October 20, 2016 (East Peoria, Illinois) - J-tec Industries, Inc., manufacturer of the CarryMore® Mother/Daughter Tugger Cart System and other material handling solutions, based in East Peoria, Illinois, and K.Hartwall, a Finland-based logistics processes solutions provider, have announced an exclusive distribution partnership to expand sales of each company’s material handling solutions internationally, including J-tec’s CarryMore® product line. J-tec will continue its direct sales focus in North America and Canada and K.Hartwall will focus on growth in Europe and China, with additional activity in Mexico, according to J-tec officials.
J-tec was founded in 2005 in East Peoria, Illinois and made its mark in the material handling industry by designing custom returnable containers and shipping racks, primarily for the construction equipment, industrial mining and agricultural manufacturing industries. It has since diversified its offerings and markets, largely focusing sales efforts on its own patented, totally mechanical CarryMore® Mother/Daughter Tugger Cart System. This system supports Lean processes by moving materials efficiently via tugging a train of carts throughout manufacturing facilities. Both companies currently have customers in multiple continents and look to expand into each other’s geographic base. J-tec has 166,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities in three buildings in East Peoria, Illinois.
K. Hartwall was founded in 1932 in Söderkulla, Finland. Over the years it has generated in-depth knowledge of Lean logistics processes and their financial and environmental impacts. Today they bring logistics efficiency by delivering innovative solutions, including returnable load carriers and services around them. K. Hartwall has become the preferred partner to several companies in retail, dairy, beverage, logistics and Lean manufacturing.
The move strengthens both company’s international footprint. “J-tec has been experiencing impressive sales growth since 2010 in North America, primarily,” said Jon Peterson, J-tec President and co-founder. “That’s mostly due to the efficiency and popularity of our CarryMore® system solutions. Our innovative mechanical solution helps companies “Go Fork Free.” That is, it allows them to limit or remove fork truck activities in high traffic areas -- such as using them for delivering products to the line. Fork truck accidents are the number one source of workplace injury and expense. Our CarryMore® Mother/Daughter Tugger Cart System replaces those trucks being used for that purpose,” he said.
According to Peterson, J-tec doubled its manufacturing capabilities in the past two years to prepare to meet expected demand for its CarryMore® products. And they’ve stepped up their marketing activity. “We met K. Hartwall in Atlanta in April, 2016 at MODEX when we formally introduced the CarryMore® system to the world. After many discussions comparing growth strategies, market strengths, company cultures and more, we agreed that this was a perfect partnership to help both companies grow. We now are making plans to expand our manufacturing to Europe, China and Mexico,” Peterson said. We want to reach $40 million in sales volume by 2020. We’ll achieve that goal by producing quality products that exceed our customers’ expectations and solve their problems. K.Hartwall’s experience in Lean logistics management and international trade gets both of us into new markets as one team, providing value-added services to our customers. We are very proud of this step we are taking together,” he said.
K. Hartwall CEO, Vesa Tempakka, added, “We are very pleased with our new partnership with J-tec Industries. Their CarryMore® products are unique in the industry and give us a quality and price-point edge on the hydraulic and pneumatic systems sold in our markets today. We share similar goals to facilitate efficient, Lean solutions to improve distribution processes in manufacturing locations. We are also pleased that J-tec will assist us in growing our product offerings throughout North America with their outstanding customer base and sales expertise.”