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Patent success for Kalmar’s Smartrail

Smartrail, the automatic steering and container position verification system introduced by Kalmar Industries in 1997, has been granted an international patent. This innovative concept is now enjoying increasing success as more and more RTGs worldwide, including those manufactured by other companies, are utilising Smartrail.

Electric RTGs fitted with Kalmar's patented Smartrail technology were recently put into operation at the Port of Oslo.

According to Kalmar Industries’ President and CEO, Christer Granskog, the international patent is doubly important for Kalmar:

“Firstly, it is a strong indicator that Kalmar’s R&D capabilities are second to none. This is being reflected not only in the advanced technology we are able to offer our customers but also in product quality enhancement through higher standards of design and engineering.

“Secondly, it provides us with greater security, especially when applying our technology to RTGs manufactured by our competitors. Retrofitting Smartrail is becoming an important additional revenue stream for Kalmar and we want to protect ourselves from other companies who might try to copy in some way our technology.”

One of the largest Smartrail deals so far was placed in 2001 by the Dubai Ports Authority (DPA). It saw all 40 of DPA’s RTGs being retro-fitted with Smartrail. The deal was ground-breaking in that the system was applied to machines not manufactured by Kalmar and has proved so successful that the port’s most recent order for six Liebherr RTGs has also seen DPA specify Smartrail.

In addition to the contract from DPA, the majority of all of the Kalmar RTGs which have been ordered over the past two years have been fitted or retrofitted with the Smartrail system. These include cranes delivered to terminals in New Jersey, Oslo, Dublin, La Spezia, Dunkirk, Livorno, Kumport and St Petersburg.

The Smartrail system is simple to install and maintain since there are no civil works such as buried wires, transponders or painted lines to be maintained. Installation of the Smartrail system is also extremely friendly in that it causes very little disturbance to the normal operation in the container terminal. Retrofitting is equally straightforward although some engineering work is required.

Kalmar’s Smartrail works also as a container position verification system: each time the spreader twistlocks are activated, the yard management system is automatically updated and the new position of the handled container is recorded. This provides significant improvements in operation quality and less time is spent looking for lost or misplaced containers.

Note to editors:

Press information can be found on Kalmar’s website Simply click on News Room to be taken to a list of recent press releases or on Press Pictures to be taken to the Kalmar photo gallery. The caption for the photo reads;

Electric RTGs fitted with Kalmar's patented Smartrail technology were recently put into operation at the Port of Oslo.

Kalmar is a global provider of heavy duty materials handling equipment and services to ports, intermodal traffic, terminals and demanding industrial customers. Kalmar focuses on supplying handling solutions that enable customers to operate with a high level of efficiency and reliability. Every fourth container or trailer transfer at terminals around the world is handled by a Kalmar machine.

Kalmar provides a large range of value added services such as maintenance contracts and fleet management. Manufacturing plants are situated in Sweden (as is the head office), in Finland, the Netherlands, Estonia, Malaysia and the USA.

More information:

Communications Manager
Aija Kalander
e-mail at

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