dry bulk handling with JCE Invest AB. From Cargotec's offering, the joint venture will own Siwertell AB, previously part of Kalmar. Siwertell is a world-leading supplier of ship unloaders, road-mobile unloaders, port-mobile unloaders, ship loaders, mechanical and pneumatic conveying systems, and bulk terminal solutions. Also in 2018, following Kalmar's strategy to focus on container ports, heavy industry and distribution segments, Kalmar sold its rough terrain handling business Kalmar Rough Terrain Center (KRTC) to the management and a Texas-based investment group.
In February 2020, Cargotec announced that it had decided to evaluate strategic alternatives for its Navis business to identify the best options to support its future development. On March 2021, Cargotec signed an agreement to sell the Navis business to US-based Accel-KKR for an enterprise value of EUR 380 million. The transaction was completed on July 1, 2021.
In December 2021, Kalmar fulfilled its commitment to deliver a fully electric portfolio by launching three new 100% electrically powered solutions – the Kalmar Electric Reachstacker, the Kalmar Electric Heavy Forklift and the Kalmar Ottawa Electric Terminal Tractor.